Early Image of Jesus Found In Sixth Century Egyptian Tomb
December 27, 2014 5:05am PST
In an area far better known for the discovery of mummies and temples to the many gods of Egypt, Archeologists think they have found one of the earliest depictions of Jesus Christ ever. Dating back to the sixth or seventh century, this image of a young man offering a blessing is remarkably well preserved. Forty-five tons of rock and rubble were removed during excavation.
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It is believed by the Spanish experts who discovered the tomb, that this was the final resting place for a scribe and several priests. Located in Oxyrhynchus, an ancient Egyptian city, Dr. Josep Padro’ calls the find exceptional. He also believes that the accompanying artwork indicates this find is from the Coptic period of the first Christians in the region. Under further investigation is a very worn stairway that leads to another unknown structure in the same series of rooms. Oxyrhynchus is most notably associated with a temple dedicated to Osiris, god of the afterlife, and a processional route from the temple to the Nile.
Describing the image as ‘a young man with curly hair, dressed in a short tunic and with his hand raised as if giving a blessing’, Dr Padró, Emeritus Professor at the University of Barcelona, believes he is dealing with a very early image of Jesus Christ.
Officially, this has not been authenticated as many of the surrounding inscriptions are still being interpreted. The structure itself is a mere eight meters long and four meters deep. Teams from the University of Barcelona, the Catalan Egyptology Society, and the University of Montpellier agree the find is of ‘excellent’ quality, but do not fully know the original purpose of the structures.
The conclusion that this was a final resting place for at least one scribe was reached when a full metal ink pot and two new pens were located in the tomb. It is presumed these would be used for writing in the afterlife. Thousands of papyri have been discovered in the Oxyrhynchus region, but this is the first scribe, according to Dr. Padro’.
One mummy appears to be that of a 17 year old young man, a scribe, who lived during the Coptic Roman period. Several other mummies were found in the tomb and have been described as ‘Roman’.
H/T: Daily Mail
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