I awoke this morning to an explosive archaeological news story and one which, given it's importance, I'm surprised isn't the headline of the day (if not the week, month, year or century).
Apparently, according to the BBC, the FA Cup "is the Holy Grail"
I have to say that the significance of this particular piece of information took some time to register.
The Holy Grail - THE Holy Grail has been found. The most important artefact in Arthurian mythology, an object that dates back to the earliest days of Christianity, something that, legend has it, can supply eternal youth, has been identified as the trophy that is presented to the winners of the Football Association Challenge Cup, an annual knockout competition held in England and Wales since the late 19th century - I really did not see that coming.
I repeat - 'Wow!'
Centuries of fruitless searching across the world and it was here, in Britain, all the time - that's certainly a major point to Grail lore specialists (who always knew it must be somewhere in the UK), and one in the eye for all the conspiracy-theorists and Dan Brown acolytes (who believed that 'the Grail' was some sort of code for a holy bloodline).
If only someone could explain where this incredible artefact has been in the two millennia since its first documented use in Judea.
Looking at the cup more closely though, using a host of images on the BBC and other news websites, I have to say that I'm not sure that the identification is particularly sound.
I have yet to ascertain who made the discovery, nor, indeed which university led the investigative team (although I'm still frantically scanning the internet to find out), for the design, shape and general level of ornamentation is not quite the sort of thing I would expect to see from an early 1st century AD context.
Perhaps it's just another piece of overblown media hype......