Jesus' cross – or at least a fragment of the cross used to crucify the Christian savior – may have been unearthed in Turkey.

During an archaeological dig on the site of a seventh-century Balatlar Church in Sinop, a stone chest with crosses carved into the side was discovered. Though tests are still underway to establish authenticity, it’s believed that it could contain a piece of wood from the crucifix that plays a prominent role in Christian iconography, reported the Daily Mail.

Religious legend claims that when Constantine's mother, Helene Augustus, visited Jerusalem circa 325 AD, she determined which of three crosses had held Jesus. She then ordered that part of in remain in Jerusalem, while the rest was broken down into smaller chunks and delivered to religious leaders across Rome and Constantinople – the modern day Turkish city of Istanbul.

Lead archaeologist on the dig, Professor Gulgen Koroglu, feels confident that she’s turned up a legitimate piece of religious history. Koroglu, however, is far from the first to have claimed to turned up a cross fragment. While some archaeologists claim that added up, the pieces would out value the size of a cross, others maintain that the verified relics would make up only a third of a 12 ft high cross.

– Chelsea Regan

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