Recently, scientists discovered a new piece of evidence that provides even more background to the biblical account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
In the four Gospels of the Bible, it is told that Jesus was put to death on a wooden cross. The Bible recounts how there were Roman soldiers who used nails to secure Jesus to the cross when historically it is believed they usually used rope during crucifixions.
When facts are examined, there is little to no evidence that points to the Roman soldiers ever using nails during crucifixions — at least, not until recently.
In 2007, scientists in Northern Italy discovered the remains of a man who appears to have been crucified on a wooden cross with nails. The team of scientists from the University of Ferrara found remains of a Roman-era man in Gavello, Italy. They discovered his skeletal remains lying on his back with both his arms and legs outstretched. They also realized that the man had a lesion as well as an unhealed fracture on his heel bone.
This might not seem unusual at first glance, but to archaeologists, this was a remarkable piece of historical evidence. During the reign of the Roman Empire, it was unusual for someone to be buried directly in the ground, and not in a tomb with no burial goods.
This past April, the scientists published a piece in the Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences journal, where they detailed the cause of the man’s injury. The scientists stated that the injury looked like one that would only come from a metal nail being nailed through the man’s foot. They also noted that the nail would have had to hit something, something like a wooden cross.
Even though the scientists believe that the man was nailed to a wooden object, there is still little known about the effects of a human body being crucified. This cruel form of torture was not used frequently, as they usually used roped to tie them up on the wooden crosses. They also know little to nothing about this practice as the rope did not leave any damage to the bone.
There has only ever been one other discovery that detailed evidence of a crucifixion. The Times of Israel reported that in 1968, Vassilio Tzaferis, a Greek archaeologist, found the remains of a man’s body with a 7-inch nail through his heel. His foot was then attached to olive wood.
When Romans did crucify with nails, they usually removed the nails, making it strangely odd that they left this man with the nail intact.
Although it seems to be a breaking discovery, the scientists have not formed a complete and sound conclusion on the discovery.
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In the case of the remains from Gavello, the new study’s authors admit that their findings are not as conclusive. The man’s other heel bone is missing, for one thing, and the remaining bones aren’t in good condition.They also have not found evidence that wrists were nailed to the cross, as was commonly done in Roman-era crucifixion. Still, they suggest his arms could have been tied to the cross with rope instead, as is thought to be the case with the man found in Jerusalem.
Due to the poor condition of the bones, the researchers also could not use radiocarbon dating techniques. But the location of the remains within the layers of Roman-era remains led them to reasonably conclude the man was killed approximately 2,000 years ago, placing his death roughly within the same time period as Jesus’ crucifixion.
“The importance of the discovery lies in the fact that it is the second case documented in the world,” scientist Ursula Thun Hohenstein told Estense, an Italian news publication.
(H/T: The Blaze)