Forensic experts use ancient skulls to recreate the face of Jesus, reveals a whole new look

Common Depictions of Jesus

Jesus is often portrayed as a fair-skinned man with long hair and a beard, dressed in a cream-colored robe. This image, prevalent in Western society, has been popularized by numerous artistic masterpieces, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgement.” Despite this widespread image, there is no New Testament description of Jesus’s physical appearance, nor are there any remains for DNA analysis.

AI and Artistic Interpretation

Dutch photographer and digital artist Bas Uterwijk used artificial intelligence to create a more historically accurate image of Jesus. He combined various cultural depictions with modern technology to produce a Middle-Eastern face. Uterwijk stated, “I used several cultural depictions of Jesus of Nazareth of Byzantine and Renaissance origin,” tweaking features to match the region and era more accurately. His work suggests a more realistic representation, though it remains an artistic impression rather than a definitive likeness.

Forensic Reconstruction

British forensic experts, led by Dr. Richard Neave, developed a 3D portrait of Jesus by studying Semite skulls and employing forensic techniques. This reconstruction suggests Jesus had a wide face, dark eyes, short dark hair, a bushy beard, and tanned skin. Neave’s team concluded Jesus likely had shorter hair with tight curls, based on cultural practices and biblical references such as, “If a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him.”

Physical Characteristics

Using skeletal remains of Semite men from the same period, experts estimated Jesus’s height and weight, suggesting he was around 5-foot-1 and weighed approximately 110 pounds. Given his work as a carpenter, Jesus likely had a muscular build and tanned skin. These new depictions contrast sharply with the traditional Western image and may challenge some long-held beliefs.

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