Saturday, December 13, 2008

Perfume for Christmas

Perfume vials from Christ's era unearthed in Israel is the headline in Yahoo news.

A team of Franciscan archaeologists digging in the biblical town of Magdala in what is now Israel say they have unearthed vials of perfume similar to those that may have been used by the woman said to have washed Jesus' feet.

The perfumed ointments were found intact at the bottom of a mud-filled swimming pool, alongside hair and make-up objects, the director of the dig conducted by the group Studium Biblicum Franciscanum told the religious website.

"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," Father Stefano de Luca, the lead archaeologist, told the website.

Mary Magdalene is cited in the New Testament as a steadfast disciple of Christ from whom seven demons were cast out. She is often considered the sinner who anointed Jesus' feet.

"The discovery of the ointments in Magdala at any rate is of great importance. Even if Mary Magdalene was not the woman who washed Christ's feet, we have in our hands 'cosmetic products' from Christ's time," De Luca said.
So what does this really mean? Honestly, not too much. We will never know what was actually used to anoint Christ's feet. But we will have more understanding of what was in use during His time. It will be interesting to see what properties these cosmetics had, scientists - or the blue haired perfume lady at the mall - will be able to make educated guesses as to the actual uses of these products.


Eric said...

Either way, it's kinda cool. I just want to the hell did this end up in the bottom of a swimming pool, mud-filled or otherwise?

Mark said...

I wonder if the swimming pool was a mikva - a batch for ritual cleaning.

But stuff has always found it's way to weird places... maybe 2,000 years ago a three year old wondered if mommy's special stuff would float? Or ancient husband got pissed off, or mommy was drunk...