Assignment 1 – Methods & Techniques
16th March 2015
Social and Cultural biases play a major role in the understanding of Archaeological myths with regards to their influence on scientific theory. This essay will explore the Archaeological myth of the Shroud of Turin which has been subject to much debate, from both a religious viewpoint, as well as a scientific viewpoint as researchers attempt to explain its origins, creation and purpose, in opposition to that of the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Its background, the Social & Cultural biases in relation to the myth, how it challenges Scientific Archaeological methods and the purpose & value of science in Archaeology will be discussed.
Background of the Shroud…show more content… It measures at 15.1 feet (4.6 meters) long and 3.6 feet (1.1 meters) wide (Carrol, 1994). It was discovered by a French Knight who fought during the Crusades in 1349, whom had escaped the capture of the English and returned home with the Shroud to France. It is believed to have been obtained in Turkey, and has become a fundamental part of the Christian religion, and after many years, was transferred to the Turin Cathedral in Italy during the 16th Century where it was formally named the Shroud of Turin (Carrol, 1994). The origin, as well as the image of the Shroud has been subject to intense debate after radiocarbon dating had proven the material to have been produced during the medieval times around 700 years ago (13th Century), however, at the same time, fibers of the cloth were tested in a different method by infrared light and spectroscopy which proved its origin to be between the dates of 300B.C and 400A.D, thus leaving researchers in two minds over its authenticity. Some theories, notably that of Charles Freeman, a British Scholar, have gone so far as to link the Shrouds creation for the sole purpose of Medieval Easter rituals, whereas others believe the cloth was wrapped around Jesus of Nazareth after his crucifixion, with the image displaying similar wounds to those which relate to the crown of…show more content… Something foreign to our knowledge discovered in this time can be discovered and linked to a historical event or historical group of people through scientific archaeological testing, helping give back to certain cultures and religions, providing clear-cut information to help improve the understanding of an individual. This is evident through advances in methods of dating and enquiry which have helped place artifacts in their original historical context, thus providing better information on cultures of the past, as well as cultures in the