Archaeologists uncover Jesus Christ embroidery in Russia in rare find

Archaeologists uncovered a rare embroidered Deisis depicting Jesus Christ in a medieval burial ground, according to Heritage Daily.

The embroidered fabric was found during the construction of the Moscow-Kazan highway, where researchers uncovered a medieval settlement and a Christian cemetery.

46 graves were exhumed, including one containing a 16-to-25-year-old woman buried with the fabric, which depicts Jesus Christ in a blessing pose and John the Baptist facing him in a prayerful pose.

What is the Deisis?

The Deisis is a traditional iconic representation of Christ in Majesty – the Western Christian image of Jesus on a throne as king of the world – or Christ Pantocrator – the Eastern Christian image of Jesus as the omnipotent judge of humanity.

Jesus Christ - detail from Deisis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (credit: EDAL ANTON LEFTEROV/CC BY-SA 3.0 ( WIKIMEDIA)

The archaeologists believe the embroidered fabric was a headdress made of silk samite. Similar specimens have been found at the Ivorovsky necropolis – where a depiction of Michael the Archangel with a spear was found – and the Karoshky necropolis – where embroidered depictions of crosses and saints were found.

The fabric is 12.1 cm long by 5.5 cm wide and is made up of two parts connected by a vertical seam featuring a gold ribbon with a braided pattern.

Although the lining was not preserved, researchers found pieces of tree bark and needle marks along the lower and upper edges of the fabric using a microscope.

The researchers said that the “highest level of craftsmanship, jewelry subtlety and elegance went into making this miniature embroidery.”

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