More Evidence of Crucifixion

Despite numerous historical references to crucifixion in the ancient literature, it was not until 1968 that the first physical evidence for the practice was discovered. It came in the form of a heel bone that was recovered from an ossuary in a 1st century AD tomb in the neighborhood of Giv’at ha-Mivtar, outside of Jerusalem. The heel bone still had an iron nail embedded in it. Then in 2019 a skeleton was uncovered in Gavello, Italy, that included a heel bone that had been pierced by a nail, indicating that the man had been crucified. These remains were also dated to the 1st century AD.
A third example has now been discovered in the UK, announced in late 2021. Archaeologists working along an ancient Roman road near Fenstanton, England, discovered the skeleton of a man aged 25-35 years old. Like the Giv’at ha-Mivtar remains from Israel, the heel bone still had an iron nail embedded in it, clear evidence of crucifixion.

Heel bone with an embedded iron nail, 3rd-4th centuries AD, found near Fenstanton, England.

The remains are dated to the 3rd or 4th centuries AD; the practice was officially outlawed by Constantine the Great in AD 337, so this example comes from the final years in which the practice was still in use.

Remains of the crucified man discovered at Fenstanton.

A report is available here.

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