The location where Jesus died for the sins of the world is Golgotha. The book of Luke calls this location Calvary "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left." (Luke 23:33, King James Version). In some religious traditions, the name Golgotha refers to the location of the skull of Adam.
The picture above of a rocky outcrop, located north of Jerusalem's old city walls, is referred to as the "place of the skull" due its resemblance to a human skull (sunken eyes, nose - see middle of picture). This escarpment, roughly 100 yards (91.4 meters) east of the Garden Tomb, is where the crucifixion of Jesus and two criminals occurred in the first century A.D. The mighty Roman Empire conducted the executions. The link between a skull and Golgotha / Calvary can be found in John 19 (mentioned above) and in:
"And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him (Jesus) vinegar to drink mingled with gall . . ." (Matthew 27:33-44, KJV)
"And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his (Jesus') cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull." (Mark 15:21-22, KJV)
In early writings references to Golgotha state it is a hill looking like a skull very near a gate into the city of Jerusalem., References to Calvary, since 333 A.D., call it a small hill. Since the 6th century A.D., it has referred to the location of a mountain. The place of the skull, however, is not the traditional location of where Jesus died.
The traditional location of Golgotha, established by Catholics, derives from its identification by Helena, the mother of Constantine I, in 325. Helena also identified what she thought was the location of the tomb of Jesus and claimed to have discovered the true cross. Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher around the whole site his mother said was where Jesus died - Golgotha. Prior to Helena's claim, a temple to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sensual pleasure was on the site.
Crucifixion, as a slow, painful form of capital punishment, was used by the Persian Empire (559 to 330 B.C.), the Seleucid Empire (213 to 63 B.C.), the Carthaginians, Macedonians and the Romans. The Greek King Alexander the Great crucified 2,000 survivors from his siege of the city of Tyre in 332 B.C. In 337 A.D. Emperor Constantine the Great (Constantine I) abolished the practice of crucifixion in the Roman Empire. The English word excruciating, meaning something extremely painful or intense, comes from the Latin word for torture or pain out of or from crucifying.