Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles

Category Archives: Podcast Episodes

Circling the Táin 04: Harder, Faster, Stronger, Better – The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn

Harder, Faster, Stronger, Better! In this episode, we get to examine some remarkable exploits of one of the central figures in the Tain tradition: Cú Chulainn.  We explore stories told by some of the characters who know the hero, remembering him as a child. Join the Story Archaeologists as we try to decide if  the young Cú Chulainn can be considered …

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Circling the Táin 03: The Birth Pangs of Ulster

In this episode, we continue our exploration of the troublesome conceptions and births that stand behind much of the material of the Táin tradition. This time, we examine the births of the doomed Deirdre, the fated Cú Chulainn and re-re-visit the importance of Macha’s story. Join the Story Archaeologists as we attempt to disentangle webs …

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Circling The Tain 02: Portents and Prophecies

The richly interwoven stories that make up the Táin tradition contain a wide diversity of characters. There is much to explore. Even their back stories have back stories! In this episode, we explore the back stories of two such characters: the well-known Ulster king, Conchobar Mac Nessa, and the lesser-known Ulster hero, Conall Cernach. Join the Story …

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Winter Special 2016: Aisling MacConglinne – A Satirical Tale of Extreme Gastronomy

The Midwinter festival has been a time of over indulgence and conspicuous consumption for millenia! This year, we dig in to the Middle Irish story, Aisling MacConglinne, “The Vision of MacConglinne”, a delicious debauch of extreme gastronomy.! Join the Story Archaeologists in a feast of fantastical food, with a generous side order of sumptuous satire. Read the full translated text here! …

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Circling the Tain 01: The Quarrel of the Two Swineherds (or “Where It All Began”)

Welcome to Series 6, “Circling the Tain”. In this series, we will delve into the fascinating web of stories making up the Tain tradition, with the Tain Bó Cúailnge, “The Cattle Raid of Cooley”, at its core. We begin this exploration with the story of two talented swineherds and their shape-shifting,poetic quarrel. Join the Story …

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Revisiting Mythical Women 05: The Search for Brigid

Brigid is  the much-loved irish saint of kildare as well a pre-Christian Celtic mythical figure.  But what connection is there    between the two? Just who is Brigid? Sift through the strata of her story  with the Story Archaeologists to uncover some unexpected surprises. Links to other  episodes  mentioned within the podcast. Further Discussion on the Well of …

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Revisiting Mythical Women. 4: Revisiting Airmed.

Airmed is the daughter of the great Dé Danann physician, Dían Cécht, part of a family of healers.  Together, they create the healing well of Sláine, which restores injured warriors at the Second Battle of Moytura.  But do the meanings of their names tell a different story? In our  revisit to what may seem at …

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The Son of the King of Erin and the Queen of the Moving Wheel

This is the second of two supplemental  episodes supporting  our recent podcast, Tales of Ethliu (revisited). “The Son of the King of Erin and the Queen of the Moving Wheel” is a folktale collected in the west of Ireland by  Jeremiah Curtin in the late 19th century. The tale first appeared in “Irish Folktales”.  This tale has a cast of …

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Midwinter Special 2015 – Fair’s Fair

This time of year is a frenzy of shopping, family gatherings and exchange of gifts. But is this simply a modern phenomenon? For this year’s MidWinter Special, the Story Archaeologists dig as deep as their virtual spades will go, comparing the deepest layers of human settlement through medieval mayhem to the contemporary craft fair, searching …

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Elin Gow, the Swordsmith and the Cow, the Glas Gaianach

This is the first of two supplemental  episodes supporting  our recent podcast, Tales of Ethliu (revisited). “Elin Gow, the Swordsmith and the Cow, the Glas Gaianach” is a folktale collected in the southwest of Ireland by  Jeremiah Curtin in the late 19th century. The tale first appeared in “Hero Tales of Ireland”. It is a great …

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