Tomb of Old Testament Prophet Discovered?

Archaeologists find spectacular church in Israel, plan to rebury it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2011 11:20 AM CST
Updated Feb 6, 2011 6:30 PM CST
A view of a mosaic in the archaeological site where an ancient church was found in Hirbet Madras, central Israel, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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(Newser) – Israeli archaeologists have hit on a stunning site in the Judean hills: a 1,500 year-old Byzantine basilica, which sits on top of an even older structure, which sits on top of a series of tunnels, which lead to a small cave that they believe might be the legendary burial place of the Old Testament prophet Zechariah. What do they intend to do with this marvel of antiquities? They’re going to rebury it, the AP reports.

It’s taken two months to unearth the site, which was discovered after tomb raiders made off with the church lintel, the AFP reports. But archaeologists don’t have the funds to maintain the church as a tourist destination, so they’ve decided to cover it back over with soil for its own protection. Curious observers have just one week left to check out the site, which boasts stunningly well-preserved mosaics dating back to the Roman era.

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