John the Baptist's Bones Found?
Excavated from Bulgarian church ruins, remains are from right time and place.
Discovered in 2010 among the ruins of a Bulgarian church, the remains include six human bones: a knucklebone from the right hand, a tooth, part of a cranium, a rib, and an ulna, or forearm bone.
DNA and radiocarbon testing of collagen from the knucklebone show that the remains likely belonged to a Middle Eastern man who lived in the first century A.D., which fits with the story of John the Baptist.
According to the Bible, John was a cousin of Jesus Christ, so the finding means scientists might have DNA from a relative of the Christian savior himself—although proving it is likely impossible.
"The problem is we don't have a baseline for comparison," said study team member Thomas Higham, an archaeological scientist