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Roman Crucifixion

11 December 2021

At https://phys.org/news/2021-12-year-old-leather-armor-technology-antiquit… … leather scale armour found in the tomb of a horse rider in NW China has been compared with similar armour from the Neo Assyrian period between the 6th and 8th centuries BC. It is assumed the technology spread was from Assyria northwards, arriving on the steppe zone very quickly, prior to being transferred east to China. However, it is just as likely the innovation of using leather as armour occurred first on the steppe, during internecine warfare between horse riding groups, rather than in Assyria. It could then have spread south into northern Mesopotamia, and eastwards, to the borders of China. The leather has been C14 dated between 786 and 543BC, an interesting date cluster as that coincides roughly with the Cimmerian and Scythian intrusions the Assyrians encountered. In other words, the origin of leather armour is open to further research.

William sent in the link www.yahoo.com/news/first-physical-evidence-roman-crucifixion-154437175.html … but UK readers might prefer the link www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/first-example-of-roman-crucifixion-i… … archaeologists investigating a previously unknown Roman roadside settlement in a Cambridgeshire village have discovered a graveyard. One of the skeletons has the remains of a man with a nail hammered through his heel bone. The graves were found during a watching brief, and excavation, prior to the building of a new housing development. Altogether, the skeletons of 40 adults and 5 children were unearthed [with a full written report to follow]. Slaves were sometimes crucified because of what we might regard as minor misdemeanours. Criminals were also crucified on occasion and this discovery illustrates that crucifixion was not an unusual punishment at the time – in the first three centuries AD. It was brought to an end by Constantine, who outlawed its practice as a result of religious conviction. Apparently, because of the valuable iron content in the nails they were more often than not removed for re-use. It is thought they were sometimes removed as amulets, or as a memento of a loved one. It is therefore rare to find a nail in a victim's skeleton. This one was due to the nail being bent and fixed to the bone too tightly.

It also seems to prove that early AD revisionists which seek to duplicate Roman rulers, placing Constantine in the first century, are in error, as the practice has been catalogued elsewhere in the Roman world within the first three centuries – up to and including the period prior to Constantine. We have no idea how many crucifixions took place, and how many miscreants suffered that fate. It does put into context the Christian crucifixion, as nothing extraordinary at the time. One wonders how many slaves suffered the fate – after upsetting their Roman slave owners. The Romans are looked at with sympathy by anti-Christian authors, but one can now see why the rise of Christianity led to the demonisation of the old order. What other secrets are buried behind the sofa. 

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