Jens Notroff Profile picture
Apr 15 14 tweets 11 min read
It's #GoodFriday, commemorating the #crucifixion of #Jesus which, according Christian tradition, took place in 1st ct. AD Judea (then a #Roman province).

While there are historic sources about this punishment method, archaeological evidence is scarce.

Some #EasterArchaeology:
(Content warning: Images of human remains and some possibly rather explicit details of death and torture.)
#Crucifixion as punishment is predating Roman times and goes back as far as to the Phoenicians, Assyrians, and Persians.

In ancient Rome it was mostly imposed on slaves or exercised as political punishment e.g. for insurrectionist - but usually not against Roman citizens.
The written historic #record (i.a. Seneca, Plutarch, Josephus, Appian and others) gives some details regarding the practice and it seems to suggest this was a not rarely imposed punishment.

In contrast, the archaeological record of #crucifxion is - surprisingly rare.
Or maybe not so surprisingly. Our image of #crucifixion surely is much influenced by all those dramatic depictions from art history to Hollywood. - The lack of related finds of nail-pierced bones may well indicate other forms of actual fixture of delinquents to the cross.
Or, considering this punishment was reserved to insurgents (seen as criminals by the Roman Empire) and slaves, their bodies were not regularly buried (prominent exceptions aside) but may rather have met special treatment not prominently visible in the archaeological record.
#Nails may have been removed when delinquents were deposited. But w/o nails, observation of evidence for #crucifixion becomes less likely.

Here's an interesting study on "The Use of #Nails" in this context (J. C. Robison, Studia Antiqua 2(1), 2002):…
Among the rare archaeological evidence of an actual #crucifixion is the heel bone (with a #nail) of a man named #Yehohanan (today at @israelmuseum) who died in the 1st century AD - and whose burial was found at Giv'at ha-Mivtar, East #Jerusalem in 1968:…
Here’s another, bit more detailed summary of the #GivatHaMivtar find and the discovery of these possible #crucifixion remains from #Jerusalem (V. Tzaferis, @BibArch 11(1), 1985):…
From #Gavello in northern #Italy, remains of an isolated #Roman burial excavated in 2007 have been reported showing a particular lesion on the foot - which has been discussed as possibly indicating a #crucifixion too:…
The original study by E. Gualdi-Russo et al. regarding the analysis of the #Gavello bones has been published in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11, 2019. 🔐💵…
Finally, there the discovery of yet another heel bone with an iron #nail, dating to 2nd - 4th century AD, was reported last year this time from #Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire (then also Roman-occupied):…
A critical review of some of these finds and features discussed above was published by Joe Zias via @ASOResearch in 2019:…
Closing remarks: In 337 AD, Constantine the Great abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire.

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More from @jens2go

Mar 13
Some #SundayArchaeology #Paleolithic haute couture:

These ab. 25-30k y/o so-called #Venus figurines have been discussed a lot as religious, health & fertility symbols, & mother goddesses.

But some of them offer s glimpse at another interesting, often overlooked details …
A number of these figures also show a couple of details which might be interpreted as headdress - and even #clothing from the Upper #Paleolithic #Gravettian (of which we have little evidence otherwise).
There has been, however, some interesting research on such #iconographic evidence for #clothing, e.g. by O. Soffer et al. in Archaeology Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 1(1), 2000:…
Read 9 tweets
Mar 12
In einem neuen Video gehen #funk & @Kurz_Gesagt der Frage nach, ob es in der langen #Erdgeschichte schon einmal höher entwickelte #Kulturen vor uns gegeben haben könnte - und werfen auch einen Blick darauf, was wir womöglich einmal hinterlassen werden:…
Ein interessantes Gedankenexperiment, das u.a. auch auf die sog. #SilurianHypothesis zurückgeht, wie sie z.B. 2018 von @ClimateOfGavin und @AdamFrank4 in einem im International Journal of Astrobiology (18(2)) veröffentlichten Aufsatz diskutiert wurde:…
Ich gebe ehrlich zu, in dieser Frage weniger optimistisch zu sein.

Warum ein solches Szenario (bzw. dessen Nachweis) aus gegenwärtiger archäologischer Sicht sehr unwahrscheinlich ist, durften @drspacejunk und ich mit z.B. @JamieSeidel hier diskutieren:…
Read 5 tweets
Jan 28
The Past and the Curious:

Studying the remains of past lives - (re-) constructing narratives of past events and people.

Who's going to claim the title of "#HistoryFirsrArchaeologist"?

Choose your player …
Is it #Khaemweset, the ancient Egyptian crown prince (1281-1225 BC) who uncovered and restored ancient monuments of past rulers and renewed their funerary cults?

Or do you choose #Nabonidus, king of Babylon (c. 609 - c. 539 BC) who excavated the foundations of ancient temples to properly rebuild them - and who tried his hands on building an archaeological chronology?

Read 5 tweets
Jan 27
1.3 million people were sent to #Auschwitz extermination camp.

1.1  million people, among them 960,000 Jews (865,000 gassed on arrival), were murdered at Auschwitz.

#HolocaustMemorialDay #WeRemember #NeverAgain Image
On 27 January 1945, #Auschwitz concentration camp was #liberated by the #RedArmy.

Most remaining prisoners had been forced onto death marches before, about 7,000 had been left behind.

#HolocaustMemorialDay #WeRemember #NeverAgain
Between 1933-1945, Nazi Germany operated ab. 1,000 concentration camps on its own and in occupied territories in Europe.

The total number of victims remains in the dark, more than 6 million jews alone were murdered in the holocaust.

#HolocaustMemorialDay #WeRemember #NeverAgain Image
Read 4 tweets
Sep 5, 2021
Movie buffs would probably agree that “#KingdomOfTheCrystal” skull wasn't exactly the most exciting #IndianaJones instalment.

But did you know, there’s a real story behind the plot around the 'lost city' of #Akator and the #Ugha tribe - and that it is no less movie material?
Okay, 'real story’ may be a bit of a stretch in this case, admittedly.

It's more 'story' than real, to be honest - but still, let's take a closer look ...
That story starts with a mysterious 'Indian' all of a sudden appearing in Brazil from the depths of the jungle in the summer of 1972 - introducing himself as #TatuncaNara ("big water snake"), chieftain of the #UghaMongulala (yes, you read this correct) tribe …
Read 15 tweets
Aug 2, 2021
#HumanAnimalEntanglement. - Today: "The Curious Case of the #Dancing #Cranes".

1/ Among the many naturalistic animal depictions at early #Neolithic #GöbekliTepe in southeastern Turkey there are some bird depictions with suspiciously odd legs ...
2/ Generally, birds seem to take up a noteworthy role in the iconography at #GöbekliTepe (and other related #Neolithic sites).

The #cranes mentioned above in particular stand out due rather muscular legs and what seems a more human-like #anatomy, including 'knees' and 'toes'.
3/ Do these #crane representations evoke the impression of #masked people?

Yet it was suggested that this even could be more than simple #masquerade: The visualisation of a transformation into the animal itself in the course of #shamanistic rituals?…
Read 14 tweets

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