A Byzantine baptism font was discovered during renovation works at the Nativity Church, Palestinian officials said on Saturday.
The head of the Palestinian Committee in charge of the Church restoration Ziad al-Bandak said the new discovery is an ancient church furniture from the 5th or the 6th century.
He added that it is unknown why it was covered in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem and why it was not recorded in any historical documents.
International experts will arrive to the location later on Saturday for analysis and further investigation.
Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity is one of Christianity’s most sacred shrines.
According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born here.
Decades of neglect left the historic church in a bad state, until it was finally declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2013.
A restoration project to remove the grime of its mosaics, repair the walls and columns, replace the windows and restore the leaking roof has been underway for the past 5 years.