A team of researchers has found rare evidence of crucifixion on a 2,000-year-old body buried in northern Italy. Though the body was discovered in 2007, new evidence shows injuries consistent with the method of execution the Roman’s used on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The skeleton revealed a lesion and unhealed fracture on the heel bone, suggesting that the feet had been nailed to a cross. It has helped them understand further what happened to Jesus during his crucifixion, which has long been debated by scientists.
Lead study author Emanuela Gualdi, a medical anthropologist at the University of Ferrara, told Live Science that the injuries suggest a metal nail had been driven through the bone. Biological tests confirm that the remains belonged to a man between the ages of 30 and 34.
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Unlike Christ, however, the body was simply buried, not entombed in the traditional Roman burial. This leads researchers to believe that the man was of low status in society.
Scientists admit that their findings are not conclusive due to the condition of the ancient bones, but the unusual placement of the limbs further indicates that the man had been nailed to a cross.
Archeologists report that the remains were found “with the upper limbs at his side and the lower limbs outstretched.” They believe this shows that the man’s arms had been “fixed to the cross by nails through the wrist,” in the same way Jesus was crucified.
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The Romans used crucifixion to execute victims because it was designed to cause maximum pain. This punishment would often take days to kill victims.
Although records indicate crucifixion was a common form of execution for the Romans, this body is only the second example that contains direct evidence of how the practice was actually carried out. The first remains of a crucifixion victim were uncovered in Jerusalem in 1968.
— The Horn editorial team