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5,000-year-old rock drawing resembling biblical Nativity scene found

5,000-year-old rock drawing resembling biblical Nativity scene found A rock painting depicting the birth of Jesus Christ is discovered (photo: Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

An Italian archaeological team has presented the results of a study of 5,000-year-old rock paintings that were discovered in 2005 in the Sahara, according to Ancient Origins, a platform about recent archaeological discoveries and research.

One of these paintings depicts a child between his parents, a star in the east, and two animals, which is associated with the biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Scholars consider this painting to be the oldest depiction of a nativity scene ever discovered. The painting is located on the ceiling of a small cavity in the rock, which is called the Cave of the Parents. It is located on the territory of Egypt between the plateau of Gilf al-Qebir and the Nile Valley.

"It's a very evocative scene which indeed resembles the Christmas nativity. But it predates it by some 3,000 years," says Marco Morelli, a geologist and director of the Museum of Planetary Sciences in Prato, Italy.

5,000-year-old rock drawing resembling biblical Nativity scene foundRock painting depicting Nativity scene (photo: Ancient Origins)

The latest report also notes that the images of the rock art are made using reddish-brown ochre. One of the animal images is a headless lion, which is interpreted as a symbol of Christ. In the same painting, a child is depicted as slightly elevated to the heavens, possibly symbolizing birth or pregnancy, as the authors of the study point out.

The nativity scene is a cave associated with the birth of Jesus according to the scriptures. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that the three wise men followed a rising star that led them to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem.