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 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,…
“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 analysis 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…”
Picture via La Tribune de L’Art