And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called [the place] of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Note 1 at Joh 19:17: Golgotha literally means "the skull" (Strong's Concordance). Only Luke used the Greek word "KRANION" ("'cranium'" [Strong's Concordance]), which was translated as "Calvary," to identify this place (Lu 23:33).
The exact location of Golgotha has been questioned since the third century. During the reign of Constantine in the fourth century, the historian Eusebius commissioned Bishop Marcarius to find the true site of Golgotha and the tomb. Eusebius wrote that impious men had covered the sepulchre with earth and built a temple to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) over it.
Based on this information, the emperor Constantine built a church on the site of Hadrian's temple to Aphrodite, believing that to be the site of Golgotha. This site today is occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and has a long tradition as being the location of Golgotha and the garden tomb. However, it is also history that the pagan emperor, Hadrian, had deliberately obscured many Christian holy sites with his temples so that their exact locations were unknown.
In 1842, Otto Thenius suggested that an area that the Jews called "Jeremiah's Grotto" was the actual site of the crucifixion and burial. Forty years later, General Charles Gordon declared this to be the true site, and it has since then been called "Gordon's Calvary." Many prefer this site to the traditional site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Gordon's Calvary also resembles the appearance of a skull with caves in the face of the hill. However, some argue that these caves are actually mines that only date back 300 or 400 years at the most.
These facts are evident from biblical accounts: Golgotha was near Jerusalem (Joh 19:20) but outside the city walls (Heb 13:12). The terminology "passed by" (Mt 27:39) implies that Golgotha was by a well-traveled road. Mr 15:40 and Lu 23:49 also mention being able to view the crucifixion from a long way off, suggesting that Golgotha was a hill.