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Ossuary of Simon the temple-builder. 1st century AD

Burial customs

Skull

Catacombs

Photograph of an open tomb, Ferrell Jenkins

Tombs

Lazarus emerging from the tomb, Rembrandt

Paintings of Lazarus coming out of the tomb

 


 

 











 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Fayum portrait of a young man, possibly royal, with curled hair and golden wreath around his head

Fayum portrait of a young man with curled hair and a golden wreath around his head, possibly from a royal family and certainly from a wealthy one


The Fayum (or Fayyûm) portraits were painted sometime during the 1st to the 4th century AD, at about the time the Gnostic gospels were written in the 2nd century AD.

The coffin portraits were found near the Al-Fayyum oasis west of the Nile RiverFound in Egyptian tombs particularly at the oasis of al-Fayyûm, they showed the head and shoulders of the dead person, and were painted on wooden tablets using tempera or pigments mixed with liquid beeswax then placed on the outer coffin. 

They show what wealthy Middle Eastern people looked like a century or so after the death of Jesus.

Strictly speaking, they were painted outside the biblical period, at the time the Gnostic gospels were being written in the 2nd century AD. Gnostic Christian sects had developed their own theology about Jesus, based on the idea that all matter was evil and only things of the spirit were good - which meant, to their way of thinking, that Jesus couldn't really have had a human body (matter) and therefore could not really have died.

 


Portrait of the dead man still attached to the mummified remains

A rare example of a Fayum portrait still attached to the mummified remains of the dead man

 


 

 

Bible archaeology:Fayum Portraits:woman with lavish jewelry

Fayum young girl with simple jewelry

Fayum portrait of a woman with lavish gold, pearl and jet jewelry; the red veil that seems to surround her head is the decorated outline of the coffin that holds her body

 

Portrait of an adolescent young girl with simple jewelry and clothing; notice the drawing of a prancing horse behind her right shoulder

Fayum coffin portrait of a young boy in his early teens

Bible archaeology:Fayum Portraits:sarcophagus with portrait

Lifelike portait of an young boy; there seems to be writing or embroidery at the neck of his robe

 

The coffin portrait remains attached to the intact sarcophagus

 

Bible archaeology:Fayum Portraits:young man with curly hair and simple clothing

Dignified young woman in a Fayum portrait, restrained jewelry

Young man with curly hair and simple clothing

Dignified young woman with beautiful eyes, simple hair style and restrained jewelry

 

Bible archaeology:Fayum Portraits:woman in red dress and elaborate jewelry

Fayum portrait of a young girl, simply dressed, no jewelry, red lips

Portrait of a slim woman in a red dress and lined stole; she has elaborate jewelry and carefully coiffed hair

Fayum portrait of a young girl; she is simply dressed, without jewelry but apparently with reddened lips

 

Young man in a Fayum coffin portrait, gold wreath in his hair

Coffin portrait from the Fayum area showing young man, possibly of royal birth, with told wreath in his hair and a strap across his chest

This Fayum coffin portait shows a tall thin young man with a gold wreath in his hair; his slim build may denote long-term ill health

 

Coffin portrait from the Fayum area showing a young man, possibly of royal birth, with a gold wreath in his hair and a decorated strap across his chest

 

Fayum portrait of a young woman in a pink dress and simple, pretty jewelry

Fayum portrait of a young woman with heavy jewelry: a necklace, earrings and hair ornaments

Fayum portrait of a young woman in a pink dress and simple, pretty jewelry

 

Fayum portrait of a young woman with dark glossy hair and heavy jewelry: a gold necklace, earrings and hair ornaments

 

Fayum portrait: older woman with large intelligent eyes, simple jewelry

Young woman with lapis and gold necklace, pearl earrings

Coffin portrait of an older woman with large intelligent eyes and simple jewelry

 

 

A young woman with lapis and gold necklace, pearl earrings; the design of the earrings, with three pearls forming a triangle, seems to have been popular

Fayum portrait of a young woman with pearl and lapis earrings, a gold broach and a gold-thread scarf around her neck

Bible archaeology:Fayum Portraits:young woman with curled fringe

Fayum portrait of a young woman with pearl and lapis earrings, a gold brooch and a gold-thread scarf around her neck

 

This Fayum portrait shows a young woman with curled fringe, reddened lips and discreet jewelry

 

Portrait of a soberly dressed young woman with a 'cornrows' hairstyle

 

An unusual portrait showing two young men, possibly brothers

 

 

See other fascinating links between 
Archaeology and the Bible

  

 

 

The Fayum (Fayyum) Portraits  - Archaeology of The Bible - Bible  Study Resource
Men and women of the ancient world

 

 

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