19-Jun-2018

Jesus died: 2,000-year-old Roman skeleton with hole in foot is onlythe second physical remain

ROME June 1: A 2,000-year-old Roman skeleton with a hole in his foot is only the second physical remain of the type of 'torture that killed Jesus'. 
 
Found during an excavation of a tomb in northern Italy, the skeleton showed signs of 'particular lesions' on the right heel that suggest the man was crucified.
 
Despite the Romans practicing crucifixions for nearly a millennium on tens of thousands of people, including Jesus, evidence of the technique is rare.
 
The only other example is a 19cm (7.5-inch) nail found in the body of a Jewish man discovered in a tomb in Jerusalem in 1968. 
 
Evidence of crucifixions is so rare because the wooden crosses that the Romans used for the practice quickly disintegrated.
 
The nails were also believed to have magical properties, so they were often taken from a victim. Roman orator Cicero noted that 'of all punishments, it is the most cruel and most terrifying'.
 
The skeleton was found around 37 miles (60km) from Venice in the Po valley.
 
'The importance of the discovery lies in the fact that it is the second case documented in the world,' co-author Ursula Thun Hohenstein from the University of Ferrara told Italian paper Estense.
 
It was not possible to radiocarbon date the skeleton because the bones' surfaces have been poorly preserved.
 
However, the remains were found next to typical Roman bricks and tiles, which  suggests it comes from the Roman period.
 
'Here we suggest crucifixion as a possible cause of the lesion, but this interpretation is complicated by the poor preservation of the bone surfaces and the damage and holes in other skeletal parts', researchers wrote in the paper published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.
 
The crucified man would have been between 30 to 34 years old, according to their findings.