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In a recent article in the journal Antiquity, scholars revealed their discovery of what they believe is an early depiction of Jesus. The image was found in the baptistery apse of a sixth century AD church located in the ancient village of Shivta in the Negev Desert. While it is fragmented, the depiction is of a young man's face, with short, curly hair, large eyes, and an elongated nose. Art historians recognize it as an early style of short-haired pictures of Christ that were popular in Egypt and Syro-Palestine. Remains of paint found in the apse suggest that the face was part of a bigger scene which may have contained other images. The article's authors conclude: "Thus far, it is the only in situ baptism-of-Christ scene to date confidently to the pre-iconoclastic Holy Land. Therefore, it can illuminate Byzantine Shivta's Christian community and Early Christian art across the region."

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