For years archaeologists have been trying to find signs of Jesus, but a recent discovery may be the answer to some of their questions.

Spanish archaeologists think they may have found what may be one of the oldest depictions of Jesus. Found in an ancient Egyptian tomb, the image portrays a young man dressed in a short tunic raising his hand as if making a blessing. He also has long curly hair like Jesus has been portrayed with.

Egyptologist Josep Padro has spent 20 years excavating the sites in the area in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus and has led a team from the University of Barcelona.

“We could be dealing with a very early image of Jesus Christ,” said Padro.

Another reason why this sighting is promising is due to the fact that the area is known for the worship of the Egyptian god of the afterlife Osiris. The structure is right in the middle of a processional route that joins the Nile with the Osireion which is the temple that is dedicated to Osiris.

Dating between the sixth and seventh century A.D., the painting is from much later.

Padro’s team had to remove over 45 tons of stones, to get to the underground chamber.

After quite the hunt, the archaeologist found a crypt in the shape of a rectangle that measured about 26 feet long and 12 feet deep. They think it may have been a temple dedicated to Osiris, but they aren’t 100 percent sure as to what the function was.

When the archaeologists were inside the site they discovered six coats of paint on the walls. The last coat was from the Coptic period of the first Christians.

In addition to the alleged picture of Jesus, symbols and images of inscriptions and plants were written on the walls in the Coptic language. The team is currently working on translating the symbols.

Researchers believe that the discovery is directly related to Jesus’ first followers.

The University of Barcelona shared the following statement:

“In order to carry out future campaigns, it is necessary to excavate an attached structure. A flight of well worn stairs give access to it, but researchers do not know its content yet.”

Researchers are thinking that the tomb may have been carved out by people who knew Jesus personally. The first tomb is located less than two miles from a modern condominium complex and the second tomb is only 200 feet away from the first tomb.

“The object of our investigation was to determine whether the ‘patio tomb,’ still intact, might contain names or other evidence that would provide for us further data that might conceivably shed light on the adjacent ‘garden tomb’ with its intriguing cluster of names,” said James D. Tabor, professor and chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Commenters had mixed opinions on the likelihood of the tomb being any relation to Jesus…

“It is unbelievable that people can be so terribly gullible. There is simply no possible connection between that image and the supposed historical character of Jesus Christ. For all we know that image is of a native woman who was good at telling jokes in the town square. Maybe somebody liked her humor so much that they painted an image of her on the cave wall. Please people, exit fantasyland and return to the real world.”

“There are many historical facts and accounts of Jesus outside of the Bible.”

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