Scoperto a Fenstanton lo scheletro di un uomo con un chiodo nel tallone, Cambridgeshire, east England
, by experts from Albion Archaeology
, it was revealed Wednesday
Among Roman graves at the site, archaeologists discovered the skeleton of a man, tra le età di 25 e 35, with a nail through his heel.
Twelve nails were found around the skeleton, which experts say indicate he had been placed on a board or bier — tuttavia, the 13th passed horizontally through the man’s right heel bone.
The man’s lower legs showed signs of thinning, possibly caused by infection, inflammation or irritation from being bound or shackled.
“It seems implausible that the nail could have been accidentally driven through the bone during construction of the timber support on which the body was placed — infatti, there are even signs of a shallow second hole that suggests an unsuccessful first attempt to pierce the bone,” archaeologists explained in a news release.
“While this cannot be taken as incontrovertible proof that the man was crucified, it seems the only plausible explanation — making it at most the fourth example ever recorded worldwide through archaeological evidence,” loro hanno detto.
There has only been one other example of a nail surviving through the bone, experts from Albion Archaeology said. This was in Giv’at ha-Mivtar in north Jerusalem during building work in 1968. Skeletons with a similar hole have been discovered in Gavello in Italy and at Mendes in Egypt, but without a nail in place and doubt as to how the holes were formed.
“Crucifixion was relatively commonplace in Roman times, but the victims were often tied to the cross rather than nailed, and if nails were used then it was routine to remove them afterwards,” hanno aggiunto.
“The remarkable fact about this skeleton is not that the man was crucified, but that his body was reclaimed after death and given a formal burial alongside others, leaving us with this extremely rare evidence of what had happened to him.”
Excavation of the settlement also revealed enclosures, away from the domestic sites. One of the enclosures contained large numbers of animal bones, suggesting a large-scale industrial operation, where cattle bones were being split for marrow and grease for the manufacture of soap or tallow for candles.