Historians have revealed that the popular primary school nativity depiction of Mary and Joseph with tea towels draped over their heads may actually be historically accurate.
Professors at Newcastle University have unearthed evidence that tea towels were not only worn as headdresses, but were very much in vogue at the time of the birth of Christ.
“Tea towels were popular in Israel at the turn of BC/AD,” says historian Donald Douglas, “and were often seen on the heads of travelers and wayfarers. It is highly probable that Mary and Joseph wore tea towels when they arrived in Bethlehem.”
This latest discovery joins a wave of archaeological surprises concerning the nativity, including new claims that the birth of Christ may well have taken place in a school hall in England, angels almost certainly wore tights, and the Baby Jesus may well have taken the form of a plastic baby made by Baby Born.