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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ancient Icons Of Apostles Discovered

This is pretty cool. One of the neat things about being Catholic is that they keep finding old stuff from the early period of the Church.

From the Telegraph.co.uk: Earliest Known Images of Apostles Discovered Under Rome Streets

The earliest known icons of four of Christ's apostles have been found adorning an elaborately decorated chamber in a catacomb beneath the streets of Rome.

Scientists used advanced laser technology to remove a hardened crust of dirt and calcium deposits in order to bring to light the brightly coloured 4th century paintings of Saints John, Paul, Andrew and Peter.

The images adorn the ceiling of a vault, carved out of volcanic rock, which provided the last resting place of a rich Roman noblewoman who converted to Christianity after it was declared legal by the Emperor Constantine.

Archeologists also found an early image of Christ, a painting of a naked Daniel with lions at his feet and a sketch of Jesus raising Lazarus, wrapped in mummy-like white bandages, from the dead.

The paintings are rendered in bright yellow and red ochre, black charcoal, and a rare mineral-based paint known as Egyptian Blue.

A balding St Paul is depicted with dark piercing eyes, a pointed black beard and a furrowed forehead, while St Peter has the white, bushy beard and sturdy look of a fisherman.

The archeologists believe the images may have set the standard for all later depictions of the saints in Christian iconography.

Sorry, CRONES. No paintings of wymynpreests or female bishops. Better luck next time!!