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TOMB DATED TO TIME OF JESUS

A British scholar concluded on Wednesday at the end of a 10-year study that the Tomb of Christ in Jerusalem contains stone remnants dating to the time of Jesus.

Martin Biddle, an Oxford professor of Medieval Archaeology, said many scholars believed the present-day tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was essentially only an outer structure erected in the 19th century.

"We are sure now that inside here are the remains of three successive houses and the original stone-cut tomb," Biddle said.

Christian faithful believe the tomb marks the traditional site of Jesus' burial and resurrection.

Biddle told Reuters he and a team of volunteers based the findings of their 10-year study on analysis of models, pilgrims' diaries of visits to the tomb throughout the centuries and structural evidence. Biddle did not carry out any excavations at the site, where archaeological digs are prohibited.

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