Archaeologists have discovered in Egypt an image of Jesus dating from the 500s-600s. See it, along with a news report, after the jump.
His image has been replicated countless times in churches and artwork, but a team of Spanish archaeologists believe they have found one of the earliest images of Jesus.
A mysterious underground room dating from between the sixth and seventh century AD holds an image of a young man with curly hair, who appears to be giving a blessing among other Coptic images.
The Catalan experts who discovered the site in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus think it was the final resting place for a writer and a number of priests.
The structure dates from between the sixth and seventh century AD in the Coptic period and holds what could be an image of Jesus.
It shows a young man with curly hair, dressed in a short tunic and with his hand raised as if giving a blessing
The room is thought to be a tomb for a writer and several priests, based upon artefacts found inside it, including a metallic ink well.
It lies in what was the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus on a processional route between the Nile and a temple dedicated to Osiris – the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld
There is another mysterious structure closeby, linked with a flight of well-worn steps, which experts think might be another temple.
The find has been heralded as ‘exceptional’ by Josep Padró who is leading the exhibition and said the figure accompanies symbols and images of plants that are thought to date from the Coptic period of the first Christians.
Dr Padró, Emeritus Professor at the University of Barcelona, told La Vanguardia newspaper that the figure is that of ‘a young man with curly hair, dressed in a short tunic and with his hand raised as if giving a blessing.’
‘We could be dealing with a very early image of Jesus Christ.’
See this for how this fits in with other possible early depictions of Jesus.