It’s a mixed bag of good and bad news for kids. First the good one, those who believed that Santa Claus never existed and it’s just a lie cooked up by parents to fool their kids, are wrong and the bad news is that he has long been dead. Turkish archaeologists have reportedly found a tomb belonging to St. Nicholas or the original Santa Claus, under an ancient church in southern Turkey.
The ancient tomb, which has long went undiscovered, was detected via electronic surveys that showed gaps beneath the 1,500-year-old St. Nicholas Church in the Antalya Province town of Demre.
“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,” Cemil Karabayram, head of Antalya’s Monument Authority, told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, according to the Telegraph.
Notably, Demre was built on the ruins of Myra, where St Nicholas was believed to have lived in the 4th Century. Until now, the remains of St Nicholas were thought to be in Bari, Italy. In 1087, apparently, merchants dug up his bones and smuggled them to the Italian city of Bari, the Telegraph reported. It’s still a holy site, visited by Christians paying homage to St. Nicholas.
Famous for his anonymous gift-giving and generosity, Saint Nicholas of Myra (now Demre) was a patron saint of sailors and was very fond of kids. It’s said that he’d put coins in the shoes of anyone who left them out for him on his feast day, Dec. 6.