Researchers have not yet undertaken to draw parallels with the biblical story, but they argue that the found nails have definitely crucified someone.
Scientists have discovered fragments of ancient bone and wood in nails that could have crucified Jesus Christ. Debates about their authenticity are still ongoing in scientific circles. It is reported by The Sun.
The nails are believed to have been found in Jerusalem, in a first-century burial cave that could have been the resting place of Caiaphas, the Jewish priest who sent Jesus to death, according to the Bible.
But in 1990, from the excavation site, the aforementioned nails disappeared.
Years later, filmmaker Simha Yakubovich announced that he had found nails driven by the Romans into the cross of Jesus. Then scientists rejected Yakubovich’s statement, saying that the nails he found did not resemble those that were found in the tomb of Caiaphas.
But a new study showed not only that the nails were from the same tomb, but also that they actually crucified someone.
The lead author of the study, Aryeh Shimron, compared the material from the nails to the material from the ossuaries of the tomb – limestone boxes in which the bones of the dead were kept.
“The material entering the caves does not differ significantly from burial to burial depending on the topography, soil composition in the region, microclimate and surrounding vegetation. Consequently, the caves have excellent physical and chemical characteristics,” says Shimron.
He investigated the properties of the materials that had fallen into the tomb and its ossuaries over the centuries. Shimron discovered that Caiaphas’s cave was the only place where the nails could have been. A total of 25 tombs were checked.
“We also found small pieces of wood in the iron oxide rust on the nails. They were well preserved and completely fossilized. Therefore, this is an ancient tree, not accidentally or artificially attached to nails. In the rust and sediment on the nails, we also identified and photographed several microscopic bone fragments “, – the scientist notes.
For Dr. Shimron, a retired geologist who worked with the Israel Geological Survey, the evidence is compelling.
“I believe that the scientific evidence that nails were used to crucify someone is strong enough,” the author emphasizes.
It is also important to note that crucifixion nails were previously considered powerful amulets. Therefore, the repentant Caiaphas could have left the nails with him, Yakubovich claims. He also says that the nails found would be enough to nail a human hand to the bar. The nails themselves could be bent at the ends to prevent the convict from freeing himself.
But Dr. Shimron believes that his discovery does not in any way connect the ancient nails with Christ.
“The evidence that the nails were used in the crucifixion is really compelling. But the only evidence of their connection to Jesus is that they were found in Caiaphas’s tomb. Is there enough evidence? on assumptions “, – summed up Shimron.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) previously argued that the found nails had nothing to do with Caiaphas’ tomb. The department decided not to change its position now, in the light of a new study.
“It seems that the nails mentioned were indeed found in one of the caves in Jerusalem dating back to the same period. However, a direct connection with this particular cave has not been proven. In fact, even if such a connection were found, we still cannot confirm with certainty that the burial place belonged to the high priest Caiaphas,” the department said in a statement.
They also note that in the past there were many questions related to the arrangement of the cave, which was too simple and did not correspond to the higher social status of the priest.
Be that as it may, if the nails were indeed used in the crucifixion, it is a surprisingly rare find. There is currently only one undeniable example of a crucifix found in 1968. Then archaeologists discovered a heel bone with a nail driven into it.