Thursday, December 11, 2008

Found (Maybe): il "profumo della Maddalena" or 1st C. vases at Magdala

Italian newspapers report:

Gli archeologi dello Studium Biblicum Franciscanum di Gerusalemme hanno riportato alla luce a Magdala, in Galilea, oggetti davvero unici e particolari, la cui antichità affonda nella leggenda. Sotto uno strato di fango sono stati ritrovati suppellettili e ornamenti risalenti a 2000 anni fa, ma soprattutto degli unguenti e profumi, probabilmente simili a quelli con cui Maria Maddalena unse i piedi di Cristo.

Or, as the Daily Telegraph notes:
The archaeologists of the Franciscan academic society Studium Biblicum Franciscanum found the unopened vases dating to the first century AD conserved in mud at the bottom of a swimming pool in Magdala's thermal complex.

Speaking of the discovery Father Stefano De Luca who is leading the dig, said: "The mud-filled condition of the site allowed us to find these truly extraordinary objects, which were intact and sealed and still contain greasy substances.

"We think these are balms and perfumes and if chemical analysis confirms this, they could be similar to those used by Mary Magdalene in the Gospels to anoint the feet of Christ.

"The discovery of these vases is very important. We have in our hands the cosmetic products from the time of Jesus. It's very likely that the woman who anointed Christ's feet used these products, or ones similar in organic composition and quality."

Mark Goodacre adds useful comments on this report here (it was very late when I posted this news last night).

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