The recent discoveries at the St. Nicholas Monument Museum in Demre, visited by many locals and strangers, created excitement. Georadar and tomography research done on the ground of the museum revealed an intact temple. Cemil Karabayram, Provincial Director of Landscape and Monuments of Antalya, said that they had reached important findings about the bones of Saint Nicholas, known as Santa Claus.
Cemil Karabayram stated that very serious data were obtained within the scope of the restoration studies and scientifically there was no such expectation. Based on the knowledge on hand, St. Nicholas was buried there in the 4th century. But, there was a big earthquake in the area where the church was located.
In Search of Holy Oil
Karabayram reminds that Prof. Dr. Yıldız Otuken made a research to find oil here in the 1990s. He also said, ” At that time, He found an oil used to anoint died Saints. We are trying to reach his data. If that oil remains here, it means that the structure and the corpse resideus have not been intervened. Having a grave chamber is very high odds.”
Emperor Concealed the Grave
Recording that the world could be the scene of new developments with the discoveries of St. Nicholas, Karabayram noted that the bones of St.Nicholas might still be in here. Karabayram continued:
“We are preparing to give good news to Antalya. However, we need to have stronger data for the new excavation. We need to protect the historic temple as it is under the mosaic and decorated area. This structure is untouched and unspoilt even though the area was affected by the earthquake. It is clear that there is a temple where the transition route is closed with special stones. When the earthquake happened, the grave was preserved. Most probably, the emperor concealed this place because he thought it could be stolen.”
‘Italians may have taken the bones of another priest’
Karabayram pointed out that the Italians are more likely to take the bones of another priest to Bari. “Because there is a new burial chamber hidden here.” he added.
Who is Saint Nicholas?
St. Nicholas was born in Patara in the second half of the 3rd century AD and made bishopric in Myra (Demre). Thanks to his religious personality, he reached to the degree of sainted. Moreover, he became the most popular saint in many countries of Europe, especially in the old Russian Czardom. In the Netherlands and Great Britain, he is known as Santa Klaus. At the same time, he is considered one of the saints who protects New York in the United States. In the northern European countries, Santa Claus tradition was integrated with the belief of Saint Nicholas, which led to the creation of a semi-religious and very popular legendary figure.
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