Welcome back for Episode 4 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty “Little Baby Jesus!”
This week there’s some crazy business going on with a newly translated apocryphal text that was definitely not written by St. Cyril or based on anything resembling reality- but is cute all the same because it alleges that Jesus had super powers (aside from raising the dead and healing lepers and all that) and was best buds with the man that everybody loves to hate- Pontius Pilate! But seriously, the study of texts written in the first millennium after Jesus’ death about his life and early Christianity is little known to the public (unless they made the final cut into the Bible canon). So every text gives us an opportunity to learn more about the evolution of Christian beliefs and practices during its first couple of centuries, when it was extremely varied across the Old World, Middle East, and Northern Africa. I may also throw some knowledge out there about the influence of some other apocryphal numbers such as the Syriac Infancy Gospel- in which Jesus’ diaper does his dirty work (literally) and his circumcision creates one heck of a relic. No offense if I sound less than respectful, believe me- some of this stuff gives amazing insight into humanity and spirituality in the 1st millennium- but some of these texts are just bizarre, so let’s just say there’s a reason they aren’t included in the Bible…
Today’s Shorty News consisted of a story where I marvel at the discovery of a new strain of human Y chromosomes which doesn’t seem to have shared a common ancestor with most of the rest of humanity for 338,000 years! WOW.
The rest of the show is about a project that I worked on a couple years back in Texas which has recently become part of a new book called The Toyah Phase of Central Texas: Late Prehistoric Economic and Social Processes, edited by Nancy A. Kenmotsu and Douglas Boyd. There’s some stuff about hunter-gatherers, my personal thoughts on this newly published research, and then I talk about snails for a while. Yup, Snails.
Enjoy! McNiven OUT!