Archaeologists think they may have discovered the tomb of Santa Claus.
And we didn’t even know he was sick.
Ground-penetrating radar revealed the existence of a cavity beneath an old church in the town of Demre in southern Turkey, reports The Telegraph newspaper in Britain. It was once known as Myra and was near the birthplace of the fourth-century Bishop St. Nicholas.
But they’re not sure. According to The Guardian newspaper, the tomb is blocked by stone reliefs and mosaics that need to be carefully preserved.
“We have obtained very good results, but the real work starts now,” Cemil Karabayram, the director of surveying and monuments in Antalya provice, is quoted as telling a Turkish newspaper. “We will reach the ground, and maybe we will find the untouched body of Saint Nicholas.”
That would be of interest to all the Christians who think they have visited Nicholas’ resting place in Bari, Italy. It has been thought that smugglers stole his remains from Myra in the 11th century as parts of the Byzantine empire fell to Muslims.
But some Turkish experts are now saying those bones may have been of a regular priest, instead. Nicholas may still be in Turkey.
So what does this have to do with Santa Claus?
Nicholas was known for his kindness to children and his gift giving, such as putting coins in shoes they had left out. In Europe he came to be called Father Christmas.
The Dutch referred to him as Sinterklaas, which became Santa Claus.