Historians: We've Found the Holy Grail

3-year quest started in Cairo

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 1, 2014 7:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Historians claim that a goblet long identified as belonging to the daughter of an 11th-century Spanish king has actually housed the Holy Grail—and has been sitting in a basilica in the northwestern city of León for nearly a thousand years. A three-year quest that began at a Cairo University in 2011 led medieval history lecturer Margarita Torres and art historian José Manuel Ortega del Rio to determine the onyx goblet is the one Jesus Christ used at his last supper, and was contained within the "Chalice of Doña Urruca"; the two presented their theory in a book out last week called Kings of Grail.

In Cairo, they stumbled on two Egyptian parchments that described the upper part of the goblet and recounted its passage to Cairo from Jerusalem via Muslims who then gave it to a Spanish emir, reports the Irish Times. That led them to what had been long referred to as the goblet belonging to the daughter of Fernando I, which the AFP describes as "formed by two goblets joined together." Fernando I ruled León from 1037 to 1065 and was, in Torres' telling, given the goblet, whose construction they were able to date to a range of 200 BC to 100 AD, by an emir. The historians' revelation caused crowds to swarm the San Isidro basilica to such an extent that the goblet was taken off display on Friday by curators now searching for a more crowd-conducive display space. The AFP points out there are some 200 "Holy Grails" in existence in Europe; the historians say their book chips away at the so-called proof offered for some of the best known ones.

Historians think they may have found the chalice Christ drank from at the last supper.
Historians think they may have found the chalice Christ drank from at the last supper.   (Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
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