The Knights Templar and a Mysterious Nail

A British newspaper, the Telegraph,   reports today that archaeologists working on a tiny  island off the coast of Madeira have recovered a 1st or 2nd century A.D. iron nail from what was once a Knights Templar stronghold.  The story’s headline reads:  “A Nail from Christ’s Crucifixion Found?”

I’d say the Telegraph editors are  taking a few liberties here.  Yes, the nail was reportedly found in a decorated box on the island,  and yes,  the Knights Templar served as a fighting unit in the Crusades during the 12th century, occupying Jerusalem for a time.   But there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Roman soldiers employed this particular nail in the crucifixion of Christ.   In medieval times,  charlatans peddled a wide assortment of fake relics  in the Holy Land:  this could certainly be one of them.

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