Archaeologists Say They’ve Found Santa Claus’s Tomb


Archaeologists in Turkey have unearthed what they say is likely to be the tomb of the original Santa Claus – or Saint Nicholas to be precise.

Now I don’t know where they’re getting their facts from because Santa is very much alive, I got presents last year and I’m quite confident I’ll be getting more this year, so explain that.

Anyway, according to the Telegraph, archaeologists said they made their discovery beneath an ancient church in Demre, which is in southern Turkey.


Demre, which was previously known as Myra, is believed to be the birthplace of the 4th century bishop.

The head of Antalya’s Monument Authority, Cemil Karabayram, said a shrine was discovered during electronic surveys which showed up gaps beneath the church.

He told Hurriyet Daily News he was ‘very optimistic’ about uncovering Saint Nicholas’ remains:

We believe this shrine has not been damaged at all, but it is quite difficult to get to it as there are mosaics on the floor.

Mr Karabayram warned it would take time to scale each tile one-by-one and remove them as a whole in a mold.


He also said the temple is ‘almost fully intact’ but archaeologists can’t access it at the moment due to the ‘presence of stone reliefs that need to be preserved’, writes the Telegraph.

He added:

We have obtained very good results but the real work starts now.

We will reach the ground and maybe we will find the untouched body of Saint Nicholas.

Professor Sema Dogan, leader of the excavation, was stunned by the finding and said he believed the discovery could see a boost in tourism to the area.

Saint Nicholas was placed at the church in Demre, where he lay undisturbed until the 11th century, after his death in 343 A.D., continues the article.


Previously, St Nicholas’ remains were thought to have then been smuggled to the Italian city of Bari, by merchants in 1087, and Christians visit the site of what was thought to be his final resting place in the Basilica di San Nicola church.

Now, however, Turkish experts are claiming the wrong bones were removed and those taken abroad belong to another, local priest, rather than those of St Nick.

Saint Nicholas of Myra was well known for his generosity towards children, he became known as the protector of children and sailors and was associated with gift giving.

According to the Telegraph, he had a reputation for secret gift giving, and used to put coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.


Saint Nicholas was popularised in 16th century Europe as Father Christmas, who gave presents to young children – thank you whoever was responsible for this.

In modern imagery, Saint Nicholas – or Santa Claus or Father Christmas – is depicted as a portly old man with white hair, a big white beard and spectacles and wearing a red suit with white trim and a black belt and boots.

So, time will tell whether or not the final resting place is in Turkey after all – even though he will be visiting everybody in December. What?