Archaeologists in Sudan have discovered a tattoo referencing Jesus Christ on a 1,300-year-old body unearthed near a medieval monastery.
The body was likely to be of one of the monks living in the medieval monastic site of Ghazali, which was located 9.3 miles from the banks of the Nile in Northern Sudan.
Discovered by a group of scientists from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology (PCMA), the tattoo includes a 'Christogram', which combines the Greek letters 'chi' and 'rho' to make a monogram that stands as an abbreviation for the name of Christ.
It also includes the letters alpha and omega - the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet - which for Christians represent that God is the beginning and the end of all things.
Kari Guilbault, a Ph.D candidate at Purdue, made the discovery by chance while photographing the remains.
“It was quite a surprise to all of a sudden see what appeared to be a tattoo when I was working with the Ghazali collection. At first, I was not certain, but when the images were processed and the tattoo was clearly visible, any initial uncertainties were removed,” she said.
In an interview with the MainOnline, she elaborated on her discovery, mentioning she initially observed a mark on the foot. Guilbault then unveiled the tattoo in striking detail after using full-spectrum photography and specialised image editing software.
The first tattoo found in the region was also of a religious nature.