Tomb Discovered in France Considered Knights Templar - When Excavated, Findings May...

Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:07am EDT

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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
    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
    About Cinema Libre Studio
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SOURCE  Cinema Libre Studio

Beth Portello of Cinema Libre Studio, +1-818-349-8822,
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