Chapter 3, pg. 70
There have been numerous archeological hoax proposed throughout history, all over the world. I will focus on The Cardiff Giant: The Goliath of New York that was a proposed hoax in 1869 in America that attracted a lot of attention from the public. Like most hoax throughout history, the Cardiff Giant was done for money. The hoax was uncovered and put to rest soon after it started. Through this paper I want to address a few main points in order to answer some questions about the hoax and why its was popular. The main points that I want to address are who believed in the hoax and why they believed it, the people who were skeptical ...view middle of the document...
They accepted the “petrified man” on the bases that the body of this giant could have been petrified like the trees of Arizona 200 million years ago that were buried by sediment rich in silica that filled the spaces between and within the cells. Thus preserving the appearance of the wood, when the natural wood decayed away. They thought that the giant was petrified in the same way. Not everyone was so gullible as the general public to the discovery of the buried giant.
The Cardiff Giant hoax didn’t fool everyone; there were immediate skeptics about this archeological discovery. The immediate skeptics of this hoax were professional scientists including geologists and paleontologists, and even artists. The scientists were skeptical of the Giant because they had an understanding of science and were able to determine that the rock that the giant was composed of was gypsum stone that would not be capable to withstand such extensive time underground in the wet soils of Newell Farm where it was found. Gypsum is a soft sedimentary rock that has layering unlike petrified woods, the trained professionals were capable to determine that its was buried for three years by the weathering of the rock. Artists were able to identify the Cardiff Giant as fake due to the markings left by the tools that were used to carve the sculpture. The professionals that had training in science and art were skeptical because they had an understanding and knowledge of the stone that the giant was carved from, and how the process of weathering occurred this made it possible for them to use scientific evidence to conclude that giant was a fake. The artist’s ability to identify the marks of the tools, due to their profession and knowledge, allowed them to also provide proof that the Giant was a fake. These groups of professionals were using knowledge and scientific understanding, unlike the majority of the population that...