Documentary claims Jesus buried in Jerusalem neighborhood

Sunday, February 25, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The Israeli-born, Canadian-based filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici is producing a film claiming the tomb of Jesus and his family is in Talpiot, a southern neighborhood of Jerusalem, close to Bethlehem.

Two-time Emmy winner Jacobovici and his team, including Hollywood director James Cameron, are to document the 10 ossuaries, chests for human bones, found in 1980, bearing inscriptions with the names of Jesus, Mary and other relatives.

Bar-Ilan University Prof. Amos Kloner, an archaeologist who oversaw the work in the early 1980s, said the claims were “nonsense.” Kloner said the names found on the ossuaries were common and the inscription of “Jesus son of Joseph” had been found on a number of other ossuaries.

“There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb,” said Kloner. “They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle-class family from the 1st century AD.”

Israeli Antiquities Authority officials said the 10 ossuaries found were removed from the tomb and taken to the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum outside the Old City.

The documentary is to be screened this week in the US, UK, in Israel and around the world. The producers are said to have worked with world-renowned archeologists, statisticians and DNA specialists on the project.

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