During excavations in the necropolis of the Ghazali monastic complex in Sudan, archaeologists from the University of Warsaw found a unique tattoo on the right foot of a man. This discovery created a stir in the scientific and archaeological communities because of its historical and religious significance.
The tattoo represents “Chrismon”, a symbol combining the Greek letters Χ (ji) and Ρ (rho), which make up the two initial letters of Christ’s name in Greek. Sometimes, as in the Ghazali man’s tattoo, Χ is replaced by Τ (tau), which forms a small Latin cross. In addition to these letters, the tattoo includes the iconic letters alpha and omega.
The location of the tattoo on the individual’s right foot has led to speculation about a possible relationship to the crucifixion of Christ, although this theory is still speculation. Although the tattoo shows that the man was a Christian, it is not clear if he was a monk because he was not buried in the same cemetery as the monks of the monastery but in a burial place that was available to people from nearby communities.
The team of bioarchaeologists who made the discovery used radiocarbon dating to determine that the individual lived between the years 667 and 774. This period coincides with the time when Christianity was the main religion in the Nubia region of Middle Ages The individual was between 35 and 50 years old at the time of his death.
The body was found in excavations in 2016, but the tattoo was later discovered through further analysis and full-spectrum photography. This amazing find provides valuable information about the history and presence of Christianity in the region of Nubia in the Middle Ages, shedding light on the religious beliefs of the time and the diversity of the communities that coexisted in the region.