ANSA) - Vatican City, July 3 - A recent scientific analysis on a tomb Vatican officials believe belongs to St Paul does not ''confirm or exclude'' that the relics inside are those of the apostle, the head of the Vatican Museums' diagnostics laboratory said Friday.
Speaking at a Vatican press conference Ulderico Santamaria, who is also a science professor at Tuscia University, said the analysis did not offer conclusive proof.
However, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls where the tomb was found in 2006, said the results made him optimistic.
''Nothing is contrary and everything seems to point towards the tomb being that of the apostle, in line with a 2,000-year tradition,'' he said.
Pope Benedict XVI announced on Sunday that a probe inserted through a small hole in the tomb revealed pieces of purple and blue material, incense grains and small fragments of bone that were carbon dated to between the first and second century.
Although the Pope said that the tests “confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that these are the mortal remains of Paul the apostle,” it is doubtful that a definite identification is possible with the evidence available to archaeologists.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Archaeology, Paul, Paul’s Body