Better keep the children from reading this story if you think they might be traumatized to learn that Santa is dead, but the BBC is reporting that archaeologists think they may have found the tomb of the orginal Santa Claus.
Back then, Santa was known as St. Nicholas.
“An intact tomb has been found underneath Saint Nicholas Church, in the Demre district of Turkey’s south-west province of Antalya,” the BBC reports. “Demre was built on the ruins of Myra, where St Nicholas was thought to have lived in the 4th Century.”
The report notes that it was previously believed that the bones of St. Nicholas were in Bari, Italy.
“It had been thought they were taken by Italian merchants in 1087 when Myra — at the time a Greek town — was invaded by the Seljuk Turks,” the story reports. “By then St. Nicholas was already revered among Christians for his generosity, in particular to children, and his humility.”
The report adds: “The church of St. Nicholas in Demre is a popular destination for pilgrims as the site of St. Nicholas’s final resting place, and archaeological excavations have been taking place there for 20 years.”
The existence of an intact tomb beneath the church was recently revealed by scientific studies.
The report quotes Cemil Karabayram, Antalya Director of Surveying and Monuments, saying: “The temple on the ground of the church is in good condition. We believe that it has received no damage so far. But it is hard to enter it because there are stones with motifs on the ground. These stones should be scaled one by one and then removed.”