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Hi-tech imaging sheds light on Holy Sepulchre wall crosses



"This unique phenomenon always baffled us: Is it graffiti of the pilgrims, or rather, something else?...,"


Crosses etched in mysterious abundance across the walls of Christianity's most sacred church were long assumed to be graffiti, but they may be the work of medieval masons paid to carve them by pilgrims, research suggests.


Revered in Christian tradition as the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre usually bustles with worshippers and clergy. That has made study of the sacred markings difficult.


But renovations in 2018 at one of its chapels featuring thousands of the close-bunched and hand-engraved crosses gave Israel's Antiquities Authority and Hadassah Academic College Jerusalem an opportunity for research.


Father Samuel Aghoyan, the Armenian superior at the Holy Sepulchre, saw benefits to the church from the research, especially as it struggles to emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns and prepares for Easter.


"Now there are no pilgrims here, (but) still their spirit is here, we know, I believe in that," he said.


From an article in the Jerusalem Post

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