Radiometric dating artifact top commentators closed
This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access.Archiving, redistribution or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires both the consent of the authors and the University of Chicago Press.From its first recorded exhibition in France in 1357, this cloth has been the object of mass veneration, on the one hand, and scorn from a number of learned clerics and freethinkers, on the other.Appearing as it did in an age of unparalleled relic-mongering and forgery and, if genuine, lacking documentation of its whereabouts for 1,300 years, the Shroud would certainly have long ago been consigned to the ranks of spurious relics (along with several other shrouds with similar claims) were it not for the extraordinary image it bears.While high technology and theology contend respectively with the other aspects of the relic, determination of its origin and place in history is an archaeological issue.
Black-and-white photography had the fortuitous effect of considerably heightening the contrast of the image, thus bringing out details not readily discernible to the naked eye.
Clearly, every remote possibility of forgery, hoax, accident, or combination thereof must be examined before a firm archaeological/historical judgement on this artifact can be proffered.
Of the three interrelated areas of interest in this relic - authenticity, mechanism of image formation, and religious significance - we shall be concerned here mainly with the first.
On this point all medical opinion since the time of Delage has been unanimous (notably Hynek 1936; Vignon 1939; Moedder 1949; Caselli 1950; La Cava 1953; Sava 1957; Judica-Cordiglia 1961; Barbet 1963 ; Bucklin 1970; Willis, in Wilson 1978; Cameron 1978; Zugibe, in Murphy 1981). It is clear that the cloth was in contact with the body for at least a few hours, but not more than two to three days, assuming that decomposition was progressing at the normal rate.
This line of evidence is of great importance in the question of authenticity and is briefly reviewed below. Both frontal and dorsal images have the marks of many small drops of a postmortem serous fluid exuded from the pores.