2007年04月05日

偽物と暴かれたジャンヌ・ダルク~ネイチャーの記事

nature0405.jpg

Joan of Arc's relics exposed as forgery
Perfume experts help unmask remains as Egyptian mummy.
【nature.comより以下転載】
Paris - The relics of St Joan of Arc are not the remains of the fifteenth-century French heroine after all, according to European experts who have analysed the sacred scraps. Instead, they say the relics are a forgery, made from the remains of an Egyptian mummy.

Joan was burned at the stake in 1431 in Rouen, Normandy. The relics were discovered in 1867 in a jar in the attic of a Paris pharmacy, with the inscription "Remains found under the stake of Joan of Arc, virgin of Orleans". They were recognized by the Church, and are now housed in a museum in Chinon that belongs to the Archdiocese of Tours.

Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist at Raymond Poincaré Hospital in Garches, near Paris, obtained permission to study the relics from the French church last year. He says he was "astonished" by the results. "I'd never have thought that it could be from a mummy."

Charlier and his colleagues didn't have much to work with: the relics comprise a charred-looking human rib, chunks of what seem to be carbonized wood, a 15-centimetre fragment of linen and a cat femur — consistent with the medieval practice of throwing black cats onto the pyre of supposed witches.

Sniff tests

The researchers used a battery of techniques to investigate the remains, including mass, infrared and atomic-emission spectrometry, electron microscopy, pollen analysis and, unusually, the help of the leading 'noses' of the perfume industry: Sylvaine Delacourte from Guerlain, and Jean-Michel Duriez from Jean Patou.

Odour analysis is a new technique for palaeopathology, but Charlier says that he hit on the idea after being struck by the variety of odours of other historical corpses. Delacourte and Duriez sniffed the relics and nine other samples of bone and hair from Charlier's lab without being told what the samples were. They were also not allowed to confer. Both smelled hints of 'burnt plaster' and 'vanilla' in the samples from the relics.

The plaster smell was consistent with the fact that Joan of Arc was burnt on a plaster stake, not a wooden one, to make the whole macabre spectacle last longer. But vanilla is inconsistent with cremation. "Vanillin is produced during decomposition of a body," says Charlier. "You would find it in a mummy, but not in someone who was burnt."

I'd never have thought that it could be from a mummy.



Other, more conventional, evidence pointing to a mummy origin quickly accumulated. Microscopic and chemical analysis of the black crust on the rib and on the cat femur showed that they were not in fact burnt, but were impregnated with a vegetal and mineral matrix, with no trace of muscle, skin, fat or hair. "I see burnt remains all the time in my job," says Charlier. "It was obviously not burnt tissue."

The black material was, however, consistent with an embalming mix of wood resins, bitumen and chemicals such as malachite. It was also consistent with gypsum, which gives the mix its plaster smell. The linen cloth had a coating characteristic of mummy wrappings. And large amounts of pine pollen were present. Pine trees did not grow in Normandy at the time that Joan of Arc was killed, but pine resin was used widely in Egypt during embalming.

Two other lines of evidence seem to clinch the mummy origin. Carbon-14 analysis dated the remains to between the third and sixth centuries BC. And the spectrometry profiles of the rib, femur and black chunks matched those from Egyptian mummies from the period, and not those of burnt bones.

Charlier points out that mummies were used in Europe during the Middle Ages in pharmaceutical remedies. The 1867 discovery date also fits the period when Joan of Arc, who had been forgotten for centuries, was rediscovered by historians and created as a national myth. Someone might have forged the relics at this time in an attempt to reinforce her importance.

"It is a fascinating project," says Anastasia Tsaliki, a palaeopathologist at the University of Durham, UK. Palaeopathology is a small but emerging field that attempts to use forensic science to inform history, traditionally a social science. "Philippe's work goes a step further by showing how forensic methods can be combined with tools used in archaeometry, archaeobotany and osteology," says Tsaliki.

Fire-proof organs

Part of the legend of Joan of Arc springs from the observation, documented in historical records, that some of her organs resisted the fire. Hundreds of pages of surviving manuscripts describe in vivid detail how she was burnt three times over to try to ensure that nothing but ash remained, and so prevent her remains being worshipped. The observation of remaining organs was interpreted as a miracle.

But science has another explanation. "In fact, it is very difficult to totally cremate a body; organs such as the heart and intestines, which have a high water content, are very resistant to fire," says Charlier. "We see it all the time in forensics."

Debunking the relics of Joan of Arc will be less controversial than doing the same for the Shroud of Turin, but is still likely to generate large public interest, especially in France. The Church is ready to accept the results, according to Charlier.
時事通信社の日本語の記事とほとんど一緒ですが、そこで触れられていないネイチャー特有の内容というと・・・。

見つかったものはエジプトのミイラとともに猫が見つかったことかな。ネイチャーの記事では、ジャンヌ・ダルクが魔女とされていた点を述べてます。

あと、松の花粉とかも見つかっていますが、当時のノルマンディーでは松は無かったんだそうです。

そしてミイラを薬としていた時代があり、何世紀も忘れられていたジャンヌ・ダルクが歴史家に再発見され、国家的神話として創る為に、重要性を増すことを狙ってこの遺骨が偽造されたのかもしれないと書かれています。

なお、教会はこの結果を進んで受け入れるそうです。聖遺物が一つ減っちゃいましたねぇ~。なんかもったいないような???

しかし、面倒でもできるだけ一次ソースを探してみると、面白いですね。科学雑誌のネイチャーの記事もネットで見れるとは(まあ、雑誌そのままではないのだろうけど)実に幸せな時代だ。感謝&感謝ってね!

英語がお得意の方は、直接読まれると面白いですよ~。

そうそう、ついでにBBCの記事も。
Joan of Arc remains 'are fakes'
【BBCより以下転載】
Joan of Arc remains 'are fakes'

Bones thought to be the holy remains of 15th Century French heroine Joan of Arc were in fact made from an Egyptian mummy and a cat, research has revealed.

In 1867, a jar was found in a Paris pharmacy attic, along with a label claiming it held relics of Joan's body.

But new forensic tests suggest that the remains date from between the third and sixth centuries BC - hundreds of years before Joan was even born.

The study has been reported in the news pages of the Nature journal.

Forensic scientist Dr Philippe Charlier, who led the investigation, told Nature: "I'd never have thought that it could be from a mummy."

Rouen relics

France's national heroine - canonised in 1920 - was convicted of heresy and witchcraft and burned alive in 1431, aged just 19.

The "relics" were said to have been found at the stake in the Normandy town of Rouen where Joan was burned.

The remains consisted of a charred-looking human rib, chunks of what appeared to be blackened wood, a 15-centimetre fragment of linen, and a cat thigh bone.

In medieval Europe it was common practice to throw black cats into the pyres of supposed witches.

Recognised as genuine and sacred by the Church, the "remains" are now housed in a museum in Chinon belonging to the Archdiocese of Tours.

Stink bombshell

Dr Charlier, from the Raymond Poincare Hospital in Garches, near Paris, obtained permission to study the relics from the France's Catholic Church last year.

He used a range of scientific tests such as spectrometry, electron microscopy, and pollen analysis.

Those tests dated the bone to between the seventh and third centuries BC, Dr Charlier said. The cat bone dated from the same period and also was mummified.

The researchers also found pollen from pine trees, probably from resin used in ancient Egyptian embalming. Pines did not grow in Normandy during the 15th Century.

Dr Charlier also recruited two smell experts, Sylvaine Delacourte and Jean-Michel Duriez, from the perfume industry.

They were independently asked to sniff the relics as well as nine other samples of bone and hair from Dr Charlier's lab without being told what they were.

Both smelled hints of "burnt plaster" and "vanilla" in the samples. The plaster smell backs up claims that Joan was burnt on a plaster stake, to make the spectacle last longer.

But a vanilla smell is inconsistent with cremation. It comes from the compound vanillin, which is released during the decomposition of a body.

Medicinal purpose

Analysis of the black crust covering the rib and the cat bone showed that it was not caused by fire, but an embalming mix of wood resins, bitumen and chemicals such as malachite.

In medieval times and later, powdered mummy remains were used for medicinal purposes, "to treat stomach ailments, long or painful periods, all blood problems," Philippe Charlier told the Associated Press.

The researchers' assumption is that a 19th Century apothecary was behind the fake, and transformed the remains of an Egyptian mummy into a fake relic, Dr Charlier said.

Why it was done remains a mystery.

According to Philippe Charlier it was probably not for money: "Perhaps it was for religious reasons.

"Perhaps it was created to increase the importance of the process of beatification in 1909."
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ジャンヌ・ダルクの遺骨は偽物で、エジプトのミイラ=研究者が発表
ジャンヌ・ダルクの遺骨がテストされる


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