The tomb is a limestone shelf or burial bed hewn from the wall of a cave, National Geographic reports. Covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 A.D., it was exposed Oct. 26 as part of a major restoration project at the church.
An initial inspection by a team from the National Technical University of Athens revealed a layer of fill material beneath the marble cladding. Additional work revealed another marble slab with a cross carved into its surface, according to National Geographic. Just hours before the tomb was re-sealed Oct. 28, the original limestone burial bed was found to be intact.
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