Believe it or not – Santa’s grave has been found

Santa’s not someone (perhaps something) many of us believe in for long once we start school. There’s always someone to put you right about the magical appearance of sweet-and-toy filled socks.

Yet Santa Claus was a real person who is otherwise known as St Nicholas. Revered for his gift-giving and aid to the poor, the 4th-century saint is behind the legend of Santa Claus.

Regardless of whether people believe or otherwise, archaeologists say they think they have found the original Santa Claus’s grave under the almost fully intact temple and burial grounds of Saint Nicholas in Antalya, Turkey.

“We have obtained very good results but the real work starts now,” says Cemil Karabayram, the director of surveying and monuments in Antalya.

“We will reach into the ground and maybe we will find the untouched body of Saint Nicholas.”

Karabayram, who is also the head of Antalya’s Monument Authority, says the shrine was discovered during electronic surveys that showed gaps beneath the church.

“We believe this shrine has not been damaged at all, but it is quite difficult to get to it as there are mosaics on the floor,” he says.

He says he is very optimistic about uncovering Saint Nicholas’s remains, but warns it will take some time to scale each tile one by one and remove them as a whole in a mould.

In recent years, the church in Demre district in Antalya, near his birthplace, has been restored and draws many visitors.

Demre is built on the ruins of Myra, the city where Saint Nicholas, revered by many denominations in Christianity, is believed to have lived.


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