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Doubts cast on 1988 Shroud of Turin study

Posted on Tuesday, 6 August, 2019 | Comment icon 36 comments

Could the Shroud of Turin be genuine ? Image Credit: CC 3.0 Mogadir
A new analysis has cast doubt on the findings of a controversial study into the authenticity of the shroud.
During the original study back in 1988, radiocarbon dating was used to determine that the Shroud of Turin - which is believed by many to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus himself - dated to between 1260 and 1390, suggesting that it was in fact a medieval forgery.

Now though, by obtaining the original data through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, a new team of researchers has determined that these results may in fact be unreliable.

"For almost 30 years, scholars asked in vain for the raw data from the three laboratories and the supervising institution, the British Museum," said study leader Tristan Casabianca.

"I graduated in law, so I had the idea to make a legal request based on the Freedom of Information Act. The British Museum was the only institution to fully and quickly answer my request."

It turned out that the original tests had been conducted only on the very edges of the cloth and that the results may have been affected by a fire at the Sainte-Chapelle in 1532.

"The tested samples are obviously heterogeneous from many different dates," said Casabianca. "There is no guarantee that all these samples, taken from one end of the shroud, are representative of the whole fabric."

"It is, therefore, impossible to conclude that the Shroud of Turin dates from the Middle Ages."

Source: NC Register | Comments (36)

Tags: Shroud of Turin

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #27 Posted by ScotDeerie on 7 August, 2019, 22:22
Since they have to take actual threads from the fabric, it is unlikely they got to test the actual image parts. But the overall effect is similar to a printmaking technique called a collagraph, a combination of intaglio and relief. Simply put, you coat the body with paint (or oil or whatever you come up with) and press the cloth to the body creating the reverse image. That's why when you take a photo of it, the image becomes so much more clear. However, the blood details were somewhat irregular and don't pass the inspection of modern day forensic scientists. [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by highdesert50 on 7 August, 2019, 22:36
The Shroud lingers as a 'Canticle for Leibowitz.' Perhaps best to preserve it until the world is fully capable of properly analyzing it and dealing with the consequences.
Comment icon #29 Posted by third_eye on 7 August, 2019, 23:31
Not really sure but I remember (if correctly) it was Constantine 's mom who really made a good go at getting her hands on it. Can't say for sure if it was presented, given or sold, or was just another story to get sonny the throne and an empire...  ~
Comment icon #30 Posted by eight bits on 8 August, 2019, 0:08
I did poke around, and found the UK government site for FOI requests (the British Museum comes under the relevant act because it is publicly funded): What's said there looks pretty much like the way it works in the USA. FOI is not an "adversarial" thing; you find out some agency has some non-confidential data you'd like to see (there are separate provisions for data that are about the person making the request, not the problem here), you ask for the data, and they give them to you. You use FOI because the British Museum is not a public a... [More]
Comment icon #31 Posted by kapow53 on 8 August, 2019, 1:21
Interesting in many ways.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Calibeliever on 9 August, 2019, 14:59
I'm relatively certain it probably was. The provenance of the item has never been questioned post 1360, or so. If there was any hint that it might have undergone a switcharoo, I'm sure that would have come out a long time ago.
Comment icon #33 Posted by ScotDeerie on 9 August, 2019, 15:24
Found this:  "There are little definite historical records concerning the shroud prior to the 14th century. Although there are numerous reports of Jesus' burial shroud, or an image of his head, of unknown origin, being venerated in various locations before the 14th century, there is little but reliable historical evidence that these refer to the shroud currently at Turin Cathedral.[5]" Whole article:    It goes into the various incarnations and rumors and, perhaps, "other" shrouds that have appeared throughout the ages, even one by... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by Calibeliever on 9 August, 2019, 15:33
hmmph, well there you go. I stand corrected. The plot thickens! dun dun dun....
Comment icon #35 Posted by ScotDeerie on 9 August, 2019, 15:39
I haven't read up on it in a long time but it follows with relics being big business that there was more than one shroud being hawked around the Xtian world.  And I suppose the technology kept improving over time, too, so each successive one looked more realistic -- or at least what people expected to see.
Comment icon #36 Posted by DieChecker on 13 August, 2019, 10:19
I tend to agree this has all been discussed before. Many times. The arguements are the same. Basically the testing was correct. The age is correct. The only arguement being in if the area was a patched/repaired area, or original. Only a new sample being tested would determine which is correct, and The Pope isnt allowing it. End of story. This guy's arguements, and conclusions, could be from 20 years ago. I don't see how his new documents really make any difference.

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