These paintings buried underground reveal missing parts of the story!

A university team Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski from Warsaw recently conducted a study within the framework of the documentation of old paintings. These representations were found in an ancient church buried under rubble. Estimates reveal that the frescoes are around 1,000 years old. Surprisingly, the portraits seem come from a well-known culture and region.

1000-year-old paintings excavated in Sudan

The identification of certain canvases was a difficult task due to the advanced deterioration of the site. However, archaeologists have distinctly recognized paintings of Christ and the archangels. However, in the past, the Christian religion would not have been the most dominant in this region to the point of dedicating paintings to Jesus.

The remains were discovered northwest of the 3e cataract on the left bank of the Nile to Sudan. Magdalena Łaptaś, a specialist in Nubian iconography at the Institute of Art History at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, conducted the research.

The frescoes are strangely reminiscent of Christian beliefs

One of the deciphered paintings seems represent Christ within the Virgin Mary. Alongside these two celestial entities are two richly dressed archangels believed to be Michael and Gabriel, despite the almost degraded state of the remains.

Magdalena Łaptaś points out that these Christian representations are foreign to Nubian art. According to her, the region would have been strongly influenced by the Greek and Roman empires. The specialist adds that the paintings date from the 9e at 11e century AD, a time when the Nubian kingdoms formed an important Christian cultural center.

“This representation is called Platytera ton uranon. This means that Mary’s womb is bigger than the heavens. Perhaps we find the origins of this idea in the pre-Christian vision of the Egyptian goddess Nut, who swallows and gives birth to the sun. »

Magdalena Łaptaś, specialist in Nubian iconography at the Institute of Art History at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

The first discovery of the works was full of surprises

The paintings were first discovered in 2021. Archaeologists were surprised to the architectural effort implemented by the population of yesteryear. The Church which housed the frescoes was made in 3 large sections, a main nave and two other lateral ones. The construction material used was essentially dried mud bricks and a coating layer of fired blocks.

An inspection of the walls of the building reveals greek inscriptions, as well as almost intact paintings. However, due to the first team’s lack of expertise on the scene, the search was temporarily suspended.


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