That Magdalene Person

A few days ago, one of the local papers in my home state carried an article about the potential meaning of artifacts that some say point to a visitation by not only Viking seafarers but Knights Templar in the company of descendant(s) of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. This story can go a long way in several directions as seed for fiction. For nerdy former university insiders like me, the modern-day quarrels between different researchers (and “researchers”) about what these artifacts imply (either that or our state is holy ground or that 19th century pranksters are getting the last laugh) is story enough. And for the record, as an anthropologist, I have a boring and predictable trust in professional archaeologists, so I’d go with their side of the story on this one. For those inclined to historical fiction, the journey to the New World and identity of the passenger (or crew member?) would drive the story. Perhaps this would explain why my Viking ancestors seemed to visit the New World but not hang around (they had a limited mission and no interest in a return trip). Then there is the question of where the descendants of the passengers are today. Would one of them come forward to speak up on the History Channel? Would we believe them? What would their DNA look like? How hard did they laugh at The DaVinci Code? These and other pithy questions could set a lot of keyboards rattling.

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