They keep saying that my four-part TV series “Lost Faces of the Bible” is controversial. I don’t know what’s controversial about reconstructing Bible-era faces. What it is, is unprecedented. National Geographic is airing the US premiere of my four-part limited series weekly, starting the last Monday in November, 9PM EST. The first episode is “Delilah Revealed.” The other three episodes will air for three weeks on Mondays, in the 9PM prime-time slot.
This is a first! No one has ever done this kind of forensic reconstruction of Biblical faces. Forensic reconstruction of ancient faces has been done in countries other than Israel, but in Israel handling the bones of the dead provokes the ire of the ultra-orthodox. Rather than create a controversy, I managed to get everyone to agree to use state-of-the-art technology to substitute 3-D copies of CT scanned skulls for the purpose of the forensic reconstruction. As a result, we were able to reconstruct the faces – using both computer technology and classic police methods – without disturbing the dead or provoking the religious activists.
So what have we got? We have the first ever reconstruction of a female Philistine from the time of Delilah. If that’s not enough, we carbon dated a Galilean skull to the time of Jesus. If Jesus was well known in 1st Century Galilee – which he was – this man knew him. In other words, we come face to face with a man who may have heard the Sermon on the Mount. More than this, we come face to face with what appears to be an infant victim of child sacrifice. We also reconstruct the face of a warrior who was buried with his sword, sandals and other artifacts. In fact, his burial shroud still had his bodily fluids imprinted on it. This is biblical C.S.I. at its best.
The Religious News Service just published a story on this series by Michele Chabin. It is being picked up by press around the US e.g., The Washington Post. Spread this post around. Let’s direct as many eye-balls to National Geographic TV on Monday night at 9PM. Let’s come face to face with people of the Bible.