Knights Templar tomb found during the making of a new documentary film BLOODLINE, premiering May 9. (PRNewsFoto/Cinema Libre Studio)</strong> LOS ANGELES, CA UNITED STATES 04/16/2008
Tomb Discovered in France Considered Knights Templar – When Excavated, Findings May Challenge the Tenets of Christianity
Explored in New Documentary ‘BLOODLINE’ Premiering May 9
LOS ANGELES, April 17 /PRNewswire/ — An underground tomb found in the Languedoc region of southwest France has been discovered, which may help substantiate the existence of a Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene bloodline, according to the new documentary BLOODLINE, premiering May 9 in New York and May 16 in Los Angeles. The rare find will be further examined at a Monday, May 5 news conference at the Jewish Museum in New York City. The chamber contains a mummified corpse on a rose-colored plinth under a shroud bearing the distinctive red cross of the Knights Templar, and is surrounded by wooden chests, revealing a cache of gold chalices and coins. The discovery has been reported to the French Government agency, Direction Regionale des Affaires Culturelles Languedoc-Roussillon (DRAC-LR), and plans are underway for a full scale survey.
“After the Crusades, it was rumored that the Templars had discovered treasure underneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem that could debunk the Catholic Church’s doctrine,” said BLOODLINE director Bruce Burgess, of the unprecedented discovery of what appears to be an intact Knights Templar tomb. “This treasure was believed to be priceless relics — documents, the Holy Grail, even the embalmed remains of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene — which was then brought to southern France, and hidden.”
The subterranean chamber was discovered by an English adventurer, Ben Hammott, using a hidden code in the decor of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau left behind by the 19th century priest, Berenger Sauniere. The film team was able to gain access into the tomb by using a remote camera inserted through a small air shaft at the top of the chamber. (Clips visible at http://blip.tv/file/827329/)
Relics were not removed, although the team was able to extract a few hair strands from the corpse, which have undergone testing by the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. “Like most ancient or degraded samples, we knew our best chance for successful results would be to focus our efforts on mitochondrial DNA,” said analyst Renee Praymack Fratpietro. “We were able to determine a Middle Eastern maternal origin of the individual based on haplotyping information. After we found out where this hair sample came from, we realized the significance of this work.”
BLOODLINE producer Rene Barnett concluded, “Given the DNA results, the region’s Templar history and the legend of Priest Sauniere which indicated that he found a tomb in the area that could ‘shake the Vatican to its core,’ we think this is a staggering find.”
The DRAC Commissioner in the region, Jean-Pierre Giraud said, “This is certainly a very intriguing discovery, but it’s just too early to tell how important it is. We need to do a full survey of the site to determine the age of the corpse and the other items in the tomb. The archeology department of the DRAC-LR will be carrying out an examination of the site as soon as access has been made possible.”
The area surrounding Rennes-le-Chateau features prominently in the bloodline legend which follows the premise that Mary Magdalene escaped Jerusalem with child, sailed to France and settled in the region.
For the latest updates — including clips, press releases and updates on the dig — visit http://www.bloodlinethemovie.com/.