The tomb of St. Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples of Christianity's central figure Jesus Christ, has been discovered during the ongoing excavations in Turkey's south-western province of Denizli.
Italian professor Francesco D'Andria, the head of the excavation team at the Hierapolis ancient city in Denizli, told reporters on Tuesday that experts had reached the tomb of St. Philip whose name is mentioned in the Bible as one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.
Professor D'Andria said archeologists had been working for years to find the tomb of the Biblical figure, and finally, they had managed to reach the monument while working on the ruins of a newly-unearthed church in Hierapolis.
D'Andria said the structure of the tomb and the writings on it proved that it belonged to St. Philip the Apostle, who is recognized as a martyr in the history of Christianity.
Describing the discovery as a major development both for archeology and the Christian world, D'Andria said the tomb, which had not been opened yet, was expected to become an important Christian pilgrimage destination.
Hierapolis, whose name means "sacred city", is an ancient city located next to the renowned Pamukkale, white Travertine terraces, in Denizli province. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city, famous for its historical hot springs used as a spa since the 2nd century, is a mixture of Pagan, Roman, Jewish and early Christian influences.
Ancient tradition associates Hierapolis with St. Philip the Apostle, who is believed to have died in the city around 80 AD. The follower, who is known as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia, is said to have been martyred in Hierapolis. The legend is that St. Philip was crucified upside-down or martyred by beheading.
After the apostle's death, an octagonal tomb named "The Martryium" was erected for him where he is believed to have been martyred.
Russia’s deputy defense minister says Moscow ready to talk with Turkey to prevent 'misunderstandings'
Turkish president warns Russia it 'will lose a lot' if it loses Turkey as a friend following Russian jet's violation of Turkey's airspace
Turkish dailies on Tuesday mainly covered violation of Turkey’s air space by Russian fighter jets and President Erdogan's remarks in Brussels
Several teachers, university students and public officials are believed to be among those detained
NATO Secretary Generalsays Russian violations of Turkish airspace near Syrian border were 'not an accident'
Lack of consistency in regulation and protectionism are souring investor sentiments, business leaders at the G20-OECD global forum in Istanbul say
Turkey summoned Russian ambassador to Ankara for second time after new violation of its air space by Russian war plane close to Syrian border
Moscow says Russian fighter jet violated Turkish air space because of 'bad weather conditions'
A roadside bomb has wounded six soldiers in Diyarbakir province
Turkish president criticizes EU for not doing enough to solve refugee crisis, calls for buffer zone at Turkish-Syrian border
Russian violations of Turkish airspace are "unacceptable", NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says
Country's PM says, 'Whoever violates our airspace, our rules of engagement are clear'
Two F-16 jets were harassed by a MIG-29 plane, whose nationality could not be identified, Turkish army says
Turkish Interior Minister Altinok says a total of 2,483 terrorist attacks have taken place since July 22 in Turkey
Turkish dailies cover AK Party's election manifesto ahead of country's Nov.1 election, plus Erdogan's criticism of Russian air attacks in Syria
NATO head Jens Stoltenberg will meet Turkish Foreign Minister to discuss situation in Syria