|Photo by Berthold Werner; Public Domain|
In 2002 archaeologists began investigating a tomb (AD 390) that was buried under the altar in a crypt in the basilica of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls in Rome.1. After three years they removed two large slabs of marble to reveal a sarcophagus that contained a Latin inscription on the top that read: Paulo Apostolo Mart[yri]2. (“Paul Apostle Martyr”). It was not opened but archaeologists inserted a probe that revealed purple linen covered with gold flecks, incense, and some small bone fragments. The remains were radiocarbon (carbon-14) dated to the 1st or 2nd century AD.3.
1. Christian Fraser, “St Paul’s Tomb Unearthed in Rome,” BBC News, Rome, December 7, 2006, sec. Europe.
2. Ottavio Bucarelli and Martín Maria Morales, eds., Paolo apostolo martyri: l’apostolo San Paolo nella storia, nell’arte e nell’archeologia, Miscellanea Historiae Pontificiae 69 (Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2009), 290; Angela Donati, Pietro E Paolo La Storia Il Culto La Memoria Nei Primi Secoli, Catalogo Della Monstra (Milan: Electa, 2000), 175.
3.Katia Lopez Hodoyan, “The Mysteries Surrounding the Tomb of St. Paul,” Rome Reports TV News Agency, February 5, 2012.