The 9 Biggest Archaeology Findings of 2016

7. Kazakhstan megalithic site

Archaeologists announced the discovery of a 1,500-year-old stone complex in Kazakhstan that sprawls over 300 acres (120 hectares) of land, or more than 200 American football fields. A large amount of work remains to be done. However, archaeologists can already report the discovery of a saddle made partly of silver and stones carved with images of weapons and creatures. The complex may have been constructed by the Huns, a people who traveled across Asia and Europe and came into conflict with the Roman Empire.

8. Excavation of the “tomb of Jesus”

Archaeologists recently excavated a tomb in Jerusalem that people in ancient times believed held the remains of Jesus Christ. According to legend, the tomb was discovered in the fourth century after Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine (who legalized Christianity and supposedly converted to it), traveled to Jerusalem and ordered excavations to find the tomb’s location. After Jesus’ tomb was identified, according to legend, the imperial family ordered that a shrine be built over the site. Records indicate that by 1555 the tomb had been damaged. In order to protect the tomb, marble cladding was built over it. The cladding covered and sealed the tomb.

In 2016, a team of archaeologists opened the tomb in order to carry out conservation work and learn more about the site. They found the limestone bed, which, according to legend, Christ’s body had been placed on after he was crucified. The excavations may shed more light on the tomb and the legends behind it.

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