Nat Geo gains exclusive access to the Sacred Structure in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
With exclusive access to one of the most sacred sites in Christianity, the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, National Geographic follows a team of scientific experts as they race to repair the collapsing Edicule, the “little house,” enclosing the burial chamber of Jesus and threatening it with destruction. The Secrets of Christ’s Tomb: Explorer Special one-hour event premieres 26 December 2017 at 21h00 (South Africa) and will air globally in 171 countries and 45 languages.
Under the direction of Professor Antonia Moropoulou, Chief Scientific Supervisor at the National Technical University of Athens, the painstaking process of fixing the crumbling structure is heightened by the immovable deadline imposed by the church patriarchs. The restoration must be completed for the most important date in the Church’s calendar – the Easter ceremony of the Holy Fire.
A pilgrimage site for the world’s two billion Christians, The Secrets of Christ’s Tomb: Explorer Special observes the intense collaboration and far-reaching efforts of the religious community, architects, scientists, and historians in their highly sensitive endeavour to restore, protect, and reveal the long-held mysteries of the tomb.
As the team learns that the damage to the Edicule is far more extensive than anyone had feared, it becomes clear that the Tomb itself must be opened. Sealed for hundreds of years – no one alive has witnessed first-hand the final resting place of Christ. So precious is the site, the patriarchs will only allow it to be open for 60 hours.
Dr. Fredrik Hiebert, Archaeologist-in-Residence for the National Geographic Society and Tim Samuels, a correspondent with National Geographic, are on hand to document and interpret the significance of what is revealed when the tomb is opened. Unprecedented scientific testing reveals the tomb dates to at least the time of the first Christian Emperor, Constantine, in the 4th century AD – a finding that could transform what we know about Christ’s final resting place.
The Secrets of Christ’s Tomb: Explorer Special is produced by Pioneer Productions for National Geographic. For Pioneer Productions, the executive producer is Thomas Viner. For National Geographic, the executive producer is Bernadette McDaid; Hamish Mykura is executive vice president, programming and development; and Tim Pastore is president of original programming and production.