Up for Christmas surprises? Researchers of Oxford University just analysed a micro-sample of a pelvis fragment and found that it dated back to the fourth century. And it belongs to the Saint Nicholas, the saint who inspired the image of Santa Claus. Merry Christmas, yeah?
It is festive season and surprises are inevitable, right? Now we know that the existence of Santa Claus has been highly debated and questioned but how about making it real? Scientists at Oxford University have some tantalising clues derived from a bone that is said to be belonging to St Nicholas, the inspiration for Father Christmas, to the same century in which he died in what is now Turkey. So the archaeologists were studying a particular bone fragment that was obtained from Lyon, France to verify the bone fragment’s authenticity.
When the researchers of Oxford University radiocarbon dated the bone fragment, they found that it belonged to around 4th century CE. Since Saint Nicholas died in 343 CE, the researchers have strong reason to believe that the relic is authentic. So that makes the scientists strongly lean towards the idea that they might actually be looking at the remains of Saint Nicholas himself! Apart from the bone fragment found in France, it is believed that most of the remains of Saint Nicholas are in the Basilica di San Nicola in southern Italy, with another batch at a church in Venice.
So what makes this belief more evident is that the bone fragment taken from France is a pelvic bone, and the collection of bones in Italy does not include a pelvis. This adds up to the evidence that all these bones belong to the same person – perhaps Saint Nicholas, or rather the one and only Santa Claus himself. Yep, this might prove that Santa was very real and it isn’t just a fictional mythical story. This makes the story of Saint Nicholas, or should we say Santa Clause who lived in Myra, present-day Turkey in 4th century, closer to real fact.
The story of Saint Nicholas is that he was a wealthy white-haired do-gooder who was unbelievable generous to everyone and hence he used to gift whatever the kids wished on the day of Christmas. Like many other Christian saints, it is believed that persecuted by emperors and kings, in this case, by Roman Emperor Diocletian. After the saint died, his bones were sold off by a group of Italian merchants, with most of them ending up in Italy’s Basilica di San Nicola. So that explains that most of his remains are in Italy. Isn’t it amazing to get closer to something that dates ages and ages old, yet found genuine. Christmas surprise!