Er ... Not Really
From the Daily Telegraph (Australia -- not the Torygraph):
British historian Tom Asbridge yesterday hailed the find as the first provable example of actual Knights Templar.
The remains were found beneath the ruined walls of Jacob's Ford, an overthrown
castle dating back to the Crusades, which had been lost for centuries.
They can be dated to the exact day -- August 29, 1179 -- that they were killed by Saladin, the feared Muslim leader who captured the fortress.
"Never before has it been possible to trace their remains to such an exact time in history,' Mr Asbridge said. "This discovery is the equivalent of the Holy Grail to archaeologists and historians. It is unparalleled."
Ok ... first, I thought we already knew that the Templars really existed. And second, No, it's not really like finding the Holy Grail at all. Because the only thing like finding the Holy Grail would be actually finding the Holy Grail. Which may or may not be the cup most appropriate for a simple carpenter and may or may not have been found in the 1940s in Petra by a sexy archaeologist and his father after many encounters with the Nazis. Because in this medievalist's world, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is every bit as plausible as the nonsense that Dan Brown writes, and far better because no one ever claimed it might be true. Sheesh.
Update: I've seen comments at other places from several colleagues that this is probably a case of an historian being horrendously misquoted. In terms of the coolness of the discovery, one of my Senior Colleagues points out that knowing an almost exact date for something might be a really good gauge for calibrating other, more traditional dating methods, and thus lead to more accurate dating for other sites -- and that is very cool. Just not pop-culture, Dan Brown, Michael Baigent conspiracy-theory cool.