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.
Unknown assailants in vehicle fired shots at US Embassy in Ankara on early morning, governor office says
Turkey, Russia, Iran to take part in trilateral Syria summit next month in Tehran
Security forces carried out 2,331 counter-terror operations across Turkey on Aug. 13-20, says Interior Ministry
Erdogan said the aim of the recent currency crisis was to bring "Turkey and its people to their knees" and that this attack was no different from a strike against Turkey’s flag or call to prayer
Turkish Airlines CEO says 253,000 passengers traveled via 1,547 flights on Saturday, setting a new record
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Manbij roadmap between Turkey and US continues 'without a hitch'
Numan Kurtulmus to be acting chairman of AK Party, Omer Celik has been named new party spokesman
We extend our condolences to Kofi Annan’s family, relatives and our ally Ghanaian people, says Turkish Foreign Ministry
6,000 Malians arrive in Jeddah, Madina via Turkey's national flag carrier for annual Islamic pilgrimage
Article 'is a blatant attempt by New York Times to justify and whitewash PKK terrorism,' says Ibrahim Kalin
Turkish officials console families of those who lost their lives in 7.4 earthquake in NW Anatolia
Police launched investigation over claims that chain traffic accident was caused by spillage of oil from tanker truck
Migrants held in Canakkale, Adana, Edirne and Izmir provinces
Turkish soldiers delivered bird to Hatay Nature Reserve Association
Party will change bylaws in accordance with new presidential system