Archeologists say they have discovered an ancient artifact depicting Jesus that will force historians to "rethink the history of Christian Spain."
A team of experts found a glass plate depicting one of the first images of Jesus Christ — and he's clean-shaven, sporting short hair, according to The Guardian.
“We know it dates back to the 4th century, in part because popes in the following centuries ordered all patens to be made out of silver,” Marcelo Castro, head of the Forum MMX excavation project, told The Local.
That illustration is in direct contrast with modern depictions of Jesus, which show him with long hair and a beard.
According to Castro, the discovery will have a significant impact on how experts look at history, mostly because it was long believed Christianity was brought to Spain in the fifth century.
“We were afraid to say what we believed at first, because it forces us to rethink the history of Christian Spain,” Castro told The Guardian.
"La Patena de Cristo en Majestad" dibujo de la pieza pic.twitter.com/9bMqVqaQmi— FORVM MMX (@FORVM_MMX) October 3, 2014
However, archeologists were able to determine its age after examining coins found at the same site.
“We were wary about presenting the paten as a 4th century piece in case it clashed with previous studies into the chronology of Christianity in Spain,” Castro told the Local.
The plate was found in good condition, with 81% of it reportedly recovered and reassembled. It was used to serve bread to the Holy Eucharist, The Local reported.
The plate was put on display Wednesday at a museum in Spain.
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