The icy continent is an unspoilt haven for scientists and home to the geographic South Pole – which NASA is using to prepare for life on Mars. More than 1,000 scientists reside there in various camps across the frozen desert, braving temperatures as low as -90C. Their research, which includes drilling deep into the snow to gain ice core samples, has been pivotal to proving the effects of climate change.
It was revealed during Nova’s “The Secrets Of Antarctica” how one group managed to go back over 2,000 years in history.
The 2015 documentary detailed: “Ken Taylor’s team is drilling through ice and their goal is to gather samples from the nearly two-mile thick West Antarctic ice sheet.
“The deeper they go the further back in history they travel.
“These ice cores contain tiny bubbles of ancient atmosphere that were trapped each year as the snow was compressed into ice.”
Mr Taylor, who heads up the Desert Research Institute revealed how the ice core samples are key to scientist’s work.
He said: “Ice bubbles in these [suggest] it’s ancient air in there and when we crush samples like this we get the caps out and we can sample the ancient atmosphere.
“We can also get a record of how things like temperature and sea ice changed in the past.
“By combining these different records we can understand how the climate system operated in the past.”
Rebecca Anderson, who worked as part of the team, revealed their most interesting find in the archives.
She said: “Here about 480 metres deep right now is around the time when Jesus lived.
“We’re at about 0AD, right before when BC years turned into AD.”
Often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity and many Christians believe he is the incarnation of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.
Almost all modern scholars agree that Jesus existed historically.
However, arguments start over the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus.
In 2016, Father Chris Ryan, a Seminary Director from Australia, claimed archaeologists uncovered “Jesus’ home” buried below a fourth-century church.
He said: “Above us is a 20th-century church, built beneath it, you can see a couple of outer walls in the shape of an octagon.
“That is a fifth-century church.
“But archaeologists have now found another layer below and what they found there was a fourth-century house church.
“In that time you had all these little places where Christians worshipped inside what was basically a converted house.”
Father Chris went on to explain how, after digging deeper, historians found another remarkable discovery.
He added: “But even deeper, below that level of archaeology, we’ve got a first-century house.
“And that first-century house is not a very big room at all, not a very big space.
“But you can see that the walls have been whitewashed and people scribbled on them.
“They wrote things like ‘Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah’.
“But there are also other pieces that suggest Peter lived here and we are sure it is his house.”
It was later claimed Jesus used Peter’s house as a place to stay in the era of the New Testament.