A recent discovery of a tomb in the Church of St Nicholas in Demre, Antalya is believed to be that of St Nicholas – the man, the mystery and the legend that created Santa Claus.
While conducting “geo-radar surveys” of the 11th Century church as part of a restoration process, archaeologists came across an in-tact temple below the church.
Cemil Karabyram, head of Antalya’s Monument Authority told the International Business Times the team believes the “shrine has not been damaged at all” but due to the intricate mosaic pattern on the floor it will be “quite difficult to get to it”.
But the archaeologists will continue to find their way to the temple without damaging the Church.
The whereabouts of St Nicholas has always been a mystery, as historical records have suggested that he was buried in Myra but his bones were stolen and taken to the portside town of Bari, the capital of Puglia, where St Nicholas was the patron saint.
But Mr Karabyram has told the ABC in the US that those bones may have actually been the remains of another priest.
Like the mystic nature of Mr Claus himself, St Nicholas seems to have achieved the seemingly un-achievable.
St Nicholas was born in Patara, at the time located within Greece. St Nicholas became a Bishop early in his life and was renowned for his generosity, sharing his inherited wealth with the needy, love of children, sailors and ships.
The myth of Santa Claus may have just become that little bit more real. And just in time for Christmas.