We can’t know for certain, but there’s some pretty fascinating detective work here:
In a medieval town in the south of France, a crypt tucked beneath a basilica houses one of the world’s most famous sets of human remains, a skull and bones rumored to belong to Jesus’ companion Mary Magdalene. Now, a scientist and an artist have used the remains to reconstruct what this woman would have looked like when alive.
The facial reconstruction is based on computer modeling of the skull and depicts a woman with a pointed nose, high cheekbones, and a round face. For those who believe these are the bones of Mary Magdalene, this is the face of one of the Catholic Church’s most infamous women.
“We are absolutely not sure that this is the true skull of Mary Magdalene,” says Philippe Charlier, a biological anthropologist from the University of Versailles. “But it was very important to get it out of anonymity.” Charlier performed the reconstruction with Philippe Froesch, a visual forensic artist.
Read on to learn how they put together the pieces of this puzzle. And watch the video above.