Archaeologists may have discovered St. Nick’s bones

The 21st-century American version of Santa Claus is what so many people are familiar with today, but Santa has come a long way, inspired by St. Nicholas. And no, Coca-Cola had little to do with it. (Mike Mozart/Flickr Commons/CC BY 2.0)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish archaeologists believe they may have discovered the remains of St. Nicholas — from whom the legend of Santa Claus emerged — beneath a church at his birthplace in southern Turkey.

St. Nicholas was born and served as a bishop of what is now the Turkish Mediterranean town of Demre, near Antalya, in the 4th century. He was buried there, but his bones were long believed to have been taken to the southern Italian town of Bari.

Cemil Karabayram, the head of Antalya’s monuments authority, told the AP Thursday that archaeologists now think that his remains may be lying in a temple below the church.

Karabayram said archaeologists were looking for a way of reaching the remains without harming the church.

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