IN a new National Geographic series, an international team of archaeologists, forensic anthropologists and facial reconstruction experts has tried to recreate the faces of three adults and a newborn whose skeletal remains date back to biblical times.
The skulls that were used belong to a 6,000-year-old male buried in the Judean desert; an infant of the same period found lying in a fetal position inside a jar in the Jordan Valley; a woman from the era and region of famous biblical personalities Samson and Delilah, discovered near Ashkelon, and a Galilean male who evidently was alive during the time of Jesus.
A new four-part TV series, “Lost Faces of the Bible” (airing on the National Geographic Channel this week)), follows the experts as they recreate long-gone faces utilizing the same state-of-the art technology used by police investigators.
While forensic experts have already reconstructed the faces of people from several ancient civilizations, this is apparently the first time scientists have worked with Bible-era remains, series creator Simcha Jacobovici said.
One reason: the difficulty of obtaining the ancient bones for examination due to religious sensitivities.
“Ultra-Orthodox Jews believe you shouldn’t move the bones of the deceased,” Jacobovici explained. To get around the problem, the show’s forensic experts scanned the remains but did not incorporate them into the reconstructions.