By Chris Turney (auth.)
What is the Turin Shroud? whilst have been the Pyramids equipped? Why did the dinosaurs die out? How did the Earth take form? With questions like those, says Chris Turney, time is of the essence. And figuring out how we pinpoint the earlier, he cautions, is important to placing the current in point of view and making plans for the future.
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Additional resources for Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened
Either way, neither of the Vortigerns could have been the hero known as Arthur. So how can we find Arthur? Thankfully, other accounts start to shed some light on our quest. During the sixth century AD, one of the most depressed monks Britain ever produced was writing. Gildas wrote the closest thing to a contemporary account of this period in Britain, De Excidio Britannia (The Ruin of Britain), but this was not a history, nor a celebration of his country or philosophy. No, this was a long tirade against the British leaders of his time.
Thenceforward victory swung first to one side and then to the other, until the Battle of Badon. Bede implies that Ambrosius Aurelianus led the Britons to victory at a major battle called Badon, although whether he was the leader is ambiguous. Other sources suggest a different scenario. Nennius identifies Badon as one of 12 battles and links them all to Arthur: 26 BONES, ROCKS AND STARS At that time, the Saxons grew strong by virtue of their large number and increased in power in Britain. Hengist having died, however, his son Octha crossed from the northern part of Britain to the kingdom of Kent and from him are descended the kings of Kent.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that the radiocarbon age would not represent when the Shroud was used, but when the flax was harvested to be made into the linen. This would have been the time when the last of the radiocarbon was fixed by the plant before harvesting. In itself this wasn't thought to be a problem for dating the Shroud, as it was felt that the cloth would not be much more than a few years old before it was used for burial. Within the likely errors of the technique, a few years difference between harvesting and use would be neither here nor there.