Is this the earliest image of St Paul? 'Sensational' 1,600-year-old icon of saint found in a Roman tomb

This faded face, with a pointed beard and furrowed brow, is believed to be the oldest image in existence of St Paul the Apostle.

Vatican archaeologists uncovered the fresco in a catacomb beneath Rome with the help of a laser, which cleared away centuries of grime, clay and limestone.

The image was created in the 4th century, according to Barbara Mazzei, the director of work at the catacomb.

'It was easy to see that it was Saint Paul because the style matched the iconography that we know existed at around the 4th Century - that is the thin face and the dark beard,' she said.
'It is a sensational discovery and is of tremendous significance.'

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William R. Everdell - 7/2/2009

Let's see. We know it's an early image of Saint Paul because it looks like later images of Saint Paul. ??

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