The New Testament and Christian tradition tell us that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans in the year 30 or 33, some 20 centuries ago. According to the Gospel of Luke, his body was put in a tomb that was guarded by a Roman soldier. Jesus was then resurrected and ascended to heaven. What has intrigued the Christians ever since is the question of exactly where Christ’s tomb is located.
We know that he was crucified and entombed in Jerusalem, and it has been believed for centuries that his tomb is inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This crypt lies beneath a shrine called the Edicule, a term derived from a Latin word, aedicule, meaning little house. According to tradition the tomb was a limestone cave.
Within the crypt, it’s said that Jesus was laid on a shelf of rock carved from the side of the cave. This belief in the precise location of the tomb of Jesus actually dates back to the 2nd century. It was then that the Emperor Hadrian constructed a temple in honor of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, specifically to obscure the place where the troublesome Jesus had apparently been entombed.