A group of Spanish archaeologists working in Egypt has found a portrait next to a tomb some are saying could be an early depiction of Jesus Christ. According to the Huffington Post, a mysterious series of tombs dated to the 6th and 7th centuries have been unearthed by the Catalan team, after 20 years of excavation and removing 45 tons of rock. The lead researcher Josep Padró says of the Christ-like image on the rock wall: “[it is] the figure of a young man, with curly hair, dressed in a short tunic and with his hand raised as if giving a blessing." The Local reports that other Coptic images may have been found in the tombs, and the images are being protected while a team of translators is assembled to translate the inscriptions found in the tombs.
This is the latest of many ancient artifacts found thought to be connected with Jesus of Nazareth. Although its authenticity was later questioned, a booklet purporting to bear the inscription “Savior of Israel” was found in 2011 near the sea of Galilee, dating back 2,000 years. Additionally, much discussion has recently taken place over a papyrus fragment containing the phrase, “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife…’”.” Karen King, historian from Harvard Divinity school, has been the chief researcher dealing with the fragment.