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1,500-year-old box depicting Moses receiving 10 Commandments discovered

Researchers have uncovered a significant Christian relic: an ivory box adorned with religious motifs, hidden in an early Christian church excavated in what is now southern Austria, according to the Daily Mail.

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The archaeologists discovered a biblical scene depicting Moses receiving the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai on the 1,500-year-old casket. The box is also engraved with images of saints and the ascension of Christ.

The round ivory box is a remarkable artifact, as items from early Christianity are exceedingly rare. The Christian faith is about 2,000 years old, and only 40 such discoveries have been made worldwide, with the last similar find occurring approximately 100 years ago.

The 1,500-year-old ivory box depicts a scene of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments from God on Mount Sinai as described in the Old Testament, along with imagery of saints and the ascension of Christ

“This only happens once in the life of an archaeologist,” says lead archaeologist Gerald Grabherr.

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He suggests the relic was created less than 100 years after Roman Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity. Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, which legalized Christianity. Later, Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

The ivory box was found during excavations of an early Christian church in southern Austria, a region that once belonged to the Roman Empire and likely housed a pagan sanctuary before becoming a church.

The team discovered a sealing stone in a recess where the altar once stood, where they found the box. Though the artifact was broken into pieces, it was originally round and equipped with a metal clasp.

According to scholars, this item was the holiest part of the church. It remains unclear why it was not taken before the church was abandoned.

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Researchers also note that the box depicts both Moses and Christ. The scene probably shows Moses receiving the commandments from God or parting the waters of the Red Sea. Another scene on the casket depicts Jesus rising from his burial chamber after his crucifixion.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.