When most of Western society pictures Jesus Christ, a fair-skinned, blue-eyed man with long, blond or chestnut hair is imagined. However, British scientist, Richard Neave, an anatomical artist retired from the University of Manchester, provided evidence that the Eurocentric depiction we are so used to today may be completely wrong by using skulls from other first century Jewish men, according to Yahoo! News.
Neave and his team were provided with Semite skulls by Israeli archaeologists. His team then created X-ray slices of the skull and used a computer program used in forensics to place the muscles and the skin on skull, according to the Mirror.
After analyzing the three skulls from archaeological dig sites, they were able to figure out a possible shape of Jesus' head and facial muscles, but they could not accurately determine the color of his skin or the nature of his hair, according to AOL. To fill in these gaps, Neave used a clue in the New Testament. It was written that when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he needed to point him out directly to the Roman soldiers, as opposed to simply describing him, which alludes to Jesus looking like most other Semitic men of that time. Neave used this to determine that Jesus would most probably have been just over 5 feet tall, with a beard and short black hair, likely in tight curls, according to the Mirror. His skin color would also most probably resemble the dark tanned color of his peers.
It is hypothesized that the Letter of Lentulus is partially responsible for the Eurocentric depiction Western society has adopted of Jesus Christ. It has widely been regarded as a forgery for centuries, but the account it gives of Jesus' appearance persists.
Neave has also attempted to reconstruct the faces of King Midas, Alexander the Great's father, and Philip II of Macedon, according to Yahoo! News.
While Neave's reconstruction might be a more accurate representation of Jesus, we may never know for sure, as there have not been any drawings of Jesus discovered nor any verifiable written eyewitness accounts. Some claim he never even existed.