The bones of St. John the Baptist?

Using carbon dating and DNA testing, scientists from Oxford University and the University of Copenhagen have determined that six bone fragments found under the altar of a fifth-century basilica on a Black Sea island may be those of St. John the Baptist.

In 2010, a team of Bulgarian archeologists found the fragments in a reliquary on Sveti Ivan — in English, “St. John.” Written on the box in Greek: “God, save your servant Thomas. To St. John. June 24.” June 24 is the feast day of St. John the Baptist.

Subsequent testing on the bones show they likely are from a Middle Eastern man who lived in the first century A.D., the time of John’s and Jesus’ earthly ministries. National Geographic provided funding for testing of the bone fragments. You can read more about it here.

Watch a BBC video here.

In a separate discovery, British archeologist Dr. Ken Dark believes he may have found the childhood home of Jesus under the convent of the Sisters of Nazareth, which sits over the site of a Byzantine church. You can read that story here.

Cathy Dee is OSV social media editor.