HomeIAMURE International Journal of Social Sciencesvol. 8 no. 1 (2013)

Carbon Dating the Image of Apo Santo Cristo de Lubao: From Oral History to Scientific Inquiry

Rodrigo M. Sicat | Xyris Gerard A. Fernandez

Discipline: Social Science



Oral history is important in preserving significant milestones in human experience. This scientific research was conducted to identify the age of the holy Crucifix using radiocarbon dating method. Specifically, it aims to carry out the study by identifying the age of the sacred Cross of the Crucified Image of Christ through radiocarbon dating procedures, and to provide scientific information to the people vis-à-vis results of the carbon dating analysis. Based on the findings of the study, radiocarbon dating analyses showed that Beta-316804 (The Wooden Cross) indicated a measured radiocarbon age Cal AD 1650 to 1690 (Cal BP 300 to 260) compared to Beta-316805 (Image of Christ) Cal AD 1680 to 1730 (Cal BP 270 to 220) as identified by Beta Analytic Incorporated in 2012. Results show that at 2-sigma statistics (95% probability), 2 dates yielded overlapping ranges, indicating that the results are statistically identical. Analyses of samples indicated that samples came from the same tree. Beta-316804 (The Wooden Cross) is slightly older than Beta-316805 (Christ’s Image). In conclusion, the study revealed the proximity of the radiocarbon dating analyses to the traditional accounts of the people of Lubao, Pampanga. Considering the highly sensitive nature of analytical chemistry apparatuses, the time ranges (ages) drawn from the chemical analyses were closely proximate to the dates asserted by oral accounts of the place. The results reveal the antiquity of the Crucifix (Cross and Image of Christ). The results validated the customary and traditional social and religious norms of the people as regards their reverence and devotion to the Crucifix even in this contemporary milieu.