This section comtains some of our most popular episodes, and some of my favourites. ‘Corpse Carrying For Beginners’ was huge fun to make and featured one of the strangest motifs ever to be found in the storyteller’s repertoire. A ‘Crock of Old Cobblers‘ gave us a great opportunity to examine the origin of those odd creatures leprechauns. And the article The Dagda’s Cauldon – A Home Brewed Suplement reports some archaeological discoveries that were delightfully fascinating. So ‘dig in’ and enjoy.!
Samhain Special: Corpse Carrying For Beginners
In this seasonal special, the Story Archaeologists compare two stories of Samhain. It’s a time for ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night… but what could such stories tell us about life 100 or even 1,000 years ago?
- Listen to the podcast: Corpse Carrying For Beginners
Special: Trees and Ogham – When is a tree not a tree?
Many people are familiar with the “Tree Alphabet” or even “Tree Calendar” derived from the ancient Irish Ogham script. But is this barking up the wrong tree? Is this really what Ogham was created for?
- Listen to the Podcast: Trees and Ogham – When is a tree not a tree?
Special: Tales of Sheebeg
In the West of Ireland, every hill is a hollow hill, and every well is a source. But the hill we live on has many legends. Join the Story Archaeologists on an aerial survey of the story-scape of Sídh Beag, the Small Fairy Hill.
- Listen to the Podcast: Tales of Sheebeg
- Tales of Sheebeg: related material from Chris
- Sheebeg in Pictures
Midwinter Special: The Craneskin Bag – A Santa’s Sack of Gifts from Irish Mythology
Long before Santa’s sack was filled with seasonal gifts, Manannán Mac Lír had a wonderful craneskin bag full of magical treasures, which he frequently gave to those he favoured. But what will the Story Archaeologists pull out of the bag? Some unusual pets, a mythical Swiss Army knife and a Holy Grail.
- Listen to the Podcast: The Craneskin Bag
- The Treasure Bag of the Fianna: a story told by Chris
- A Christmas card from the Archaeologists. (More about the Craneskin bag ‘treasures’)
Samhain Special – A Tale to Remember
- Listen to the Podcast: A Tale to Remember (with added video perfomance!)
A Crock of Old Cobblers ~ A Holiday Special
Fergus mac Léite gets to encounter the underwater world of the Lupracán, a story which in the late middle / early modern Irish version, almost certainly, inspired Swift’s wonderful satire, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. The Story Archaeologists, ear herbs at the ready, dive right into the tale, but wonder how these small, but proud and fiercely independent, beings have devolved, over the centuries into the scary Leprechaun travesties .that are dragged out every Paddy’s day?
Midwinter Special : 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.
- Listen to the Podcast: A Satirical Tale of Extreme Gastronomy
- ‘The Crucifixion of the Outcast’ ~ a linked story by W.B. Yeats
Samhain Special : The Mysteries of Midir
What did happen to Midir? Why does he appear in so few stories? It is a mystery. A murder mystery? Could be. Certainly Midir’s reputation was usurped and he, himself, seems to have been, effectively, ‘disappeared!
- Listen to the Podcast: The Mysteries of Midir
Midwinter Special – 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 for the common threads.
The Otherworld and How to Get There: An Audio Article
So many of the old Irish stories tell of an Otherworld that lies so close to our own. If you want to discover what the stories have to say about getting there, what you might find when you arrive, and when, or if, you might return, then join Chris in this audio-article exploration.
- Listen to Chris’ Audio Article: The Otherworld and How to Get There.
- Read Underworld, Otherworld ~ part1: Underworld by Chris. Note: I only completed part 1. Part 2, intended as a comparison with the Irish ‘Otherworld has been written up now in several other articles.
The Dagda’s Cauldron ~ A Seasonal Special: Audio Article
The Dagda with his cauldron of abundance, from which none leave unsatisfied, epitomises the deep and ancient yearning we feel for mid-winter indulgence and good company. It may be that the cauldron had more to offer than just a solid meal. Join Chris, from the Story Archaeologists, as she dips into this extravagant cooking pot.
- Listen to Chris’ Audio Article: The Dagda’s Cauldron
- The Dagda’s Cauldron ~ A home-brew supplemental
Telling Stories : Continuing the Oral Tradition
Join Chris Thompson as she takes a story-teller’s view of the old Irish stories. Who told them and why were they so memorable. In this audio article, Chris celebrates the old stories and explores the challenges in telling them today.
- Listen to Chris’ Audio Article: Telling Stories : Continuing the Oral Tradition
- Robin Williamson: Five Denials on Merlin’s Grave
Medb: Conquests and Consequences : Audio Article
This audio-article endeavours to discover some something of Medb the woman, as she can be found in the old Irish texts? What choices did she have to make to protect her land and people and how did she come to terms with the consequences of those choices? It is an interesting story.
- Listen to Chris’ Audio Article: Medb: Conquests and Consequences