Discovery of prof. Enrique Alarcón! Inscription in the Apostolic Tomb in Santiago | Camino de Santiago and Tomb of St. James: history and interpretation

Discovery of prof. Enrique Alarcón! Inscription in the Apostolic Tomb in Santiago

In 2011, the principal investigator in the this grant of National Centre of Science, prof. Enrique Alarcon from University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), have discovered and proposed new interpretation of the inscription founded in the apostolic mauzoleum in Santiago. The first explanation of his theory have been published in the article: «Sepulcrum Iacobi [versión española]». P. Roszak (ed.), Camino de Santiago – nie tylko droga. Historia i współczesność Szlaku św. Jakuba (1. ed.: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika , Toruń, 2011) 343-357

It could be very helpful to remember the starting point of our investigation – status queastionis or actual historical perspective.

The tomb was discovered at the beginning of the 9th century. However, historical documents from that period are incomplete and it is not known what convinced Church authorities (bishop Teodomiro) to confirm the authenticity of the findings. The key to discover it is archeology, but the tomb had undertaken many changes over the centuries. Research carried out in the 20th century was not methodologically associated with it and made only cursory observations. Moreover, many notes on this subject have not be published yet and are stored in the archive of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Furthermore, the recent research of professor Alarcon has led to the discovery of inscriptions on the tomb of the Apostle, which are the key to interpret its history. Research hypothesis is as follows: initially the tomb used to be a Roman mausoleum associated with the so-called mansion viaria ( always built in the vicinity of Roman tracks) from app. 50 AD. Around 70 AD a modification was introduced resembling the Christian burial from Jerusalem. In approximately 175 AD the inscriptions concerning St. James and his stay in Spain appeared, which casts light on less known later interferences which ranged from approximately 200 AD to the 5th century.