JERUSALEM (JTA) — A new archeological find in a Jerusalem neighborhood is reportedly the first discovery of an ossuary with symbols showing the dead were believers in resurrection.
The discovery by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and Professor James Tabor of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte was unveiled Wednesday and will be the subject of television program to be broadcast on the Discovery Network later this month.
It was the result of more than four years of research and digging using technology and a robotic arm to access an unexplored tomb located deep beneath a Jerusalem apartment complex.
Jacobovici, who also was involved in the re-discovery of the Jesus Family Tomb just yards away from the new site, said Wednesday that his team has uncovered the earliest Christian symbols ever found. Unveiling the find, he displayed museum quality replicas of the two ossuaries found at the site that contained drawings depicting Jonah and the whale and an inscription calling for resurrection.
“Of more than 3,000 ossuaries which have been found to date in Jerusalem, this find is the only statement of faith that has ever been discovered indicating that the people buried in this tomb were believers in resurrection," Jacobovici said. "We also can see the earliest Christian cross that has ever been unearthed anywhere.”