It is believed that the grave of the “first Santa Claus” is in Italy, however, the Turkish authorities – and some archaeologists believe that his bones still lie in Antalya.


Frescoes from the Church of St. Nicholas in the Worlds. (Photo: Jiuguang Wang / Flickr.com.)

The Church of St. Nicholas in the lower Worlds. (Photo: Klaus-Peter Simon / Wikimedia Commons.) ”

Just say that below, we are not talking about Santa Claus but about his type. Because Santa himself and his colleague Santa Claus is quite a well – otherwise who are we each year brings gifts?

It is believed that the prototype of Santa Claus was Nicholas, a Christian Saint who lived and died in the Worlds (modern Demre in Antalya, Turkey). In the East he is considered the patron Saint of travelers, and in the West – the patron Saint of children. It was he (according to the adults, and they won’t lie) gave the children gifts to the reformation .

However, the gifts he passed on December 6, in “your” day on the Church calendar. Supporters of the reformation this feature initially gave baby Jesus, but then Saint Nicholas returned to his duties – but now he began to give gifts at Christmas. In North America, Nicholas has transferred its powers to Santa Claus. The image of the giver of Christmas there finally broke away from the Church’s roots.

The life of St. Nicholas is full of all sorts of wonders (no wonder it was called), but the adventure was waiting for him, and after his death, which occurred in 343, he was buried in the Worlds, in the temple, who was given his name. Church tradition States that after the death of several faithful who came to venerate his relics, were healed in a miraculous way. After the rumors about it are widely dispersed, the Worlds become a place of pilgrimage. The Church was many times destroyed by the Arabs. The Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomakh was ordered to surround the temple wall, turning it thereby into a monastery. (Subsequently, the city became the Turkish, which remains to this day.)

The story of miracles was continued, when the Saint was allegedly one of the elders and asked to carefully preserve its power. In any case, so said the Italian sailors from Bari, who in 1087 plan to steal the remains (the sailors probably wished that their city became a religious center). But they were rivals of the Venetians, who were going to the Worlds for the same. Barici ahead of them. They tied the monks, took apart the Church platform under which was a tomb, and took most of the relics. In the grave were only small fragments (even called the exact figure – about 20%). Their locals hid. But somewhere in 1099-1101 years the Venetians elicited (in the literal sense), where there are “remnants”, and took the same 20% to his hometown. Since it was believed that the “main” tomb of St. Nicholas in Bari, and “optional” in Venice.

In 1957 and 1987, the anthropologists examined the alleged remains of St. in both cities and announced that they belong to one person. Recently, experts from the University of Oxford announced that one of the bones that supposedly belonged to Nicholas, dated to the fourth century, about the time of death of the Saint.

However, this year the pages of Newspapers and magazines spread the news: “Found the grave of Santa Claus.” As we have noted, Santa Claus is in fact not dead, but the point here is different: the fact that under the Church of St. Nicholas in the Worlds may have found the remains of an ancient temple and untouched graves. They were found using GPR. This device sends to the earth by electromagnetic waves, they are reflected from various substances and go back to the device. Different substances reflect the waves differently, allowing you to determine under the ground, to set their shape, size and sometimes the material of which they are composed.

The main advantage of GPR is that objects can be detected without excavation. However, there are serious deficiencies – without excavation it is not always possible to determine exactly what it found (this confusion happened, for example, with the widely publicized “secret room” in the tomb of Tutankhamun). Another disadvantage lies in the fact that without excavation it is impossible to accurately date the discovered.

However, these drawbacks are often neglected – all of us want the sensation! So did the Turkish archaeologists, however, they still wrote about his discovery as “possible”. They were supported by local authorities and all sorts of media (they have questions or concerns, as always, is much smaller). According to themselves of archaeologists, thieves of Bari allegedly came at Worlds when the old Church along with the Saint’s tomb was destroyed and on its place put new. The monks allegedly cheated the sailors, and they took to Italy the remains of some unknown Minister of the Church. Then in exactly the same position and were Venetians.

Adam C inglish (Adam C. English), head of the Department of Christian studies at the University of Campbell (NC, USA), refers to the Turkish statement with skepticism. He notes that the history of the transfer of the relics of St. Nicholas are well documented, and until then, until the excavations, it is unclear what exactly is under the floor of the Church in the Worlds.

The power stored in Bari and Venice for several centuries, are worshipped, and the temples where they are – a place of reverence. It turns out that then go monks lied not only robbers, but also all other Christians. Why haven’t they said that real power remains in their churches? Why for so long has not appeared the written evidence of the alternative version of the story about the kidnapping? After all, Miriam it would not only be flattering, but also profitable.

Of course, monks could and do not know where exactly the remains. But the relics in Bari and Venice still date back to the fourth century, and what time are new findings, we don’t know.

Mind and context of the Turkish open. As you know, Antalya is a popular holiday destination. 15% of tourists are Russians. They usually visit the Church of St. Nicholas (by the way, in the second half of the XIX century, the temple has been restored with Russian money and with the support of the Russian Church). A statement about the discovery, oddly enough, sounded in October, when Turkey starts “off season”. And loud statements about the grave of Nicholas might be mistaken for trying to attract tourists.

Who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s unlikely we’ll find out soon. To explore the remains of buildings and graves, it is necessary to disassemble the floor of the temple. It is unlikely that Turkish authorities allow it, but even if they decide to excavate, it will be a long time before the truth is revealed. Moreover, the problem of identification of the remains is still relevant. Enough to find some bones, you also need to prove that they belong to the Saint, and not someone else.

It is worth Recalling that the search for the remains of important historical persons have become a significant trend in contemporary archaeology. At various times it was reported that found the possible remains of the kings of England Alfred the Great (840-899.) and Henry I (1068-1135.), classics of Spanish literature Miguel de Cervantes, the king of the Vikings in Dublin Olaf Guthfrithson (mind. 941).

The most famous and, moreover, seems to be a good example – the identification of the remains of Richard III (1452-1485) was the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty on the English throne and the last monarch of England who died in battle, however, some questions remain here, too.

Archaeologists don’t like sensation: too much noise, which interferes with work. But this noise has a positive side: it brings in research funding. In addition, strong statements lead to a noisy discussion and the search for new evidence and develop new methods. Importantly, the money and the thirst for glory does not overshadow the main aim of the study was the truth.

According to the materials of The Guardian.