Early Christianity comes to life at the Natural History Museum

New exhibit highlights the origins of Christianity

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The Secrets of Antioch

31 October – December 30 2016

antiochFounded in 300BC by a former general of Alexander the Great, Antioch was one of the ancient world’s greatest urban centers. The capital of the Seleucid Kingdom until 64AD, it was later one of the Roman Empire’s principle outposts and the place where St Paul essentially founded modern Christianity. At its height, the city was home to half a million people – making it larger than modern-day Atlanta or Miami. Although the location of Antioch was no secret – it was situated just outside Antakya in modern Turkey – little hope was held for every being able to study it.

Located near the mouth of the Orontes River, Antioch was gradually reclaimed by the river and eventually entombed beneath a thick layer of mud. The Imperial Palace and Constantine’s Great Church were thought to be lost forever until an expedition of underwater archaeologists led by the curator of Millennium City’s Natural History Museum, Professor Henry Jones, recently rediscovered them.

The exceptional archaeological discoveries, only made possible through the use of technologies on loan from Harmon Industries, will form the heart of The Secrets of Antioch, a forthcoming exhibit at the Millennium City Museum of Natural History.

Spear of DestinyThe finds from these excavations will be on display for the first time anywhere alongside major objects rarely seen in the US from the early Christian period. The artifact that has attracted the most attention from archaeologists and biblical scholars from around the world is the Spear of Destiny.

The Spear of Destiny, also known as the Holy Lance, the Holy Spear or the Lance of Longinus, is the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross, according to the Gospel of John. Although several churches across the world claimed to possess the genuine Spear of Destiny, the artifact retrieved by Professor Jones and his team has positively been identified by three teams of independent researchers as being the true Spear of Destiny.

The Secrets of Antioch will open to the public on 31 October.

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