All posts tagged: crucifixion artifacts

Physical evidence of Roman execution by crucifixion discovered in Britain

According to the Daily Mail, archaeologists in Britain have discovered what they describe as the “world’s best example of crucifixion.” Though the Bible and other historical documents talk about the Romans using crucifixion as a brutal form of execution, there have been few physical examples of it found because the metal nails used to crucify a person were not only extremely valuable, they were often considered magical and usually removed from the body after death. Crucifixion was a popular method of execution used by the Romans, because it often extended the torture for days. The body, discovered in 2017 in a grave at the village of Fenstanton, is dated to 130-337 AD, during the Roman occupation of Britain. The archaeologists examining the remains found a nail hammered into the man’s heel bone, thought to be 25 to 35 years of age at the time of his execution. There were also indications that the man had probably been tortured and shackled prior to his crucifixion, suggesting that he might have been a slave. Though historical paintings …

Raising of the cross by Peter Paul Ruben (1577-1640) Credit: Wikipedia

A 2,000 year old skeleton discovered showing evidence of crucifixion

Though the Bible and several other ancient historical documents talk about crucifixion as a brutal form of Roman execution, there has been very little archaeological evidence found of this ancient practice. However, a group of Italian researchers discovered that a skeleton of man uncovered in Northern Italy in 2007 was probably crucified. If this proves correct, it will be only the second example found revealing the brutal form of punishment used by the Romans to execute criminals. The first one was found in 1968 while excavating a Jerusalem cemetery connected  with the second Jewish temple (2 BC t0 70 Ad). In an ossuary used to store the bones of the deceased, they discovered a man with a nail in his heel. There was also a fragment from the olive tree used for the cross attached to the nail. Because the metal nails were so valuable, the Roman typically pulled them out after the person had died. This is part of the reason, it is difficult to determine if a person was crucified. In this case, …