A team of archaeologists working in a monastery in the Czech Republic discovered a secret chamber in which they found a six-inch-long piece of a nail stored inside a box. According to the experts, this recently discovered nail was possibly used in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The box, adorned with a 21-karat gold cross, was built between 260 and 416 AD. The archaeologists also noticed that the box is inscribed with the letters "IR". According to Jiří Šindelář, who took part in the exploration program, "the letters can be understood in this context as an abbreviation for Latin - Jesus Rex, ie Jesus King."
The Hidden Room
The researchers found the hidden room in the Milevsko monastery in the Czech Republic. Archaeologists believe that this room was used to conceal rare artifacts from raids by the Hussite troops in the early 15th century. As reported by Czech News Agency, the archaeologists cannot confirm if the nail came from the "True Cross", but Šindelář said that from a historic point of view, the discovery was even greater than the reliquary of St. Maurus.
The Maurus Reliquary is a large golden box that holds fragments from the bodies of three saints who are Saint Maurus, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Timothy.
However, as of now, there have also been dozens of nails found that are linked to Jesus's crucifixion. So, scientists became skeptical about the recent discovery in the Czech Republic. But Šindelář said that the authenticity of the nail will be verified by other scientists sometime in 2021.
After working at the monastery for several months that was built in 1187 archaeologists recently found a secret passage that leads to the treasury room. People who used to live in the monastery had built a secret room to hide rare and priceless artifacts from the looters. After the discovery of the box, the researchers used radiocarbon dating to analyze it. They found that the box was made of two types of woods—the larch wood and oak.
However, earlier a separate team of researchers found nails with ancient bone and wood embedded in them. The discovery was made in a first-century burial cave in Jerusalem that is believed to be the resting place of Caiaphas, a Jewish high priest who plotted to kill Jesus.
When the cave was excavated in 1990, the nails went missing. But years later, Simcha Jacobovici, a Canadian filmmaker, claimed to have found the nails and said in a 2011 documentary "Nails of The Cross" that they were used to crucify Jesus.
Many scholars denied his claims, but recently a new study by experts revealed that the nails were indeed those lost artifacts from Caiaphas' tomb, and these were probably used to crucify someone. The researchers discovered fine slivers of wood accreted within the iron oxide rust of the nails. "It is well preserved and entirely petrified the wood is therefore ancient and not a chance or man-made fake attachment to the nails," revealed the study.