Archaeologists Find Unguents in Magdala Dating Back to Christ's Time {Fragrance News} {Cultural Notes}

Marie-Madeleine by Quentin Metsys (1465/66-1530), Musée du Louvre

Mary of Magdala or Mary Magdalene - or Marie Madeleine in French - is very often represented in Christian iconography with an emblematic pot of unguents or a perfume flacon as she is the one who used perfume - one of the most expensive kinds it is said - to anoint Christ's feet and dry them with her red hair. She is also considered to be the patroness-saint of perfumers as well as glove-makers, hairdressers, prostitutes, and gardeners.

For a group of Franciscan archaeologists from the group Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, the discovery of perfume containers dating back to Christ's time in Magdala in today's Israel is therefore of great potential significance,...


One of the perfume/unguent phials found on the Magdala site

"The amphoras holding the intact ointments were uncovered from the bottom of an ancient swimming pool and the mud that filled it through the ages helped preserve its stored content. Besides the perfumed ointments, some other objects were found, such as hair remains and a series of make-up items, according to Father Stefano de Luca, the lead archaeologist of the team who performed the dig.

"If chemical analyses confirm it, these could be perfumes and creams similar to those that Mary Magdalene or the sinner cited in the Gospel used to anoint Christ's feet," explained Father de Luca..."


Terrasanta shows more photos from the dig.

Picture via La Tribune de L'Art

Related Posts

Leave a Comment