Dorothy King: A Crucified Man from 1st Century Jerusalem

An interesting read!  Quite fascinating!  Go read it now.  Here is a snippet:

In 1968 a tomb was excavated at the French Hill, Jerusalem, better known now as Givat ha-Mivtar. Because of pressure from religious Jews, all the bones found in the tomb were re-buried soon after. A right calcaneus or heel with evidence of crucifixion was found there. The nail is made of iron and was 4.5 inches long – it’s not clear if it bent when Jehohanan was being crucified, or when his family were trying to remove the nails from his body. Givat ha-Mivtar turned out to be a rich Jewish burial ground in use from the second century BC until AD 70.


Given how many tens even hundreds of thousands of people we know were crucified, it’s perhaps surprising more archaeological evidence of them has not been found. There are two sensible reasons for this – some were crucified using rope rather than nails, and many of those crucified under the Romans were the poor or slaves, whose bodies were then tossed onto rubbish heaps rather than buried.

One other reason is that both Christians and Jews assigned magical healing properties to nails used in crucifixions. In fact they were one of the few items Jews were allowed to carry on the Sabbath (Mishnah Shabbat 6.10):

via Dorothy King’s PhDiva: A Crucified Man from 1st century Jerusalem.

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