Crucifixion is a punishment as historically notorious as it is religiously significant; however, it continues to be one of the most mysterious methods of execution from antiquity, primarily due to the fact that no physical evidence of the practice had ever been found for millenia after the death of Jesus Christ. In fact, the only descriptions of it were found in art and literature from the era. Where was the physical evidence of crucifixion?
This all changed in 1968, when archaeologists discovered a stone box hidden away in a tomb located in northeastern Jerusalem. Inside the box were the remains of a Jewish man named Yehohanan, but what was particularly astounding about this man was that his heel bone appeared to have a thick nail driven through it – something that could prove that the man had been crucified. That's right – a single bone is the only existing physical evidence that crucifixion ever took place. Even more curious, perhaps, was that the body of a young boy was also found inside the box.
The fact that the nail was driven through the man's heel suggests that everything we thought we knew about crucifixion was wrong, and, in many ways, this discovery has generated more questions than answers.