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Although "the scientific evidence that the nails were used to crucify someone is strong," experts cast doubt on its direct connection to the crucifixion of Jesus.
Scientists have found fragments of ancient bone and wood in the nails that would have been used to crucify Jesus Christ, Haaretz reports. Debates about the authenticity of these artifacts have been ongoing for many years in scientific circles.
The nails are believed to have been found in Jerusalem, in a 1st century burial cave that may have been the resting place of Caiaphas, the Jewish priest who sent Jesus to death according to the Bible. However, sometime after the cave was excavated in 1990, the tips disappeared.
Years later, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici announced that he had found these pieces and claimed that they had been nailed by the Romans to the cross of Jesus. However, the scientists rejected that statement, claiming that the nails he found did not resemble those found in Caiaphas' tomb.
"Well preserved and completely fossilized"
Now a new study showed not only that the nails are from the same grave, but that they were actually used to crucify someone, according to the outlet. The study's lead author, Aryeh Shimron, a retired geologist who worked with the Israel Geological Survey, compared the material in the nails to the material in the ossuaries in the tomb: limestone boxes in which the bones of the dead were kept. .
“The materials that invade caves differ subtly from cave to cave depending on the topography, the composition of the soil in the area, the microclimate and the neighboring vegetation. In consecuense,caves have different physical and chemical signaturesShimron explained.
The scientist investigated the properties of the materials of a total of 25 tombs and discovered that the cave of Caiaphas was the only place where the nails could have been. Shimron detailed that his team found small pieces of wood in the iron oxide on the nails.
«They were well preserved and completely fossilized. Therefore, this wood is ancient,was not accidentally or artificially adhered to nails«Said the researcher, adding that they also identified and photographed bone fragments in the artifacts.
For Shimron the evidence is compelling. "I think the scientific evidence that the nails were used to crucify someone is strong enough," emphasizes the author.
It is also important to note that crucifixion nails were previously considered powerful amulets. Therefore, the repentant Caiaphas could have nailed him, says Jacobovici.
However, Shimron believes that his discovery in no way connects 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 the tomb of Caiaphas.Is this evidence sufficient? I can not say, since I prefer to trust science, rather than assumptions, "concluded the scientist.
No direct connection
For its part, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) previously argued that the nails found had nothing to do with the tomb of Caiaphas. The agency also did not decide to change its mind now, in light of the new study.
“It seems reasonable that the nails mentioned in the investigation came from a cave in Jerusalem dating from the same period. However, no direct connection to this specific cave was shown. In fact, even if a connection was found, it stillwe cannot determine with any degree of certainty that the cave is in fact the burial place of the high priest Caiaphas, ”the department said in a statement.