Â Award-Winning Filmmakers James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici Chronicle Investigation of 2,000-year-old Artifacts Related to Jesus of Nazareth andÂ Mary Magdalene –Could this box be Jesus’s tomb?
Â Â Â SILVER SPRING, Md. (rushprnews) 02/25/2007- Scientific analysis of limestone ossuaries (bone boxes) and physical evidence found in a 2,000-year- old tomb in Talpiot, Jerusalem, provide credible new information that the tomb once may have held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.
A new Discovery Channel documentary THE LOST TOMB
OF JESUS, from executive producer James Cameron and director Simcha Jacobovici, exclusively reveals what might be the greatest archaeological
find in history. The film presents the latest evidence from world-renowned
experts in Aramaic script, ancient DNA analysis, forensics, archaeology and
statistics. Among the major discoveries chronicled in the program is new
evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene, also known as “Mariamene e Mara,”
may have had a son named Judah.
Â Â Â A press conference will be held by Discovery Channel on Monday,
February 26, at 11:00 am in New York City. At that time, what are thought
to be the ossuaries of Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene will be
unveiled. (To register for the press conference and receive location
information, please call 212- 751-3342.)
Â Â Â In attendance will be Jane Root, president and general manager of
Discovery Channel; James Cameron and; Professor James Tabor, chair of the
Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at
Charlotte; Dr. Shimon Gibson, archaeologist with the Albright Institute;
Professor Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at
the University of Toronto; and Dr. Charles Pellegrino, co-author of The
Jesus Family Tomb.
Â Â Â THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS, which premieres on Sunday, March 4, at 9 PM
ET/PT on Discovery Channel, follows an investigative journey into the
identities of and relationships among 10 ossuaries, which originally were
discovered more than 25 years ago but never were connected conclusively. In
conjunction with the film, HarperSanFrancisco is publishing a companion
book, The Jesus Family Tomb, co-authored by Jacobovici and Dr. Charles
Pellegrino, with a foreword by Cameron.
Â Â Â The Talpiot tomb originally held 10 ossuaries, nine of which are still
within the Israel Antiquity Authority’s domain. Six of the limestone bone
boxes that served as First Century Jerusalem-area coffins include
inscriptions of names found in the New Testament – “Jesus son of Joseph,”
“Maria,” “Mariamene e Mara,” “Matthew,” “Yose” and “Judah son of Jesus.”
Â Â Â “This has been a three-year journey that seems more incredible than
fiction,” says Jacobovici. “The idea of possibly finding the tomb of Jesus
and several members of his family, with compelling scientific evidence, is
beyond anything I could have imagined.”
Â Â Â “It doesn’t get bigger than this,” says Cameron. “We’ve done our
homework; we’ve made the case; and now it’s time for the debate to begin.”
Â Â Â “Discovery Channel brings our worldwide audience the latest information
about life’s enduring mysteries through the network’s extensive funding of
scientific research and analysis,” says Root. “It is an honor to be part of
what might be the most important discovery in history. This program
provides viewers with the latest forensic evidence, information about the
Talpiot tomb, and important historical context. We invite viewers to review
the facts, engage in discussion, and come to their own conclusions.”
Â Â Â Could this have been a holy tomb for Jesus and his family? Evidence
shows the following:
Â Â Â Â – Leading epigraphers agree about the text inscriptions;
Â Â Â Â – Expert archaeologists confirm the nature of the finds and their
Â Â Â Â Â Â historical relevance;
Â Â Â Â – The tomb contains a mysterious symbol over the entrance found on other
Â Â Â Â Â Â Christian artifacts; and
Â Â Â Â – A statistical study concludes that the odds – on the most conservative
Â Â Â Â Â Â basis – are 600 to 1 in favor of this being the Jesus family tomb.
Â Â Â Dr. Carney Matheson from the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead
University in Ontario, Canada, conducted a mitochondrial DNA analysis on
microscopic bits of matter recovered from the “Jesus son of Joseph” and
“Mariamene e Mara” ossuaries. The test genetically concludes that the two
were not maternally related. Given that this was a family burial place
reserved for spouses and blood relations, it is possible to deduce that
they were a couple.
Â Â Â As shown in the film, Jacobovici and his team use robotic cameras to
locate the tomb, which was believed to have been destroyed but is actually
in the center of a modern-day apartment complex. After briefly entering the
tomb, the filmmakers follow local regulations and seal the tomb with the
hopes that they will return to conduct further analysis.
Â Â Â A special Web site, http://www.discovery.com/tomb, will provide in-depth
information to allow viewers to make their own decisions about these
extraordinary findings. A virtual evidence kit, with the latest scientific
analysis, can be examined first hand. The original map of the tomb drawn by
Dr. Shimon Gibson in 1980, exclusive Web interviews, and detailed images of
the inscriptions will be online for the world to explore. The site will
feature a forum for debate and conversation with several experts sharing
their thoughts and answering questions in message boards and blogs.
Â Â Â THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS is produced for Discovery Channel worldwide by
Associated Producers, in cooperation with VisionTV Canada and Channel 4,
UK. James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici are executive producers for
Associated Producers. Phil Fairclough is executive producer for Discovery
Â Â Â THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS airs in the U.S. on the following networks:Â Â Â *World Premiere* on Discovery Channel:Â Sunday, March 4 at 9pm ET/PT
Â Â Â Discovery Times Channel:Â Monday, March 5 at 8pm ET/PT
Â Â Â Discovery en Espanol:Â Sunday, March 18 at 9pm ET/PT
Â Â Â Discovery HD Theater:Â Wednesday, March 28 at 9pm ET/PT
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