why was the only DNA test that was conducted focused on Yeshua’s and Miriamne’s common maternity? The filmmakers also claim that one of the occupants of another ossuary, Maria, was Yeshua’s mother. Why didn’t they test Yeshua’s and Mariah’s mtDNA to see whether Mariah really was Yeshua’s mother?Given that the only kind of testing they could do was Mitochondrial DNA, whereby one can establish mother-related relationships between characters, it is very odd to me that the film makers chose to run the tests on the Jesus and the Mariamne ossuaries. Surely if one has only one throw of the die, one says, "OK, which test has could actually falsify the claim that this is Jesus' family tomb?" If one is thinking scientifically, one has to think about attempting to falsify. Well, the one really obvious candidate is Jesus and Maria. If this one comes up negative, then Maria in this tomb is not Jesus' mother and the claims are falsified. The problem with running the test on their candidate for Mary Magdalene (an identification which is problematic, but that is another issue) is that it cannot falsify their claims. If it had come back positive, and Mariamne was related to Jesus, we could simply say that this was one of the anonymous sisters mentioned in Mark 6, who in any case has a one in four chance (so we are told) of being called Mary anyway. Since it comes back negative, the film makers claim that it shows that she is not related to Jesus, so could be his wife. It's a great shame that they did not think about using their chance at mitochondrial DNA testing to go for the one relationship that actually had the potential to falsify their claims.
Update (Thursday, 00.37): In comments, Peter Nathan has a particularly helpful contribution: "The greatest problem with the DNA testing is that the ossuaries had at least 2 skeletons in each. Kloner's report lists a minimum of 35 skeletons in the tomb of which at least 17 were in the 10 ossuaries. Even named ossuaries have multiple skeletons. A controlled dig of an undisturbed tomb reported in Atiqot in 1992 listed over 50 skeletons in 18 ossuaries. Only 2 of the ossuaries had single skeletons. Some had six skeletons. In that no record was kept of the contents of any ossuary at Talpiot, DNA can't be used as evidence of anything."