Here's a fascinating story out of the Vatican:
Vatican archaeologists have identified a sarcophagus under Rome's second-largest basilica as the tomb believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul. But they still don't know what's inside, experts said on Monday.
The Vatican does hope to be able to examine it more closely and maybe even to open it. But Vatican archaeologist Giorgio Filippi said the researchers' first concern now is to free it from centuries of plastering and debris, in the hope of finding other clues on the sarcophagus itself.
Then they will look for ways of getting inside. "We cannot make a hypothesis, it is useless to ask if there is the body of a woman inside, of two men, of three men or whatever. It is useless to ask because we have not seen inside. The sarcophagus has never been opened," said Filippi.
According to tradition, St Paul, also known as the apostle of the Gentiles, was beheaded in Rome in the 1st century. The sarcophagus, which dates from AD 390 and is buried under the main altar of St Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and ended last month.
"This is not a discovery for us. We know and we have always known this sarcophagus contains St Paul's tomb." Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, head of the basilica, told reporters. The project's original purpose was to make the sarcophagus, buried under layers of plaster and further hidden by an iron grate, more visible to pilgrims and tourists visiting the basilica.
Work in the small area under the altar, to clear the debris and insert a transparent glass floor for better viewing, unearthed new evidence of the authenticity of the sarcophagus, said Filippi, who headed the project. "There are no doubts that this is St Paul's tomb. We do not know what it contains, we have never explored it, but at least pilgrims can now see it," Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo added.
I don't know how they know it's Paul's sarcophagus, but if they're correct about that it would be an astonishing find.