After 2,000 years buried within a cave in the Holy Land, the features are barely distinct as that of a human face.
But Bible historians are trying to determine whether this is the first ever portrait of Jesus Christ.
They are investigating whether the picture, which can still just about be seen to depict a man wearing a crown of thorns, was created in Jesus’s lifetime by those who knew him.
The portrait was found on a lead booklet, slightly smaller than a credit card, which lay undiscovered in a cave in a remote village in Jordan overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
It was part of an astonishing hoard of 70 books found there, each with between five and 15 cast lead pages bound by lead rings.
Historians believe the collection was made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately after his crucifixion. The most convincing evidence that the books are Christian is that one plate appears to show a map of the holy city of Jerusalem featuring crosses outside the city walls.
And one phrase in the booklets appears to read ‘Saviour of Israel’ in ancient Hebrew.