Spanish historians uncovered 18th century letters in an odd place -- the buttocks of a statue of Jesus.
The statue, which is more than 240 years old, depicts Jesus Christ during the crucifixion and hangs in St. Agueda church in the village of Sotillo de la Ribera in northern Spain, according to The Sun. Historians worked to restore the statue after it was beginning to show cracks and started to come loose from the cross.
But during the restoration process, preservationists made a surprising discovery: A makeshift time capsule was placed inside the statute's behind.
The document was uncovered when the preservationists removed a piece of fabric covering the statute's buttocks, which then exposed a small gap where the letters were stashed.
The hollowed-out buttocks contained two handwritten documents detailing life in 18th century Spain, according to National Geographic. The letters were dated from 1777 and signed chaplain Joaquin Minguez from the Burgo de Osma cathedral.
Minguez describes the day-to-day life of the region in central Spain, mentioning the year's successful harvest of grains like wheat, rye, oats and barley. He also noted the political climate of the time, writing that King Carlos III currently sat on the throne in Madrid. He even made mention of the deadly Spanish Inquisition, which led to the death thousands of non-Catholics between 1478 and 1834.
The priest also detailed that people of the time used cards and balls for entertainment and that the village was at that time plagued with typhoid fever. It even named popular bullfighters of the time.
“Although it is usual for many sculptures to be hollow, it is [unusual] to find handwritten documents inside,” said historian Efren Arroyo, who works with the Holy Week Brotherhood of Sotillo de la Ribera, reports HuffPost.
Because of the letter's wide-ranging topics, historians believe Minguez intended them to be a type of time capsule for future generations to read about 18th century Spain.
"The harvest has been plentiful for many years," reads a section of Minguez's letter, referencing his hometown vineyards.
Arroyo said it was the most surprising discovery ever made by the restoration group, according to National Geographic. The group, based in Madrid, has worked previously to restore old paintings, statues and antique furniture.
The original letters were sent to the Archbishop of Burgos to be archived. A copy was also made to be placed back into the statue to preserve Minguez's original intent.