By Kalendra Withana
Researchers at the University of Oxford have conducted a radiocarbon test on a pelvis bone which is said to belong to fourth-century bishop, St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas, who lived in Myra, was believed to be the figure who manifested the evolution of Father Christmas.
The bishop was known to display a kind attitude towards children and was recognised for his secret act of gift-giving. Due to his attributes therefore, St. Nicholas was later popularised to be the famous Father Christmas that we know of today.
A good proportion of the Bishop's remains were originally said to be held in the Basilica di San Nicola, located in Italy. Over the years, many worldwide churches have acquired St Nicholas' bone fragments and approximately 500 of these are said to be currently stored in the Italian city of Venice.
However, the question of whether these bones actually belong to the Bishop remains a debate. Turkish archeologists themselves claim that the held bones in Italy could potentially belong to an anonymous priest.
Speaking about the discovery nevertheless, Professor and coauthor of the research project Tom Higham, said:
'Many relics that we study turn out to date to a period somewhat later than the historic attestation would suggest,
'This bone fragment, in contrast, suggests that we could possibly be looking at remains from St Nicholas himself.'
Dr Georges Kazan, director of the Oxford Relics Cluster, furthermore said:
'These results encourage us to now turn to the Bari and Venice relics to attempt to show that the bone remains are from the same individual.
Key words and phrases - #St. Nicholas, #Santa's Skeleton, #Oxford University