Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Crucifixion Mystery

(0)
Difficulty: 0

Narrator: CRUCIFIXION,

THE CRUELEST WAY IMAGINABLE TO KILL A HUMAN BEING.

DEVELOPED BY THE ROMANS AS THE ULTIMATE FORM OF PUNISHMENT

IT WOULD BECOME THE MOST INFAMOUS METHOD OF EXECUTION

IN HISTORY.

Cook: IT WAS AN EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL,

HUMILIATING, HORRIFIC WAY TO GO.

Narrator: TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS

ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED LIKE JESUS,

BUT INCREDIBLY,

VIRTUALLY NO REMAINS HAVE EVER BEEN FOUND.

Killgrove: WHEN WE DON'T HAVE BODIES

WHERE WE EXPECT THEM TO BE IN A CEMETERY

IT'S VERY HARD TO FIND THOSE ARCHEOLOGICALLY.

Narrator: NOW, A CHANCE DISCOVERY IN RURAL ITALY

IS SHEDDING NEW LIGHT ON THE ACTUAL METHODS OF CRUCIFIXION.

IT'S LEADING EXPERTS TO SUSPECT

ALL THE IMAGES AND ICONOGRAPHY OF JESUS'S DEATH ARE WRONG.

Boakye: NOWHERE IN THE GOSPELS DO WE HAVE

AN ELABORATE DESCRIPTION OF HOW JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED

SO THE TRADITIONAL WAY OF THINKING ABOUT JESUS

MAY NOT BE ACCURATE.

Narrator: SO CAN THIS SKELETON

FINALLY REVEAL WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

DURING THE ANCIENT WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS EXECUTION.

Narrator: THE RELICS OF THE PAST HOLD SECRETS,

WRITTEN IN GOLD, STONE, AND BLOOD.

WE CAN UNLOCK THEM.

THESE ARE THE SECRETS OF HISTORY'S GREATEST TREASURES.

(ENERGETIC MUSIC)

Narrator: TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO,

THE ROMAN EMPIRE DOMINATED THE ANCIENT WORLD.

HAILED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST CIVILIZATIONS OF ALL TIME

IT WAS AN EMPIRE BUILT

ON A BACKBONE OF UNIMAGINABLE VIOLENCE.

(CROWD CHEERS)

EXTREME BRUTALITY AND DEATH

WERE PUBLIC SPECTACLES TO BE SAVORED.

BUT THERE WAS ONE FORM OF KILLING

EVEN THE ROMANS FOUND HARD TO STOMACH.

CRUCIFIXION,

THE CRUELEST FORM OF PUNISHMENT IN HISTORY,

FOREVER ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEATH OF JESUS OF NAZARETH.

Boakye: CRUCIFIXION WAS OFTEN A PROTRACTED, DRAWN OUT EVENT

WHERE SOMEONE COULD SUFFER OVER A PERIOD OF DAYS

BECAUSE THEY WANT YOU TO DIE SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY.

Narrator: FOR TWO MILLENNIA

GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF JESUS'S DEATH ON THE CROSS

HAVE DOMINATED FAITH AND ART.

BUT IT'S NOW THOUGHT

THAT IMAGE OF CRUCIFIXION IS INACCURATE.

THE MOST COMPLETE ACCOUNTS OF JESUS'S DEATH

COME FROM THE BIBLE,

BUT THEY CONTAIN LITTLE DETAIL

OF HOW HE WAS ACTUALLY CRUCIFIED.

Boakye: ALL FOUR GOSPELS MENTION THAT JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED,

BUT THEY ALL BASICALLY DO SO IN ONE SENTENCE;

JESUS WAS LED AWAY AND CRUCIFIED.

SO DESPITE THE VERY ELABORATE CRUCIFIXION SCENES

YOU GET IN HOLLYWOOD MOVIES AND THIS SORT OF THING

THE GOSPELS DON'T DWELL ON THE CRUCIFIXION.

Narrator: EXPERTS NOW SUSPECT

THAT CRUCIFIXION WAS SIMPLY TOO BARBARIC

FOR ANCIENT HISTORIANS TO RECOUNT.

IT WAS THE ROMAN EMPIRE'S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET.

Boakye: THE ANCIENT ROMAN PLAYWRIGHT, CICERO

ACTUALLY SAYS THAT IT'S UNBECOMING FOR A ROMAN CITIZEN

TO MENTION OR TO EVEN THINK ABOUT

THE EXECUTIONER, THE VEIL OR THE CROSS;

THAT THEY SHOULD BE THE FURTHEST THINGS

NOT ONLY FROM THE SPEECH OF A ROMAN CITIZEN

BUT FROM THE MIND OF A ROMAN CITIZEN.

SO TO SPEAK ABOUT CRUCIFIXION,

TO WRITE ABOUT CRUCIFIXION WAS A TABOO,

IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS JUST SIMPLY JUST NOT DONE.

SO, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE

QUITE A FAIR FEW REFERENCES TO CRUCIFIXION,

THEY TEND TO BE VERY BRIEF AND VERY SCANT.

Narrator: BUT IT ISN'T JUST HISTORICAL RECORDS

THAT ARE MISSING.

IT'S BELIEVED THE ROMANS CRUCIFIED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

BUT THERE IS HARDLY ANY ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

OF THE VICTIMS

MEANING EXPERTS HAVE HAD NO WAY OF FINDING OUT MORE

ABOUT THE MYSTERIES OF CRUCIFIXION

UNTIL NOW.

THE RAVIGO PROVINCE, NORTHERN ITALY.

AN AREA OF PRIME AGRICULTURE

FIRST EXPLOITED BY THE ROMANS OVER 2,000 YEARS AGO.

FOR ARCHEOLOGIST PROF. URSULA THUN HOHENSTEIN

THIS LARGELY UNDEVELOPED PART OF ITALY

PROVIDES A RICH SOURCE OF MATERIAL

THAT CAN HELP REVEAL SECRETS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

Hohenstein: THIS IS A COUNTRYSIDE

WHERE A LOT OF ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

HAS BEEN DISCOVERED SINCE THE BRONZE AGE

SO IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR RECONSTRUCTING OUR HISTORY.

Narrator: IN 2006,

CLOSE TO THE HISTORIC SETTLEMENT OF GAVELLO

A CONSTRUCTION TEAM STUMBLED UPON

THE REMAINS OF AN ISOLATED SKELETON.

Hohenstein: THE BURIAL WAS RECOVERED MORE OR LESS

IN DIRECTION OF THAT TREE,

AT LEAST 300 METERS FROM HERE.

Narrator: TRACES OF ROMAN PERIOD TILES

LED EXPERTS TO CONCLUDE THIS WAS A ROMAN ERA BURIAL.

BUT, IT WAS UNLIKE ANY FORMAL ROMAN GRAVE

THEY HAD EVER SEEN.

THERE WAS NO COFFIN.

THE BODY HAD BEEN BURIED DIRECTLY IN THE GROUND.

AND THERE WERE NO GRAVE GOODS

TO ACCOMPANY THE DECEASED TO THE AFTERLIFE.

THIS PERSON HAD SIMPLY BEEN LEFT TO ROT

IN A SHALLOW, UNMARKED GRAVE

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ITALIAN COUNTRYSIDE.

TO INVESTIGATE THE SKELETON FURTHER

THE BONES WERE TRANSPORTED 30 MILES TO FERRARA

AND THE TOWN'S UNIVERSITY LABORATORY.

HERE THE TEAM DETERMINED THE POORLY PRESERVED BONES

WERE OF A MAN AGED BETWEEN 30 AND 34.

BUT IT WAS ONLY WHEN ANALYZING HIS RIGHT HEEL BONE

THAT THE TEAM DISCOVERED SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY.

Hohenstein: SO THIS IS THE RIGHT CALCANEAL

THAT HAS THIS HOLE THAT PASS ALL THROUGH THE BONE.

Narrator: PROF. HOHENSTEIN'S FIRST TASK

WAS TO TRY AND WORK OUT

WHAT COULD'VE CAUSED THE MYSTERIOUS HOLE.

A LACK OF OTHER SIMILAR PUNCTURE MARKS IN THE BONES

RULED OUT BURROWING INSECTS.

AND ANIMAL SCAVENGING WAS ALSO DISCOUNTED

BECAUSE THE SKELETON WAS UNDISTURBED AND INTACT.

ONCE ALL OTHER POSSIBILITIES WERE ELIMINATED

THE ARCHEOLOGISTS WERE LEFT WITH JUST ONE LIKELY THEORY.

THE HOLE WAS MAN-MADE.

Hohenstein: THIS HOLE HAS BEEN PRODUCED BY A POINTED TOOL

BECAUSE IT HAS A DIFFERENT DIAMETER

FROM THE ENTER SIDE TO THE EXIT SIDE.

WE THINK IT CAN BE A NAIL.

Narrator: A ROMAN MAN,

DUMPED IN A SHALLOW GRAVE

WITH A NAIL SEEMINGLY HAMMERED THROUGH HIS HEEL.

AS THE TEAM ANALYZED THE AREA OF TRAUMA CLOSELY

THEY DISCOVERED SOMETHING TRULY ALARMING.

THIS WAS NO ACCIDENT.

THE NAIL HAD BEEN DRIVEN THROUGH THE BONE ON PURPOSE

WHEN THE MAN WAS STILL ALIVE.

Hohenstein: THE SHAPE OF THE FRAGMENTS

THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED

ARE MORE TYPICAL OF FRESH BONE THAN A DRIED BONE

AND SO FOR THIS REASON THIS LESION

HAS TO BE PRODUCED PERIMORTEM.

Narrator: FOR THE ARCHEOLOGISTS,

THIS COULD MEAN ONLY ONE THING:

THIS MAN HAD BEEN CRUCIFIED.

NOW HIS REMAINS OFFER EXPERTS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

TO COMPARE HIS FORENSIC EVIDENCE

AGAINST THIS SHOCKING IMAGE:

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD EYEWITNESS DEPICTION

OF A VICTIM DYING ON A CROSS.

COULD THIS BE THE KEY

THAT UNLOCKS ONE OF THE BIBLE'S GREATEST SECRETS:

THE MYSTERY OF CRUCIFIXION?

THE DISCOVERY OF THE REMAINS OF A 2,000-YEAR-OLD ROMAN

WHO EXPERTS THINK WAS CRUCIFIED,

ARE PROVIDING A RARE INSIGHT

INTO THIS INFAMOUS BUT

LITTLE-UNDERSTOOD FORM OF EXECUTION.

Cook: THE SOURCES DON'T REALLY EXPLAIN

WHY THE ROMANS CAME TO USE IT

BUT CRUCIFIXION SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN

ONE OF THE MOST BRUTAL PUNISHMENTS

THAT THEY COULD METE OUT ON A HUMAN BEING.

WHATEVER CAUSED DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION,

IT WAS AN EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL, HUMILIATING,

HORRIFIC WAY TO GO.

Narrator: THERE MAY BE FEW WRITTEN RECORDS,

BUT THERE IS A GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION

DATING BACK TO NEAR THE TIME OF JESUS.

IT WAS DISCOVERED IN THE ITALIAN TOWN OF PUTEOLI,

IN THE BASEMENT OF A 2,000-YEAR-OLD INN

LOCATED JUST A STONES THROW FROM THE AMPHITHEATER.

INSCRIBED INTO A WALL

IS A SMALL BUT DETAILED IMAGE

OF A PERSON WITH ARMS SPLAYED OUT

IN A CLASSIC CRUCIFIXION POSE.

THIS IS THOUGHT TO BE THE OLDEST ILLUSTRATION

OF A CRUCIFIED PERSON IN THE WORLD.

Cook: NOW THE WHOLE SCENE

IS ONLY ONE OF TWO KNOWN SCENES OF CRUCIFIXION

THAT SURVIVED ANTIQUITY.

SO THIS REALLY IS ONE OF THE MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.

WE'RE IN THE PRESENCE OF SOMETHING THAT,

I MEAN, FOR ME AT LEAST IS REALLY AWE-INSPIRING

BECAUSE OTHERWISE THE ROMANS KEPT SILENT

ABOUT WHAT THE CRUCIFIXION LOOKED LIKE.

Narrator: FOR JOHN GRANGER COOK

THIS SIMPLE ILLUSTRATION

GRAPHICALLY DEPICTS THE HORROR OF CRUCIFIXION.

Cook: THE PERSON THAT DREW THIS CRUCIFIED INDIVIDUAL

INCLUDED CURVED LINES ALL DOWN THE BACK OF THE BODY.

NOW THOSE MAY SIMPLY BE LINES OF CURVATURE

BUT IT COULD ALSO BE SOME SORT OF EXPRESSION

OF THE PAIN THAT THE BODY IS UNDERGOING.

Narrator: BUT IT'S THE LETTERING

JUST ABOVE THE IMAGE ITSELF

THAT REALLY INTRIGUES THE EXPERTS.

Cook: DIRECTLY OVER THE PERSON'S RIGHT SHOULDER

ARE SOME GREEK LETTERS, A-L-K-I-M-I-L-A

ALKIMILA.

Narrator: DISTURBINGLY, ALKIMILA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

THE LETTERS MAY HAVE BEEN ADDED AT A LATER DATE

BUT FOR JOHN GRANGER COOK, THE IMPLICATION IS CLEAR.

Cook: IT MEANS THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY RESPECT FOR THE SEXES,

FOR GENDER, FIRST OF ALL.

BUT IT'S ALSO AN INDICATION

THAT WOMEN COULD BE GUILTY OF CRIMES

JUST AS MEN COULD

AND A FEMALE SLAVE COULD BE CRUCIFIED

FOR THE SAME SORTS OF REASONS.

Narrator: THIS REMARKABLE ILLUSTRATION

IS A BLUEPRINT FOR HOW THE ROMANS EXECUTED THEIR VICTIMS.

BUT ACCORDING TO THE FEW RECORDS IN EXISTENCE,

THIS WAS JUST THE END OF A LONG, PAINFUL

AND HUMILIATING PROCESS.

IT FOLLOWED A CATALOG OF AGONIZING

AND DEHUMANIZING RITUALS.

Cook: FLOGGING WAS A BRUTAL PROCESS

AND SOMETIMES ROMAN LEATHER WHIPS

WERE INTERLACED WITH BITS OF BONE OR LEAD EVEN

TO MAKE THE FLOGGING EVEN MORE VICIOUS.

SO IT WAS A TORTURE.

Narrator: ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

JESUS WAS TORTURED

AND THEN FORCED TO CARRY HIS OWN CROSS

THROUGH THE STREETS OF JERUSALEM

TO THE SITE OF HIS OWN EXECUTION.

BUT EXPERTS BELIEVE THIS WOULD'VE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE.

A COMPLETE CROSS,

CAPABLE OF CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF A MAN

WOULD BE FAR TOO HEAVY

FOR A STARVED AND WHIPPED PRISONER LIKE JESUS TO LIFT.

Cook: THAT FLOGGING COULD HAVE LASTED HOURS

AND FLOGGING WAS A BRUTAL PROCESS

AND THAT HE WAS VERY WEAKENED BY THAT TREATMENT.

Narrator: IT'S NOW THOUGHT

CRUCIFIXION VICTIMS LIKE JESUS

WOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED TO CARRY

JUST THE CENTRAL HORIZONTAL BAR OF THE CROSS.

A VERY DIFFERENT SCENARIO.

Boakye: NOWHERE IN THE GOSPELS

DO WE HAVE AN ELABORATE DESCRIPTION

OF HOW JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED,

AND NOWHERE IN ROMAN LITERATURE

DO WE HAVE A SORT OF HANDBOOK OF HOW TO CRUCIFY.

AND SO THE TRADITIONAL WAY OF THINKING ABOUT JESUS

MAY NOT BE ACCURATE.

Narrator: AND ANCIENT EVIDENCE SUGGESTS

EVEN THE STYLE OF THE CROSS ITSELF

MIGHT BE DIFFERENT FROM THE SHAPE WE ALL KNOW.

THE WORLD'S OLDEST IMAGE OF A CRUCIFIXION

CLEARLY ILLUSTRATES A DIFFERENT DESIGN

FROM THE ONE NORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH JESUS OF NAZARETH.

Cook: YOU'LL NOTICE IT'S A T-SHAPED CROSS.

IT'S NOT THE CROSS THAT PEOPLE SEE ON CHURCHES

WHERE YOU HAVE THE VERTICAL GOING UP,

IN OTHER WORDS LIKE A SMALL T.

THIS IS LIKE A CAPITAL T

OR WHAT THE GREEKS WOULD CALL A TAU.

Narrator: BUT JESUS IS NEARLY ALWAYS SHOWN

ATTACHED TO A CROSS SHAPED LIKE A LOWER-CASE T.

IT'S KNOWN AS A LATIN CROSS.

BUT ONCE AGAIN THE BIBLE NEVER SAID

WHAT THE CROSS ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE.

Boakye: IT SEEMS WHAT THEY'VE TRIED TO DO

IS TRY TO TAKE THE FEW SCANT DETAILS

THAT WE CAN GLEAM FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT

AND SHAPE THE CROSS SO IT'S FAITHFUL TO THOSE DETAILS.

(THUNDER ROARS) (LIGHTNING CRACKS)

Narrator: THE ICONIC SHAPE

WE RECOGNIZE FROM HISTORY AND ART

COMES DOWN TO A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE.

Boakye: ALL FOUR GOSPELS MENTION THE TITULUS

THE PLAQUE THAT WAS AT THE TOP OF THE CROSS

WITH THE CHARGE AGAINST JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS.

AND SO FOR THIS TO BE AFIXED TO THE CROSS

IT WOULD NEED A BIT SORT OF JUTTING ABOVE THE CROSS BEAM

AND SO BECAUSE OF THAT DETAIL

I THINK PEOPLE ASSUMED THAT THIS LATIN CROSS

MUST HAVE BEEN THE KIND OF CROSS

THAT JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED ON.

Narrator: THE LATIN CROSS

NOW USED AS A SYMBOL OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH,

MAY HAVE BEEN BASED ON

AN ARTISTIC INTERPRETATION OF THE GOSPELS.

AND THAT'S NOT THE ONLY DETAIL EXPERTS SUSPECT IS INCORRECT.

EVEN THE DEPICTION OF THE NAILS THROUGH CHRIST'S HANDS

ARE UNLIKELY TO BE TRUE.

Boakye: AGAIN IT HAS VIRTUALLY NO BASIS IN THE CHRISTIAN TEXTS

AND SCIENTIFICALLY IT'S ACTUALLY HIGHLY UNLIKELY

THAT THE NAILS WERE IN JESUS'S HANDS

QUITE SIMPLY BECAUSE IN THAT POSITION

HIS BODY WEIGHT WOULDN'T BE ABLE

TO BE SUPPORTED ON THE CROSS,

HE'D KEEP FALLING OFF.

BUT AGAIN IT CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

AND THAT TENDS TO BE HOW WE THINK OF JESUS.

Narrator: EXPERTS AGREE THAT VICTIMS OF CRUCIFIXION

WERE HUNG FROM THE CROSS

WITH NAILS THROUGH THEIR WRISTS AND FEET,

WITH MUCH OF THEIR WEIGHT SUPPORTED BY ROPES.

THE PAIN WOULD'VE BEEN EXCRUCIATING.

BUT IT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO THE VICTIMS

AFTER THEY WERE ATTACHED TO THE CROSS

THAT ACTUALLY KILLED THEM.

A THOUSAND MILES FROM ROME

IN THE DANISH CAPITAL OF COPENHAGEN,

CARDIOLOGIST DR. PER LAV MADSEN

HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING EXACTLY WHAT IT IS

THAT CAUSES DEATH DURING CRUCIFIXION.

THE INSPIRATION FOR HIS WORK

CAME FROM AN UNLIKELY SOURCE:

THE QUEEN OF DENMARK'S ROYAL GUARD.

Madsen: OBVIOUSLY SOLDIERS STANDING ON GUARD

HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH CRUCIFIXION

BUT IT'S THE SAME BASIC PHYSIOLOGICAL PRINCIPAL

THAT IS AT STAKE HERE.

YOU ARE UPRIGHT

AND YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE YOUR LEGS.

Narrator: STANDING IN ONE POSITION FOR A LONG TIME

CAUSES BLOOD TO POOL IN THE LEGS

EVENTUALLY STARVING THE BRAIN OF OXYGEN.

THE RESULT IS A SUDDEN LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

Madsen: SOMETIMES THEY MIGHT BE STANDING ON GUARD

FOR SEVERAL HOURS.

AND YOU CAN'T DO THAT STANDING VERY STILL

WITHOUT FAINTING FROM TIME-TO-TIME.

USUALLY SOLDIERS ARE TOLD

THAT THEY SHOULD LOOK AS IF THEY ARE STANDING STILL

BUT THEY WOULD BE GENTLY MOVING IN THEIR BOOTS

FOR BLOOD TO RETURN.

Narrator: SEEING THESE SYMPTOMS IN SOLDIERS

PROMPTED DR. MADSEN TO CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF BEING

PERMANENTLY RESTRAINED IN THE UPRIGHT POSITION,

JUST LIKE THE VICTIMS OF CRUCIFIXION.

Madsen: PLEASE LIE DOWN HERE.

Narrator: SO HE BEGAN CONDUCTING

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.

Madsen: FREDERICK'S GOT A FOOTPLATE TO STAND ON

BUT HE'S NOT MOVING HIS LEGS.

HE'S HEART RATE OF 65 TIMES PER MINUTE

IS SENDING BLOOD INTO HIS BODY.

Narrator: DR. MADSEN'S RESEARCH HAS REVEALED THAT

AFTER ONLY A FEW MINUTES OF RESTRAINT,

THE BLOOD STARTS TO COLLECT IN THE LOWER HALF OF THE BODY.

WITH NOT ENOUGH BLOOD REACHING THE BRAIN,

SOME OF HIS VOLUNTEERS

HAVE FALLEN INTO A STATE OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS WITHIN AN HOUR.

THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN CRUCIFIXION.

BUT THEN LYING HIS VOLUNTEERS DOWN

QUICKLY REVERSES THE PROCESS.

Madsen: ARE YOU OKAY FREDERICK?

Narrator: BUT FOR VICTIMS ATTACHED TO A CROSS

THERE WOULD BE NO INSTANT RECOVERY.

DR. MADSEN BELIEVES THE WHOLE PROCESS

WAS MEANT TO CAUSE IMMENSE SUFFERING BEFORE DEATH.

Madsen: CRUCIFIXION WAS A HORRIBLE WAY OF KILLING PEOPLE

BECAUSE IT TOOK SO LONG

IT IS A SLOW WAY OF DYING

AND THAT'S THE REASON THEY USED CRUCIFIXION

IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Narrator: ACCORDING TO BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS,

JESUS DIED AFTER SIX HOURS, NAILED TO THE CROSS.

BUT SOME VICTIMS OF CRUCIFIXION

COULD'VE ENDURED DAYS OF SUFFERING.

Killgrove: SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE SURVIVED ON THE CROSS

FOR AS LONG AS FOUR OR FIVE DAYS

UNTIL THEY DIED OF DEHYDRATION.

WHEN YOU GO WITHOUT WATER FOR SEVERAL HOURS

YOU JUST GET VERY THIRSTY,

BUT WHEN YOU GO SEVERAL DAYS

THEN YOU START TO GET WOOZY

AND EVENTUALLY YOU GO INTO SYSTEM FAILURE,

YOUR ORGANS SHUTDOWN.

Narrator: IN CRUCIFIXION,

THE ROMANS HAD PERFECTED A FORM OF KILLING

THAT TOOK TORTURE AND PAIN TO A NEW LEVEL.

AND ANCIENT TEXTS REVEAL IT WAS BIG BUSINESS,

THE CROSS, AN EXECUTIONER,

EVEN PRE-CRUCIFIXION TORTURE

COULD ALL BE PROVIDED FOR THE RIGHT PRICE.

ARCHEOLOGISTS IN ITALY

BELIEVE THEY'VE DISCOVERED THE REMAINS OF A CRUCIFIED MAN

WHO WAS DUMPED IN A SHALLOW GRAVE.

IF THEY'RE RIGHT,

THEN GAVELLO MAN IS THE FIRST SKELETON EVER FOUND IN ITALY

TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF THIS BARBARIC

BUT POPULAR FORM OF EXECUTION.

IT'S A CHANCE DISCOVERY

BECAUSE EXPERTS BELIEVE CRUCIFIED VICTIMS

WERE BURIED IN UNMARKED GRAVES.

Killgrove: WHEN WE DON'T HAVE BODIES

WHERE WE EXPECT THEM TO BE IN A CEMETERY

IT'S VERY HARD TO FIND THOSE ARCHEOLOGICALLY.

Narrator: EVERYTHING ABOUT GAVELLO MAN'S GRAVE

IS ANONYMOUS:

THE SHALLOW TRENCH, NO COFFIN OR GRAVE GOODS

ALL POINT TO A VICTIM NO ONE WANTED TO HONOR

OR EVEN REMEMBER.

Boakye: MOST CRUCIFIXION VICTIMS

WOULD BE DENIED ANYTHING RESEMBLING A DECENT BURIAL.

THEY WOULD OFTEN BE LEFT ON THE CROSS FOR DAYS,

THEY WOULD BECOME FODDER FOR SCAVENGERS, FOR JACKALS,

AND THEY'D JUST BE EATEN, LEFT A HORRIBLE MESS.

EVENTUALLY THEY'D BE BURIED

BUT THEY'D JUST BE SHOVED IN THE GROUND,

THEY'D BE GIVEN A VERY DISHONORABLE BURIAL.

Narrator: VICTIMS WERE TREATED WITH DISRESPECT,

BUT THE SAME COULD NOT BE SAID FOR THE TOOLS OF CRUCIFIXION.

EXPERTS BELIEVE THERE'S GOOD REASON

THE NAILS WEREN'T LEFT IN GAVELLO MAN'S HEEL.

BECAUSE ANCIENT RECORDS SUGGEST

THEY WERE HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER

AND OFTEN MELTED DOWN TO MAKE AMULETS.

Killgrove: IT'S THOUGHT CRUCIFIXION NAILS

HAD SOME SORT OF MAGICAL OR RITUAL POWER

SO THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN SCAVENGED

FROM ANY BURIALS OF PEOPLE WHO'D BEEN CRUCIFIED.

Narrator: GAVELLO MAN ENDURED A BRUTAL DEATH.

HE WAS LEFT TO DIE ON THE CROSS

THEN ABANDONED IN AN UNMARKED GRAVE.

BUT NOW, 2,000 YEARS LATER

HIS REMAINS ARE PROVIDING CLUES

AS TO THE KIND OF PERSON

THE ROMANS THOUGHT DESERVED SUCH A PUNISHMENT.

Hohenstein: SO IT'S A MALE OF 30, 34 YEARS OLD

AND THIS MAN WAS NOT VERY TALL.

Narrator: AT JUST FIVE-FEET TALL,

GAVELLO MAN WAS SEVERAL INCHES SHORTER

THAN THE AVERAGE ROMAN MALE.

AND DNA TAKEN FROM HIS VERTEBRAE

INDICATES HE WAS AN OUTSIDER.

Hohenstein: THIS COULD INFER

THAT MAYBE HE IS NOT A ROMAN CITIZEN.

HE COULD COME FROM NORTH AFRICA OR ALSO FROM MIDDLE EAST.

Narrator: ANCIENT RECORDS MAY OFFER LITTLE DETAIL

ON HOW VICTIMS WERE ACTUALLY CRUCIFIED.

BUT THE FACT THAT GAVELLO MAN WASN'T ROMAN

FITS WITH WHAT WE DO KNOW ABOUT CRUCIFIXION.

Boakye: THE ROMANS VERY RARELY CRUCIFIED CITIZENS

IT WAS SIMPLY CONSIDERED TOO DISGUSTING A WAY TO DIE

FOR CITIZENS TO BE CRUCIFIED.

Narrator: GAVELLO MAN'S RELATIVELY SMALL BUILD

SUGGESTS HE WAS UNDERFED.

AND HIS ISOLATED BURIAL IMPLIES

HE WAS DEEMED A WORTHLESS HUMAN BEING:

A NON-ROMAN.

IT'S COMPELLING EVIDENCE,

GAVELLO MAN MAY HAVE BEEN A SLAVE.

AND AS SOMEONE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF ROMAN SOCIETY,

A SLAVE COULD EXPECT THE MOST BARBARIC PUNISHMENT

FOR THE SMALLEST MISDEMEANOR.

SIMPLY ON HIS OWNER'S IMPULSE.

Cook: THE SLAVE COULD BE CRUCIFIED FOR ANYTHING.

FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT HAVE THE BENEFIT OF CITIZENSHIP,

ESPECIALLY SLAVES, FOREIGNERS,

THE CRUCIFIXION SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN

A PRETTY COMMON FORM OF EXECUTION.

Narrator: CRUCIFIXION MAY HAVE BEEN A TABOO

FOR ROMAN SOCIETY,

BUT THERE WERE STILL PEOPLE WILLING TO CARRY IT OUT

FOR A PRICE.

THE EVIDENCE CAN BE FOUND

300 MILES SOUTH OF WHERE GAVELLO MAN WAS BURIED

ON A TABLET NOW HOUSED IN A MEDIEVAL CASTLE

ON THE BAY OF NAPLES.

Cook: THIS WAS FOUND IN THE TOWN OF PUTEOLI.

IT'S THE ONLY INSCRIPTION WE HAVE IN FULL

WHICH DETAILS THE PRACTICE OF CRUCIFIXION.

Narrator: THE LEX PUTEOLANA

IS A 2,000-YEAR-OLD TABLET.

IT PROVIDES A RARE AND MACABRE INSIGHT

INTO THE FINER DETAILS OF THE CRUCIFIXION BUSINESS.

Cook: THIS LAW FRANCHISED OUT THE RIGHT

TO BE THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR OF PUTEOLI

AND ALSO THE PERSON

WHO CRUCIFIED SLAVES AND OTHERS IN THE TOWN.

AND IT TALKS ABOUT THE WORKERS

WHO WERE TO FLOG THE SLAVE TO BE CRUCIFIED

AND HOW MUCH THEY WERE PAID

AND IT SPECIFIED THE SORTS OF TORTURES TO BE USED ON THEM.

Narrator: IF AN INDIVIDUAL

WANTED THEIR SLAVE CRUCIFIED

IT WAS A SERVICE A CRUCIFIXION TEAM COULD SUPPLY

FOR A FEE.

Cook: IT MENTIONS BRINGING THE SLAVE TO THE UPRIGHT STAKE

WEARING THIS THING WE CALL THE PATIBULUM, THE CROSS PIECE,

AND IF THEY DID THAT

THEN THE WORKERS WERE PAID FOUR SESTERCES,

WHICH IS A ROMAN COIN.

Narrator: IN ROMAN TIMES,

FOUR SESTERCES WAS THE PRICE OF A GLASS OF WINE.

THE TABLET REVEALS THIS WAS THE STANDARD FEE

FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE CRUCIFIXION TEAM

INCLUDING THE EXECUTIONER.

Cook: THIS WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY MADE FOR PUBLIC EXHIBIT

SO THAT ANYBODY PASSING THROUGH THE PUBLIC FORUM

COULD SEE IT.

MAYBE IF YOU WERE A SLAVE AND YOU SAW IT

YOU'D THINK TWICE ABOUT DISOBEYING THE MASTER.

Narrator: THE LEX PUTEOLANA TABLET

GOES ON TO REVEAL

JUST HOW COMMON CRUCIFIXION WAS AROUND THE TIME OF CHRIST.

BUT WITHIN A CENTURY

THE PRACTICE HAD TAKEN ON A MORE GRUESOME NATURE.

THEY WERE NOW BEING PERFORMED FOR ENTERTAINMENT.

Cook: WE'RE IN THE CUMAE AMPHITHEATER.

IT WAS BUILT IN THE FIRST CENTURY BC

AND IT IS THE ONLY AMPHITHEATER IN THE ROMAN WORLD

I'M FAMILIAR WITH

WITH WHICH IS ASSOCIATED CRUCIFIXION VICTIMS.

Narrator: THE EVIDENCE

THAT CONNECTS THE AMPHITHEATER TO CRUCIFIXIONS

WAS DISCOVERED 30 MILES AWAY IN POMPEII

ON THE SIDE OF AN ANCIENT WALL.

THE LETTERING HAS NOW ALMOST DISAPPEARED

BUT WHEN FIRST EXPOSED

THE ANCIENT BILLBOARD ADVERTISED GLADIATORIAL GAMES

TO BE HELD AT CUMAE'S AMPHITHEATER.

AND AS AN ADDED ATTRACTION IT STATES

THERE WILL BE CRUCIARII,

THE LATIN TERM FOR CRUCIFIXIONS.

BY THE FIRST CENTURY AD

THE ROMANS WERE CRUCIFYING VICTIMS IN PACKED ARENAS

FOR SPORT.

Cook: I THINK WHAT PEOPLE ARE IMPRESSED BY

IS PRETTY SHOCKING SOMETIMES

AND I WONDER HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

COULD FIT IN HERE TOO.

ONE WOULD IMAGINE 30,000,

AND I THINK WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN TO DIE WITH

30,000 PEOPLE WATCHING YOU ON A CROSS,

DYING SLOWLY.

Narrator: BUT CRUCIFIXION

WAS NOT JUST A PUNISHMENT

RESERVED FOR THE LOWEST CLASSES OF SOCIETY

LIKE GAVELLO MAN.

IN JERUSALEM,

ARCHEOLOGISTS HAVE UNCOVERED DISTURBING EVIDENCE

FROM THE ONLY OTHER VICTIM OF CRUCIFIXION EVER FOUND,

ONE THAT REVEALS A VERY DIFFERENT STORY.

IN NORTHERN ITALY, ARCHEOLOGISTS SUSPECT

THEY'VE DISCOVERED THE SKELETON OF A CRUCIFIED MAN.

NOW THESE INCREDIBLY RARE REMAINS

ARE HELPING EXPERTS UNLOCK THE SECRETS

OF ONE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD'S MOST BRUTAL PUNISHMENTS.

HE WAS FOUND IN A SHALLOW GRAVE,

LEADING ARCHEOLOGISTS TO SUSPECT HE WAS A SLAVE.

BUT THE ONLY OTHER VICTIM OF CRUCIFIXION EVER DISCOVERED

LED A VERY DIFFERENT LIFE.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL.

2,000 YEARS AGO, THIS CITY WAS UNDER ROMAN RULE.

IT'S WHERE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS WERE CRUCIFIED

AND ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

WHERE JESUS WAS NAILED TO A CROSS.

IN 1968 JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS,

A CONSTRUCTION TEAM CHANCED UPON AN ANCIENT TOMB.

IT WAS A MORTUARY FOR A HIGH-STATUS JEWISH FAMILY

AND IT CONTAINED A STONE BONE-BOX

WITH THE NAME OF THE DECEASED INSCRIBED IN ARAMAIC.

THE BONES BELONGED TO A MAN CALLED YEHOHANAN,

SON OF HAGAKOL

AND AMONG HIS REMAINS,

ASTONISHING EVIDENCE OF CRUCIFIXION.

ACCLAIMED ANATOMIST PROF. ISRAEL HERSHKOVITZ

HAS SPENT 20 YEARS STUDYING THE CRITICAL PIECE OF EVIDENCE

FROM YEHOHANAN'S REMAINS:

A HEEL BONE PIERCED BY A CRUCIFIXION NAIL.

Hershkovitz: I MUST CONFESS,

EVEN THOUGH I'VE SEEN IT THOUSANDS OF TIMES

IT'S ALWAYS TOUCHING YOU KNOW

TO TAKE THE HEEL BONE OF YOHOHANAN OUT OF THE BOX

AND WE CAN SEE EXACTLY

WHERE THE NAIL IS ACTUALLY PENETRATING

GOING THROUGH THE HEEL BONE.

Narrator: LIKE JESUS, YEHOHANAN WAS JEWISH

AND LIVED AND WAS CRUCIFIED IN JERUSALEM

APPROXIMATELY 2,000 YEARS AGO.

AND EXPERTS SUSPECT HE WAS CRUCIFIED

BECAUSE HE WAS CONSIDERED A THREAT TO THE STATE.

Boakye: CRUCIFIXION WAS A POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED EXECUTION,

IT WAS FOR THE LOWEST CLASSES OF SOCIETY

AND FOR THE MOST DANGEROUS AND HARDENED THREATS

TO THE STABILITY OF THE STATE.

Narrator: AFTER HIS EXECUTION

YEHOHANAN WAS REMOVED FROM THE CROSS

AND GIVEN A FORMAL BURIAL.

Hershkovitz: ONLY THE RICH FAMILY

HAD THEIR OWN BURIAL SITE,

THEIR OWN BURIAL CAVE,

SO IT WAS PROBABLY QUITE A RICH FAMILY,

PROBABLY A FAMOUS FAMILY.

AND THEY GOT THE PERMISSION

TO TAKE THIS MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OFF THE CROSS.

THEY WERE ALLOWED TO BURY HIM.

Narrator: PROF. HERSHKOVITZ IS CONVINCED

THAT THIS ONE BONE HOLDS THE KEY

TO REVEALING HOW THE ROMANS IN JERUSALEM CRUCIFIED VICTIMS

LIKE YEHOHANAN, AND POSSIBLY JESUS.

Hershkovitz: WHEN WE TRY TO RECONSTRUCT

THE WAY THE ROMANS CRUCIFIED PEOPLE,

THIS IS THE OBJECT TO START WITH.

Narrator: PROF. HERSHKOVITZ

COMPARED YEHOHANAN'S HEEL BONE TO DEPICTIONS OF JESUS.

HE QUICKLY NOTICED A MAJOR DISCREPANCY.

JESUS IS TYPICALLY SHOWN ON THE CROSS

WITH ONE LARGE NAIL

HAMMERED THROUGH THE FRONT OF HIS FEET

ATTACHING BOTH TO THE CROSS.

BUT THE HOLE IN YEHOHANAN'S HEEL

IS NOT THROUGH THE FRONT

BUT THE SIDE.

JUST LIKE THE HOLE IN GAVELLO MAN'S HEEL IN ITALY,

BOTH MEN HAD THEIR FEET HAMMERED TO A CROSS SIDEWAYS.

Hershkovitz: WE CAN SEE THIS IS THE HEAD OF THE NAIL,

THIS IS THE TIP OF THE NAIL

AND WE CAN SEE THAT ACTUALLY

THE NAIL IS PENETRATING THE HEEL BONE,

IT'S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY.

Narrator: AND THERE'S ANOTHER PIECE OF EVIDENCE

TO SUGGEST THE TRADITIONAL IMAGE OF CRUCIFIXION IS WRONG.

NAILS LIKE THIS ARE SIMPLY NOT LONG ENOUGH

TO ATTACH TWO FEET TO A CROSS.

Hershkovitz: THE NAIL ITSELF IS QUITE SHORT.

THERE IS NO WAY THAT A NAIL OF 11 CENTIMETERS LENGTH

COULD ACTUALLY PENETRATE AND GO THROUGH BOTH HEEL BONES,

THERE IS NO WAY.

Narrator: FURTHER ANALYSIS OF THE HEEL BONE

REVEALED TRACES OF OLIVE WOOD

BETWEEN THE HEAD OF THE NAIL AND THE BONE.

PROF. HERSHKOVITZ BELIEVES THE ROMANS

RESTRAINED THEIR VICTIM'S FEET AGAINST THE CROSS

WITH A WOODEN SPLINT,

BEFORE DRIVING A NAIL INTO THE WOOD,

THROUGH THE BONE AND OUT INTO THE CROSS.

BUT INTRIGUINGLY,

THE END OF THIS NAIL IS BENT.

NOW, AFTER MONTHS OF ANALYSIS

PROF. HERSHKOVITZ THINKS HE KNOWS WHY.

Hershkovitz: THE CRUCIFIERS WERE NAILED TO THE CROSS

WHILE THE CROSS WAS LYING ON THE GROUND

ON A HARD SURFACE.

Narrator: PROF. HERSHKOVITZ BELIEVES

THE NAIL BENT AS IT HIT THE HARD GROUND

AFTER BEING HAMMERED THROUGH WOOD AND BONE.

AND IT'S NOT ONLY HOW

THE ROMANS WENT ABOUT ATTACHING VICTIMS TO THE CROSS

THAT THE PROFESSOR THINKS WAS DIFFERENT IN JERUSALEM.

SOURCING WOOD FOR A LARGE CROSS

WOULD HAVE BEEN VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE

DUE TO THE REGION'S SHORT TREES.

HERSHKOVITZ NOW THINKS THE ROMANS IN JERUSALEM

WERE INNOVATORS OF AN ENTIRELY NEW SYSTEM FOR CRUCIFIXION:

THE X-SHAPED CROSS.

Hershkovitz: IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME TO CRUCIFY SOMEONE

AND IF YOU PUNISH PEOPLE

BY THOUSANDS OR BY HUNDREDS

YOU HAVE TO BE VERY EFFICIENT.

CROSSES MUST BE VERY SIMPLE.

IT MAKES SENSE FROM ALL PERSPECTIVES.

THIS IS THE EASIEST WAY, THE QUICKEST WAY

TO HAMMER THEM TO THE CROSS.

YOU JUST COULD LEAN THEM AGAINST A FENCE

OR A WALL OF THE HOUSE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT

AND LATER ON CAN REUSE THEM, REUSE IT

AND REUSE IT AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Narrator: THE EVIDENCE IS COMPELLING

THE ROMANS PIONEERED A PRODUCTION LINE OF TORTURE.

SHORT X-SHAPED CROSSES WERE USED TO SAVE ON WOOD.

VICTIMS WERE FIXED TO THE CROSS ON THE GROUND

TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS,

AND SIMPLY PROPPED AGAINST WALLS OR TREES

AND LEFT TO DIE.

IT WAS AN ULTRA -EFFICIENT EXECUTION

CARRIED OUT ON AN INDUSTRIAL SCALE.

THE EVIDENCE NOW SUGGESTS METHODS OF CRUCIFIXION VARIED

AROUND THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

BUT THE RESULTS WERE ALWAYS THE SAME.

Killgrove: IT APPEARS THAT CRUCIFIXION

MIGHT HAVE BEEN UP TO

WHOEVER WAS IN CHARGE OF THE PROVINCE OR THE AREA

AND THEY HAD THEIR OWN METHOD OR THEIR OWN STYLE

OF DOING IT.

Narrator: SOME VICTIMS TOOK SO LONG TO DIE

THE ROMAN SOLDIERS GUARDING THE BODIES INTERVENED,

NOT OUT OF COMPASSION

BUT TO END THEIR DUTIES EARLY.

Killgrove: WAYS OF SPEEDING UP DEATH

COULD INCLUDE WHIPPING,

(WHIP CRACKS)

AND SCOURGING,

BUT COULD ALSO INCLUDE ACTIONS LIKE CRURIFRAGIUM

WHICH IS WHEN THEY BROKE THE LEG BONES.

IF A PERSON ON THE CROSS HAD THEIR LEGS BROKEN

THEN THEY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES

WITH THEIR LEGS,

THAT WEIGHT WOULD THEN BE FORCED

TO BE CARRIED IN THEIR TORSO AND IN THEIR ARMS

AND THAT CAN AFFECT THEIR BREATHING

AND CAUSE THEM TO ASPHYXIATE VERY SLOWLY.

Narrator: ONLY TWO BODIES HAVE EVER BEEN FOUND

THAT CAN BE DIRECTLY LINKED TO CRUCIFIXION.

AND BOTH SHARE REMARKABLE SIMILARITIES.

BUT WHILE ONE WAS A SLAVE,

THE OTHER WAS CLEARLY FROM A WEALTHY BACKGROUND.

SO WHAT HAD HE DONE TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN

THE MOST BRUTAL OF PUNISHMENTS?

(LIGHTNING CRACKS) (THUNDER ROARS)

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS

ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED LIKE JESUS

BY ROMAN SOLDIERS.

BUT ONLY TWO CRUCIFIED BODIES HAVE EVER BEEN FOUND.

GAVELLO MAN WAS A SUSPECTED SLAVE FROM ITALY

WHO COULD'VE BEEN CRUCIFIED FOR THE SMALLEST MISDEMEANOR.

BUT EXPERTS SUSPECT YEHOHANAN,

THE SON OF A RESPECTABLE FAMILY,

MAY HAVE BEEN A TROUBLEMAKER.

LIKE JESUS,

HE WAS CONSIDERED A THREAT TO THE STABILITY OF THE EMPIRE.

Boakye: FOR ROMAN WRITERS,

CRUCIFIXION WAS EVIDENCE OF A FAILED INSURRECTION,

SOMEONE WHO WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO,

TO TEST THE POWER OF ROME

AND GOT HIS OR HER COMEUPPANCE.

Narrator: IT WAS SUCH AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT,

CRUCIFIXION WAS USED ACROSS THE EMPIRE FOR 500 YEARS.

AND ANYONE CONSIDERED A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE ESTABLISHMENT

WOULD BE VERY PUBLICLY EXECUTED.

Boakye: JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED ON CHARGES

WHICH SEEM TO BE POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED CHARGES.

HE WAS FOUND GUILTY.

JESUS WAS TORTURED.

AND THEN ACCORDING TO THE GOSPELS HE WAS SIMPLY CRUCIFIED.

Narrator: JESUS'S SHORT LIFE AND HORRIFIC DEATH

WAS ENOUGH FOR HIS MESSAGE OF HOPE

TO SLOWLY FILTER ACROSS THE EMPIRE.

AND INCREDIBLY,

EVIDENCE OF THE EARLY EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIANITY

STILL SURVIVES.

200 YEARS AFTER JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED,

SOMEONE INSCRIBED AN INTRIGUING IMAGE

ONTO A WALL OF A HOUSE IN ROME.

IT REVEALS HOW SOME CITIZENS

WERE INITIALLY SCORNFUL OF ANYONE

WHO WORSHIPED A CRUCIFIED MAN.

McGowan: THIS IS FOUND IN A STRUCTURE ON THE PALATINE HILL

WHERE THE IMPERIAL PALACE WAS

WHERE THE EMPEROR LIVED.

WE KNOW THAT SLAVES IN THE IMPERIAL HOUSEHOLD,

AT THIS PERIOD, THERE WERE SOME THAT WERE CHRISTIAN.

Narrator: THIS ANTI-CHRISTIAN GRAFFITI

DEPICTS THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST,

BUT JESUS HAS A DONKEY'S HEAD.

TITLED "ALEXAMENOS WORSHIPS HIS GOD"

IT SEEMINGLY MOCKS BOTH JESUS AND ALEXAMENOS.

McGowan: THIS TENDED TO BE INTERPRETED AS A PARODY,

MAKING FUN OF CHRISTIAN BELIEF IN A CRUCIFIED DEITY.

SO THIS MAY JUST BE A SIMPLE CASE OF ALEXAMENOS

IS BEING MADE FUN OF

BY BEING SHOWN IN THE ACT OF WORSHIPING HIS DEITY

WHO IS CRUCIFIED.

Narrator: THE MOCKING GRAFFITI

OFFERS A UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO THE MINDS OF COMMON PEOPLE

AT THE DAWN OF CHRISTIANITY.

BUT JUST OVER A CENTURY LATER,

ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE RELIGION HAD CHANGED DRAMATICALLY.

THESE MAGICAL AMULETS HAVE BEEN FOUND ACROSS THE EMPIRE.

THEY REVEAL PEOPLE WERE STARTING TO EMBRACE

THE POWER OF CHRISTIANITY.

McGowan: WHAT'S IMPORTANT ABOUT THIS OBJECT

IS THAT AT A VERY EARLY DATE,

INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY NOT NECESSARILY

BE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST

ARE CALLING UPON THE NAME OF JESUS,

UNDERSTANDING THE NAME TO HAVE POWER

TO DEFEAT EVIL SPIRITS.

Narrator: BY THE FOURTH CENTURY

CHRISTIANITY HAD SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE,

AND IN 313 AD, EMPEROR CONSTANTINE THE GREAT

ACCEPTED CHRISTIANITY AS A RELIGION.

THE VILE ACT OF CRUCIFIXION

WAS SOON OUTLAWED FOR GOOD.

AND BY THE END OF THE CENTURY,

CHRISTIANITY BECAME THE OFFICIAL RELIGION OF THE EMPIRE.

Boakye: SO AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE FOURTH CENTURY,

CONSTANTINE EMBRACED THE FAITH OF CHRISTIANITY.

HE WAS SO IN AWE OF THE CROSS

AND THE WAY JESUS DIED

THAT HE NO LONGER WANTED ANY OLD CRIMINAL

TO SUFFER THAT KIND OF FATE.

Narrator: 400 YEARS

AFTER BEING CRUCIFIED BY ROMAN SOLDIERS,

JESUS WAS BEING WORSHIPED THROUGHOUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

AND THE ONCE TABOO DEPICTION OF CRUCIFIXION

BECAME AN IMAGE OF CELEBRATION

CAPTURED ON THIS FOURTH -CENTURY GEMSTONE.

McGowan: THIS ISN'T A REPRESENTATION OF

AN HISTORICAL EVENT OF THE CRUCIFIXION

BUT JESUS CHRIST RESURRECTED AND GLORIOUS IN HEAVEN.

THIS IS A VICTORIOUS BODY

THAT'S RESURRECTED AND GIVEN ACCLAIM.

Narrator: CRUCIFIXION,

ONCE THE MOST FEARED FORM OF EXECUTION

HAD BECOME AN ICON FOR WHAT WOULD GROW

INTO THE LARGEST RELIGION ON THE PLANET.

Cook: IT IS IRONY THAT THAT UTTERLY

HORRIFIC FORM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

BECAME THE CHIEF SYMBOL OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

IT'S ONE OF THE GREAT IRONIES OF HISTORY.

Narrator: NOW,

THE REMARKABLE REMAINS OF GAVELLO MAN IN ITALY

AND YEHOHANAN IN JERUSALEM

SHOW THE TRUE SAVAGERY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE,

FINALLY REVEALING SECRETS LOST FOR 2,000 YEARS.

THEIR BONES SHOW WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED DURING CRUCIFIXION;

THE GRUESOME METHODS OF EXECUTION

PIONEERED BY THE ROMANS;

AND THE UTTER CONTEMPT THEY HELD FOR THE VICTIMS.

CRUCIFIXION WAS THE ULTIMATE DETERRENT:

A WARNING TO ALL WHO DARED TAKE ON THE MIGHT

AND BRUTALITY OF ROME.

Boakye: CRUCIFIXION WAS A POLITICAL EXECUTION.

IT WAS ALL AN ATTEMPT AT STRIPPING AWAY

ANY SEMBLANCE OF DIGNITY OR HONOR THAT A PERSON HAD.

IT WAS A WAY OF SAYING,

"YOU CHALLENGE ROME,

"THAT'S WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU."

The Description of Crucifixion Mystery