Tomb of Apostle Philip Found

Discovery made at Hierapolis, one of the major Christian sites in Turkey

Tomb of Apostle Philip Found

Amid the remains of a fourth or fifth century church at Hierapolis, one of the most significant Christian sites in Turkey, Francesco D’Andria found this first-century Roman tomb that he believes once held the remains of the apostle Philip.

At about the same time as the July/August 2011 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review was hitting the newsstands, containing an article about St. Philip’s Martyrium,* author and excavation director Francesco D’Andria was making an exciting new discovery in the field at Hierapolis, one of the most significant sites in Christian Turkey. A month later he announced it: They had finally found the tomb of the martyred apostle Philip.

The tomb wasn’t discovered at the center of the octagonal hilltop martyrium as long expected, however, but in a newly excavated church about 40 yards away. D’Andria’s team found a first-century Roman tomb located at the center of the new church, which he says originally contained Philip’s remains. This early church of Christian Turkey was built around the tomb in the fourth or fifth century, and the nearby martyrium was built around the same time, in the early fifth century.
 


 
A team led by excavation director Francesco D’Andria in Hierapolis also uncovered the remains of Pluto’s Gate, a site considered an entrance into the underworld in the Greco-Roman period. Read about it in Bible History Daily.
 

 
The remains of the apostle Philip are no longer in the tomb, however. According to D’Andria, the saint’s relics were very likely moved from Hierapolis to Constantinople at the end of the sixth century and then possibly taken to Rome and placed in the newly dedicated Church of St. Philip and St. John (now the Church of the Holy Apostles), although 12th-century reports describe seeing Philip’s remains still in Constantinople, the seat of Christian Turkey.

Tomb of Apostle Philip Found

This sixth-century bread stamp shows two churches from the site of Hierapolis in Christian Turkey: the domed martyrium on the right, and the newly-discovered church containing Philip’s tomb on the left.

This new discovery also sheds light on the wonderful imagery of the rare sixth-century bronze bread stamp from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that we published in our article about Philip’s Martyrium. The structures on either side of the saint can now be identified as the domed martyrium (on the right) and the new Byzantine basilical church containing the tomb of the apostle Philip (on the left), both of which were important Christian sites in Turkey.

 


 

Notes

* Francesco D’Andria, “Conversion, Crucifixion and Celebration,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2011.

 


 

Based on Strata, “Philip’s Tomb Discovered—But Not Where Expected,” Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2012.

Posted in Biblical Archaeology Sites.

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15 Responses

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  1. Mark L. says

    This is exciting news, and is exactly why I love reading BAR so much. Thank you.

  2. Edward says

    The discoverer of the tomb is indulging in tabloid style journalism if he is claiming that he knows the bones belonged to “Philip.” Any early tomb of a Greek named Philip (a common Greek name) could have had a church built up around it in the fourth century by Constantine’s Mother who spent a fortune “finding” even the bones of Adam, Eve, Noah, and the thieves crucified on either side of Jesus, and building churches around them.

    Once Helena’s son became Emperor, Helena traveled all over Palestine and whenever she found a thing mentioned in her Bible, Old or New Testament, she would search for it in reality, and never stop until she had found it. If it was Adam, she would find Adam’s grave; if it was Goliath, Joshua or Melchizadek, she would find their graves; if it was Noah’s ark, she would find the ark. She was always fortunate,” as Mark Twain put it in The Innocents Abroad, a book he wrote concerning his visit to the Holy Land and what he learned while there.

    Helena also claimed to have found the exact spot of the crucifixion; the spot where the soldiers divided Jesus’s clothing; and the three crosses upon which Jesus and the two thieves were crucified

  3. denizlihotel says

    Good newsm hope that this gets more attention to Pamukkale and Hierapolis. This place is just amazing, just imagine what kind of undiscovered treasures there still lie in the ground.

  4. Al says

    I hate to see BAR pass along a mistake, but the Philip that was historically associated with Hierapolis was NOT Philip the Apostle, but Philip the Evangelist, mentioned in Acts several times. Mixing the two up was an error in the past and seems to continue to this day. The most ancient texts about the death of Philip in Hierapolis make it clear it was the Philip from Acts 21. See Eusebius Ecc Hist 3.31.5 for the details.

    Of course, this is not absolute proof it was not the Apostle Philip who died there. Maybe all the stories are wrong. But it seems clear that the earliest traditions place the Philip with four daughters at Hierapolis and have simply been mistaken when they identified him as the Apostle, not the Deacon/Evangelist mentioned repeatedly in Acts.

  5. Johnna says

    Genesis 4:20 Jabal was the 6th generation from Cain and that is where men began living in tents and establishing herds of livestock. There is a lot of years between Adam and the Deluge of Noah. So much time even Josephus recorded Seth and Enoch built pillars per the revelations from God of the destruction of the world with water and fire so they built 3 pyramids of brick in a land before it was known as Egypt and with pictures they left the testimony of God coming coming as a man and dying and resurrecting for the salvation of man. A mans heart will be weighed against a feather to determine cleaness of hands and a pure heart. Noahs decendant Egypt took the glory of God and changed it that he as a man would become a god just as the antichrist will or is doing. The stone pillars are the Mayan pyramids exactly opposite of the 3(Trinity) pyramids of Giza, being surrounded with the largest snakes in existence as a witness of who caused mans downfall and this explains the beings ( fallen angels) coming to earth from heaven inscribed in these pyramids of stone. they are opposite as scorpio is opposite of Orion in the heavenly sky. The spynx tells where to begin the Mazzaroth ( mentioned in Job), or Zodiac and the end. The head and breast of the woman is Virgo the virgin Mary and the star Coma is actually Jesus, sad it was perverted to mean hair, and it ends with Leo the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This is also the same time of the Hebrew months as when God established their time beginning in spring after the Exodus. So here you have the pillars made of brick ( Notice the statues of the giants along with the men in the cities) in Egypt and directly opposite the earth is the pillars of stone of the bad in the Mayan and Aztec land that is of the fallen angels.What do you do when you have about 1000 years to live without the comforts of the modern times and we people are natural builders and your the 1st people on earth walking with God? Build pillars and inscribe them of Him and glorify Him and His word will stand forever. KOOL!!!!!

Continuing the Discussion

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  5. 12 Apostles « Veracity linked to this post on March 11, 2012

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