|English: Tomb of Jesus, inside the Edicule. Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Français : La tombe du Christ, église du Saint-Sépulcre, Jérusalem. Română: Mormântul Domnului (Sfântul Mormânt), Ierusalim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Since at least 1555 C.E., and most likely centuries earlier, the tomb has been covered by marble cladding.
Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, a partner in the restoration project was very surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it.
An analysis of the original rock may enable them to better understand not only the original form of the tomb chamber, but also how it evolved as the focal point of veneration since it was first identified by Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, in 326 C.E..