Team Project Sumer
Is this the resting place of the Grail keeper on Avalon?
Info From Project Sumer's site
Project Sumer's aim is to locate the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and prove once and for all time whom the Grail serves. Through fifteen years of genealogical research, the group claims to have discovered a long hidden family secret. This secret was the knowledge concerning an island within the British Isles on which was interred the remains of Joseph of Arimathea. This location has been previously suggested as the location through its many historical connections to the myths of the Holy Grail and the legendary island of Avalon.
Who was Joseph of Arimathea? Some claim Joseph was The Virgin Mary's uncle, others that he was James the brother of Jesus with the name being titular, passed from father to son.
Maelgwyn of Llandaff (450CE) and Gildas III (516-570) refer to Joseph as noblis decurion, a title meaning metal merchant and chief of mining, originating in Spain where Jewish metal workers lived since the 6th century BC.
The New Testament states in som many words that Joseph acquired the body of Jesus from Pilate (according to law only a blood relative could make such a plea strengthening the bloodline ties between the two subjects), a personal friend. He held a seat on the Sanhedrin council though he was suspiciously absent from the trial of Jesus. Joseph is then said to have been arrested and imprisoned. Cardinal Baronius, Vatican librarian and Roman Catholic historian (1538-1607) wrote in the ecclesiastical annals: "In that year [i.e. AD 36, the year of the great persecution in Jerusalem, and the dispersion that followed] the party of Joseph of Arimathea and those who went with him into exile, was put out to sea in a vessel without sail or oars. This vessel drifted, and finally reached Massilia [Marseilles] where they were saved.
From Massilia, Joseph and his company passed into Britain and after preaching the Gospel, died. Who was in this party and how did they flee? Baronius quotes Frederic Mistral in Mireio, (16th century) and earlier (unnamed) sources, saying, "These were the names of the castaways - Joseph of Arimathea, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Martha, Lazarus, Eutropius, Salome, Clean, Saturninus, Mary Magdalene, Marcella, (maid to the Bethany sisters) Maximin, Martial, Trophimus, and Sidonius".
All those researching the Grail legend know of Mary Magdelene's arrival in Marseilles, but not that St. Philip sent Joseph on to Britain. John Capgrave (1393 - 1464) writer of English history in his "De Sancto Joseph ab Aramathea" quotes an ancient manuscript - "Philip sent from a Gaul a hundred and sixty disciples to assist Joseph and his companions." Vergil, (1470 - 1555) the Italian historian wrote - "Britain, partly through Joseph of Arimathea, partly through Fugatus and Damianus, was of all kingdoms the first that received the Gospel". A French convent in Alexandria, Egypt, was once housed by nuns who were members of the old French nobility. They taught, "St.Joseph of Arimathea took the Blessed Virgin with him to Britain and she died there." This can be validated by the work of Richard Pynson 1516 - 1520 who published an account of the life of Joseph of Arimathea based on ancient sources (not disclosed). "Now here how Joseph came into Englande; But at that time it was called Brytayne. Then XV yere with our lady, as I understande Joseph wayted styll to serve hyr he was fayne."
This is where Glastonbury comes into the quest and some researchers simply stop. Many historians claim Joseph was granted twelve hides of land by King Arivagarus in Glastonbury and there is also the tale of Joseph and the Virgin Mary being interred here and the first above ground Christian church in the world was established on the site. (Rev Lionel Smithett Lewis "Joseph of Aramithea at Glastonbury (1927)) Lets look at the situation here... In 1191, the monks of Glastonbury used Arthurian tradition to gain funds after the great fire which damaged the abbey in 1184. Knowing the present royal family had a vested interest in finding the supposed Grail, they dug up the remains of Arthur and Guinevere. Luckily for them they found a wonderful piece of propaganda in the form of a lead cross embedded in stone claiming "here lies interred the renouned King Arthur in the Isle of Avallon with his second wife Guinevere". This publicity campaign gained them the funds required and left Grail hunters perplexed for years as both the bones and the cross no longer exist (due to the dissolution of the monasteries).
There is however, a folk tale told in Wales that Prince Llewyllen ap Gruffud and his wife Eleanor de Montfort were ordered to acknowledge the site as Avalon in between 1265 and 1272. Upon being shown the remains Llwyellen laughed, "Do you not know the bones of an ox from the bones of a giant?".
This is how Joseph of Aramithea came to Britain and began the teachings of Jesus. Here, supposedly, The Virgin Mary accompanied him and in other versions his son or nephew Josephes, but we'll deal with that later. The Glastonbury association claiming the title of Avalon and other historical romances of the time like Robert de Boron, Chretien de Troyes and others claimed Joseph was guardian of the Grail and passed it on to Allain the son of Bron or Bran the Blessed. He was related to Joseph through his marriage to Anna, Joseph's daughter as son-in-law (Laurence Gardner Bloodline of the Holy Grail (2002)).
We now see evidence for Joseph coming to Britain and being buried (with or without the Virgin Mary) on the island of Avalon but why is his tomb so important? Whether you believe the Grail is a cup or a bloodline, if you believe Joseph was Mary's uncle or son one thing remains. If Joseph was the guardian of the Grail, any serious search for the Grail must start with him.
Edward de Bono's theory of false premise is never more important than here. If we start searching for the Grail without locating the grave of Joseph of Arimathea we jump a major link. Some sources claim Joseph was buried holding the Grail. Other stories tell of instructions within the tomb to locate the Ark of the Covenant. Even more claim Joseph passed on the Grail to another. If we search for the Grail without investigating these stories we start from a false premise and any outcome is invalid. We must first locate the tomb, get solid physical evidence and then we can start from a true premise enabling a valid conclusion to be reached.
The location the Project is researching they believe is the true Island of Avalon, because in the first instance it is an Island (unlike Glastonbury) surrounded by the sea - a good starting point. It has been documented by Gildas III and Maelgwyn and many of the other historians and grail romances, that Avalon was an island of immense sanctity and that it was in the western hemisphere of Britain. They purport to have identified this island through irrefutable and impeccable research through historical, scientific, artistic and literary references ranging in dates from the 6th Century CE to as recently as 2001.
The project is looking at working on an island with no modern trappings such as electricity and gas. All equipment will therefore need battery operated power sources and a second base must be established on the mainland to use for the task of recharging and sending over with a boat team during the duration. This also will slow down the search putting an emphasis on hard toil digging and cataloguing. The hope is to locate and prepare the tomb for excavation within no more than three months".
When the dig begins, there will be direct communication with the BPL website with video and still photographs which will allow everyone to be with the team every step of the way and join in the excitement of this quest for the modern age.
Although the project claims to have completed the research, the actual excavation will be more than they can handle without project funding by private individuals or companies. If you would like to help finance our quest to discover the material evidence behind one of mankind's greatest mysteries please get in touch at the contact details below. They hope to raise enough to begin the dig as soon as possible as to avoid a winter excavation and further restraints and complications.
A publicity campaign is already underway thanks to the help of Dione Coumbes and her company bookpublicity.co.uk. She will be promoting the dig through her lecture tour in connection with Dan Brown's fascinating and historically accurate novel "The Da Vinci Code" in the states this fall as well as on the website.
Any academics or interested parties who wish to be involved are more than welcome.
or you can call Mr Parry Project Coordinator on07971 327 913 if you wish to discuss taking part.
Mrs N King, Project Treasurer on 0776 323 9054 if you or your company would like to be a potential sponsor.
Da Vinci Code Tie In to Project
Leonardo Da Vinci painted several religiously significant portraits which have found a new revival in the public interest.
A recent publication "the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown" has brought these works into the forefront of our imagination through the possibility of a secret code embedded within the pictures.
On further investigation we found this particular picture to contain a remarkably similar likeness to the project's island location. Was Leonardo pointing to the resting place of the Virgin Mary in this painting, Madonna with the Yarnwinder?
Other pictures have shown under x-ray that they contain more characters from the Grail romances. Project Sumer feels that this is the reality of the code that key images such as the characters and the backgrounds show clues to the location of the Holy Grail.
Celtic Twilight has not researched the information provided, but is providing the basic details so that any interested individuals may do their own checks.