By Amanda Borschel-Dan - May 30, 2018
Originally appeared here in the Times of Israel
A lesion on the foot of a 2,000-year-old skeleton discovered in a Roman burial site in northern Italy appears to constitute rare tangible evidence of execution by crucifixion, according to an interdisciplinary team of Italian researchers.
Although broadly attested to in historical writings — including the New Testament — it is only the second known archaeological proof of the particularly cruel form of capital punishment practiced by the Romans against criminals, as well as revolutionaries such as Jesus Christ.
The findings — published in the April 2018 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences under the title “A multidisciplinary study of calcaneal trauma in Roman Italy: a possible case of crucifixion?” — are based on new analysis of a skeleton that was discovered in 2007 during a salvage excavation of an isolated tomb.
“In the specific case, despite the poorly preserved conditions, we could demonstrate the presence of signs on the skeleton that indicate a violence similar to crucifixion,” co-author Emanuela Gualdi from the University of Ferrara told the Italian-language paper Estense. Read More