Italian archaeologists working at the site of Hierapolis in southwestern Turkey believe they have discovered the tomb of St. Philip, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles. According to excavator Francesco D’Andria, Philip’s tomb has traditionally been associated with the martyrium church built at the site,* though no evidence of the ancient burial was ever found. Last month, however, D’Andria and his team located a smaller church less than 150 feet away from the martyrium that appears to contain the grave of the apostle.
“As we were cleaning out the new church we discovered a month ago, we finally found the grave,” said D’Andria. “With close examination, we determined that the grave had been moved from its previous location in the St. Philip Church to this new church in the fifth century, during the Byzantine era.” D’Andria said the excavation of the tomb will begin in the near future.
*For the background story of the Apostle Philip, who was crucified upside down at Hierapolis, see the article, “Conversion, Crucifixion and Celebration,” by lead excavator Francesco D’Andria in the July/August 2011 issue of Biblical Archeology Review.