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The Garden Tomb in Pictures

Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2006 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Archaeology  

We have seen the Church of the Grave in pictures, now we can move on to the Garden Tomb. There are not as many stories here, however. The Protestants just get along better than their Catholic/Orthodox friends in the Church of the Grave, I guess.

The Garden Tomb is called this because it is found in a garden. It is much more pleasent to visit than the Church of the Grave. The Protestants have an Easter sunrise service here every year, and the grounds are very pretty and quiet. It is quite a change from the surrounding urban landscape. Here is a picture of the opening to the tomb.


The reason that the site was first suggested is the "skull" in the hill, so it was thought that this was the reason that it was called Skull Hill. Here is the skull today. There is a bus station underneath the hill today. The skull has deepened its holes over the past hundred years when it is compared to pictures from the late 1800's.


My personal opinion is that there is not a chance the Garden Tomb is the authentic site. The tomb is too old and the idea that the supposed face in the rock is the reason for the name I think is fanciful. The Protestants needed a place they could send their pilgrims too, and this was a good place. I think the Church of the Grave has a much better claim to authenticity. I remember reading somewhere that there was an open place where they could have built the church, but they insisted that they build it at the exact site, even though it took much longer and much more money. Also, Constantine was not inherintly against the pagan temples: he stayed high priest until his death, so I do not think the desire to tear down a temple influenced the decision. So if I had to guess, I would say the Church of the Grave is the place with the best claim to authenticity. But, that is just my opinion, and frankly, it doesn't really matter. The Grave is empty!


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