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Shroud of Turin

Shroud of Turin

Overview
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen
Linen
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

 cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma
Physical trauma
Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...

 in a manner consistent with crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

. It is kept
Conservation of the Shroud of Turin
The conservation of the Shroud of Turin refers to the conservation-restoration and enduring preservation of the Shroud of Turin to avoid further damage and contamination. Since 1578 the Shroud is kept in the Royal Chapel of Turin Cathedral , under the laminated bulletproof glass of the airtight case...

 in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (Turin)
Turin Cathedral is the major Roman Catholic church of Turin, northern Italy. Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist , it was built during 1491-1498 and it is adjacent to an earlier campanile...

 in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The image on the shroud
Shroud
Shroud usually refers to an item, such as a cloth, that covers or protects some other object. The term is most often used in reference to burial sheets, winding-cloths or winding-sheets, such as the famous Shroud of Turin or Tachrichim that Jews are dressed in for burial...

 is commonly associated with Jesus Christ, his crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

 and burial. The origins of the shroud and its image are the subject of intense debate among scientists, theologians, historians and researchers.
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Encyclopedia
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen
Linen
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

 cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma
Physical trauma
Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...

 in a manner consistent with crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

. It is kept
Conservation of the Shroud of Turin
The conservation of the Shroud of Turin refers to the conservation-restoration and enduring preservation of the Shroud of Turin to avoid further damage and contamination. Since 1578 the Shroud is kept in the Royal Chapel of Turin Cathedral , under the laminated bulletproof glass of the airtight case...

 in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (Turin)
Turin Cathedral is the major Roman Catholic church of Turin, northern Italy. Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist , it was built during 1491-1498 and it is adjacent to an earlier campanile...

 in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The image on the shroud
Shroud
Shroud usually refers to an item, such as a cloth, that covers or protects some other object. The term is most often used in reference to burial sheets, winding-cloths or winding-sheets, such as the famous Shroud of Turin or Tachrichim that Jews are dressed in for burial...

 is commonly associated with Jesus Christ, his crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

 and burial. The origins of the shroud and its image are the subject of intense debate among scientists, theologians, historians and researchers. The Catholic Church has neither formally endorsed nor rejected the shroud, but in 1958 Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

 approved of the image in association with the Roman Catholic devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus
Holy Face of Jesus
The Holy Face of Jesus is a title for specific images which some Catholics believe to have been miraculously formed representations of the face of Jesus Christ...

.

The image on the shroud is much clearer in black-and-white negative
Negative (photography)
In photography, a negative may refer to three different things, although they are all related.-A negative:Film for 35 mm cameras comes in long narrow strips of chemical-coated plastic or cellulose acetate. As each image is captured by the camera onto the film strip, the film strip advances so that...

 than in its natural sepia color. The negative image was first observed in 1898, on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer. He is best known for taking the first photographs of the Shroud of Turin on May 28, 1898...

, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited in the Turin Cathedral. In 1978 a detailed examination was carried out by a team of American scientists called STURP. They found no reliable evidence of forgery, and called the question of how the image was formed "a mystery".

In 1988, a controversial radiocarbon dating test
Radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth commonly associated with the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, has undergone numerous scientific tests, the most notable of which is radiocarbon dating, in an attempt to determine the relic's authenticity...

 was performed on small samples of the shroud. The laboratories at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
ETH Zurich
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich or ETH Zürich is an engineering, science, technology, mathematics and management university in the City of Zurich, Switzerland....

, concurred that the samples they tested dated from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, between 1260 and 1390. Three peer-reviewed articles have since been published contending that the samples used for the dating test may not have been representative of the whole shroud.

Scientific and popular publications have presented diverse arguments for both authenticity and possible methods of forgery. A variety of scientific theories regarding the shroud have since been proposed, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis. According to former Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

editor Philip Ball
Philip Ball
Philip Ball is an English science writer. He holds a degree in chemistry from Oxford and a doctorate in physics from Bristol University. He was an editor for the journal Nature for over 10 years. He now writes a regular column in Chemistry World...

, "it's fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever. Not least, the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain deeply puzzling". The shroud is one of the most studied artifacts in human history, and one of the most controversial.

Description


The shroud is rectangular, measuring approximately 4.4 × 1.1 m
Metre
The metre , symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units . Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole , its definition has been periodically refined to reflect growing knowledge of metrology...

 (14.3 × 3.7 ft). The cloth is woven in a three-to-one herringbone
Herringbone (cloth)
Herringbone describes a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern usually found in twill fabric. It is distinguished from a plain chevron by the break at reversal, which makes it resemble a broken zigzag. The pattern is called herringbone because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish...

 twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

 composed of flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 fibrils. Its most distinctive characteristic is the faint, brownish image of a front and back view of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin. The two views are aligned along the midplane of the body and point in opposite directions. The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth.

Reddish brown stains that have been said to include whole blood
Whole blood
Whole blood is a term used in transfusion medicine for human blood from a standard blood donation. The blood is typically combined with an anticoagulant during the collection process, but is generally otherwise unprocessed...

 are found on the cloth, showing various wounds that, according to proponents, correlate with the yellowish image, the pathophysiology of crucifixion, and the Biblical description of the death of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

: Markings on the lines include:
  • one wrist bears a large, round wound, claimed to be from piercing (the second wrist is hidden by the folding of the hands)
  • upward gouge in the side penetrating into the thoracic cavity. Proponents claim this was a post-mortem event and there are separate components of red blood cells and serum draining from the lesion
  • small punctures around the forehead and scalp
  • scores of linear wounds on the torso and legs. Proponents claim that the wounds are consistent with the distinctive dumbbell wounds of a Roman flagrum.
  • swelling of the face from severe beatings
  • streams of blood down both arms. Proponents claim that the blood drippings from the main flow occurred in response to gravity at an angle that would occur during crucifixion
  • no evidence of either leg being fractured
  • large puncture wounds in the feet as if pierced by a single spike

The details of the image on the shroud are not easily distinguishable by the naked eye, and were first observed after the advent of photography. In May 1898 amateur Italian photographer Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer. He is best known for taking the first photographs of the Shroud of Turin on May 28, 1898...

 was allowed to photograph the shroud and he took the first photograph of the shroud on the evening of May 28, 1898. Pia was startled by the visible image of the negative plate
Negative (photography)
In photography, a negative may refer to three different things, although they are all related.-A negative:Film for 35 mm cameras comes in long narrow strips of chemical-coated plastic or cellulose acetate. As each image is captured by the camera onto the film strip, the film strip advances so that...

 in his darkroom
Darkroom
A darkroom is a room that can be made completely dark to allow the processing of light sensitive photographic materials, including photographic film and photographic paper. Darkrooms have been created and used since the inception of photography in the early 19th century...

. Negatives of the image give the appearance of a positive image, which implies that the shroud image is itself effectively a negative of some kind. Pia was at first accused of doctoring his photographs, but was vindicated in 1931 when a professional photographer, Giuseppe Enrie, also photographed the shroud and his findings supported Pia's. In 1978 Miller and Pellicori took ultraviolet photograph
Ultraviolet photography
Ultraviolet photography is a photographic process of recording images by using light from the ultraviolet spectrum only.-Overview:Light which is visible to the human eye covers the spectral region from about 400 to 750 nanometers. This is the radiation spectrum used in normal photography...

s of the shroud.

The image of the "Man of the Shroud" has a beard, moustache, and shoulder-length hair parted in the middle. He is muscular and tall (various experts have measured him as from 1.70 m, or roughly 5 ft 7 in, to 1.88 m, or 6 ft 2 in).
The shroud was damaged in a fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery
Chambéry
Chambéry is a city in the department of Savoie, located in the Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.It is the capital of the department and has been the historical capital of the Savoy region since the 13th century, when Amadeus V of Savoy made the city his seat of power.-Geography:Chambéry...

, France. There are some burn holes and scorched areas down both sides of the linen, caused by contact with molten silver during the fire that burned through it in places while it was folded. Fourteen large triangular patches and eight smaller ones were sewn onto the cloth by Poor Clare nuns to repair the damage.

History


The historical records for the shroud can be separated into two time periods: before 1390 and from 1390 to the present. The period until 1390 is subject to debate and controversy among historians. Prior to the 14th century there are some congruent references such as the Pray Codex
Pray Codex
The Codex Pray, Pray Codex or The Hungarian Pray Manuscript is a collection of medieval manuscripts. In 1813 it was named after György Pray, who discovered it in 1770. It is the first known example of continuous prose text in Hungarian. The Codex is kept in the National Széchényi Library of...

. It is often mentioned that the first certain historical record dates from 1353 or 1357. However the presence of the Turin Shroud in Lirey
Lirey
Lirey is a commune in the Aube department in north-central France.The Shroud of Turin was found and exposed in the collegiate church created by Geoffroi de Charny in Lirey between 1355 to 1453, before its transfer to Chambéry then to Turin.-Population:...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, is only undoubtedly attested in 1390 when Bishop Pierre d'Arcis wrote a memorandum
Memorandum
A memorandum is from the Latin verbal phrase memorandum est, the gerundive form of the verb memoro, "to mention, call to mind, recount, relate", which means "It must be remembered ..."...

 to Antipope Clement VII
Antipope Clement VII
Robert of Geneva was elected to the papacy as Pope Clement VII by the French cardinals who opposed Urban VI, and was the first Avignon antipope of the Western Schism.-Biography:...

, stating that the shroud was a forgery and that the artist had confessed. The history from the 15th century to the present is well understood. In 1453 Margaret de Charny deeded the Shroud to the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

. In 1578 the shroud was transferred in Turin. As of the 17th century the shroud has been displayed (e.g. in the chapel built for that purpose by Guarino Guarini) and in the 19th century it was first photographed during a public exhibition.

There are no 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 no historical evidence that these refer to the shroud currently at Turin Cathedral. A burial cloth, which some historians maintain was the Shroud, was owned by the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 emperors but disappeared during the Sack of Constantinople in 1204.
Historical records seem to indicate that a shroud bearing an image of a crucified man existed in the small town of Lirey around the years 1353 to 1357 in the possession of a French Knight, Geoffroi de Charny
Geoffroi de Charny
Geoffroi de Charny was a French knight and author of at least three works on chivalry. Geoffroi was a knight in the service of King John II of France and a founding member of the Order of the Star, an order of chivalry founded on 6 November 1351 by John II of France in imitation of the Order of...

, who died at the Battle of Poitiers
Battle of Poitiers (1356)
The Battle of Poitiers was fought between the Kingdoms of England and France on 19 September 1356 near Poitiers, resulting in the second of the three great English victories of the Hundred Years' War: Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt....

 in 1356. However the correspondence of this shroud with the shroud in Turin, and its very origin has been debated by scholars and lay authors, with claims of forgery attributed to artists born a century apart. Some contend that the Lirey shroud was the work of a confessed forger and murderer or forged by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

.

The history of the shroud from the 15th century is well recorded. In 1532, the shroud suffered damage from a fire in a chapel of Chambéry
Chambéry
Chambéry is a city in the department of Savoie, located in the Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.It is the capital of the department and has been the historical capital of the Savoy region since the 13th century, when Amadeus V of Savoy made the city his seat of power.-Geography:Chambéry...

, capital of the Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 region, where it was stored. A drop of molten silver from the reliquary produced a symmetrically placed mark through the layers of the folded cloth. Poor Clare Nuns attempted to repair this damage with patches. In 1578 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
Emmanuel Philibert was Duke of Savoy from 1553 to 1580....

 ordered the cloth to be brought from Chambéry to Turin and it has remained at Turin ever since.

Repairs were made to the shroud in 1694 by Sebastian Valfrè
Sebastian Valfrè
Sebastian Valfrè was a Catholic priest and member of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. He was beatified on 31 August 1834. His feast day is January 30....

 to improve the repairs of the Poor Clare nuns. Further repairs were made in 1868 by Clotilde of Savoy. The shroud remained the property of the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

 until 1983, when it was given to the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, the rule of the House of Savoy having ended in 1946.

A fire, possibly caused by arson
Arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

, threatened the shroud on 11 April 1997. In 2002, the Holy See had the shroud restored. The cloth backing and thirty patches were removed, making it possible to photograph and scan the reverse side of the cloth, which had been hidden from view. A ghostly part-image of the body was found on the back of the shroud in 2004. The most recent public exhibition of the Shroud was in 2010.

Religious perspective


Religious beliefs about the burial cloths of Jesus have existed for centuries. The Gospels of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

, Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

and Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

state that Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' Crucifixion. He is mentioned in all four Gospels.-Gospel references:...

 wrapped the body of Jesus in a piece of linen cloth and placed it in a new tomb. The Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

refers to strips of linen used by Joseph of Arimathea and John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

states that Apostle Peter found multiple pieces of burial cloth after the tomb was found open, strips of linen cloth for the body and a separate cloth for the head.

Although pieces of burial cloths of Jesus are claimed by at least four churches in France and three in Italy, none has gathered as much religious following as the Shroud of Turin. The religious beliefs and practices associated with the shroud predate historical and scientific discussions and have continued in the 21st century, although the Catholic Church has never claimed its authenticity. An example is the Holy Face Medal bearing the image from the shroud, worn by some Catholics.

John Calvin on the shroud


In 1543 John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

, in his Treatise on Relics, wrote of the shroud, which was then at Nice (it was moved to Turin in 1578), "How is it possible that those sacred historians, who carefully related all the miracles that took place at Christ’s death, should have omitted to mention one so remarkable as the likeness of the body of our Lord remaining on its wrapping sheet?" He also noted that, according to St. John, there was one sheet covering Jesus's body, and a separate cloth covering his head. He then stated that "either St. John is a liar," or else anyone who promotes such a shroud is "convicted of falsehood and deceit".

Devotions


Although the shroud image is currently associated with Catholic devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus
Holy Face of Jesus
The Holy Face of Jesus is a title for specific images which some Catholics believe to have been miraculously formed representations of the face of Jesus Christ...

, the devotions themselves predate Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer. He is best known for taking the first photographs of the Shroud of Turin on May 28, 1898...

's 1898 photograph. Such devotions had been started in 1844 by the Carmelite nun Marie of St Peter
Marie of St Peter
Sister Marie of St Peter was a Carmelite nun who lived in Tours, France. She is best known for starting the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus which is now one of the approved Catholic devotions and for the Golden Arrow Prayer....

 (based on "pre-crucifixion" images associated with the Veil of Veronica
Veil of Veronica
The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium , often called simply "The Veronica" and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face is a Catholic relic, which, according to legend, bears the likeness of the Face of Jesus not made by human hand The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium (Latin for sweat-cloth),...

) and promoted by Leo Dupont
Leo Dupont
Venerable Leo Dupont , also known as "The Holy Man of Tours," or the "Apostle of the Holy Face", was a religious figure in the Roman Catholic faith who helped spread various Catholic devotions such as the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus and nightly Eucharistic Adoration...

, also called the Apostle of the Holy Face. In 1851 Leo Dupont formed the "Archconfraternity of the Holy Face" in Tours
Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

, France, well before Secondo Pia took the photograph of the shroud.

Miraculous image


The religious concept of "miraculous image" has been applied to the Shroud of Turin, as it has been applied to other religious artifacts such as the image of the Virgin Mary
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe , also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary.According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady...

 on the cloak in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic church, minor basilica and National Shrine of Mexico in the north of Mexico City. The shrine was built nearby the place where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin...

 on Tepeyac hill in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

.

Without debating scientific issues, some believers state as a matter of faith that empirical analysis and scientific methods will perhaps never advance to a level sufficient for understanding the divine methods used for image formation on the shroud, since the body around whom the shroud was wrapped was not merely human, but divine, and believe that the image on the shroud was miraculously produced at the moment of Resurrection.

Vatican position


Antipope Clement VII
Antipope Clement VII
Robert of Geneva was elected to the papacy as Pope Clement VII by the French cardinals who opposed Urban VI, and was the first Avignon antipope of the Western Schism.-Biography:...

 refrained from expressing his opinion on the shroud; however, subsequent popes from Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 on took its authenticity for granted.

The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano covered the story of Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer. He is best known for taking the first photographs of the Shroud of Turin on May 28, 1898...

's photograph of May 28, 1898 in its June 15, 1898 edition, but it did so with no comment and thereafter Church officials generally refrained from officially commenting on the photograph for almost half a century.

The first official association between the image on the Shroud and the Catholic Church was made in 1940 based on the formal request by Sister Maria Pierina
Maria Pierina
Blessed Maria Pierina De Micheli was a Roman Catholic religious Sister who was born near Milan in Italy. She is best known for her association with the Holy Face of Jesus and for introducing a medal bearing an image from the Shroud of Turin as part of this devotion.In April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI...

 De Micheli to the curia in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 to obtain authorization to produce a medal with the image. The authorization was granted and the first medal with the image was offered to Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

 who approved the medal. The image was then used on what became known as the Holy Face Medal worn by many Catholics, initially as a means of protection during World War II. In 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image in association with the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, and declared its feast
Feast of the Holy Winding Sheet of Christ
In 1958 Pope Pius XII declared that the Feast of the Holy Winding Sheet of Christ was to be kept on the day before Ash Wednesday.-History:...

 to be celebrated every year the day before Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

. Following the approval by Pope Pius XII, Catholic devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus have been almost exclusively associated with the image on the shroud.

In 1983 the Shroud was given to the Holy See by the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

. However, as with all relics of this kind, the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 made no pronouncements claiming whether it is Jesus' burial shroud, or if it is a forgery. As with other approved Catholic devotions
Catholic devotions
A Roman Catholic devotion is a gift of oneself, or one's activities to God. It is a willingness and desire to dedicate oneself to serve God; either in terms of prayers or in terms of a set of pious acts such as the adoration of God or the veneration of the saints or the Virgin Mary.Roman Catholic...

, the matter has been left to the personal decision of the faithful, as long as the Church does not issue a future notification to the contrary. In the Church's view, whether the cloth is authentic or not has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of what Jesus taught nor on the saving power of his death and resurrection.

Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 stated in 1998 that: "Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate, so that satisfactory answers may be found to the questions connected with this Sheet". Pope John Paul II showed himself to be deeply moved by the image of the Shroud and arranged for public showings in 1998 and 2000. In his address at the Turin Cathedral on Sunday May 24, 1998 (the occasion of the 100th year of Secondo Pia's May 28, 1898 photograph), he said: "The Shroud is an image of God's love as well as of human sin [...] The imprint left by the tortured body of the Crucified One, which attests to the tremendous human capacity for causing pain and death to one's fellow man, stands as an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age." In 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that the Shroud of Turin is ″a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing. In some inexplicable way, it appeared imprinted upon cloth and claimed to show the true face of Christ, the crucified and risen Lord."

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 has not publicly commented on the Shroud's authenticity, but has taken steps that indirectly affect the Shroud. In June 2008 he approved the public display of the Shroud in the spring of 2010 and stated that he would like to go to Turin to see it along with other pilgrims. During his visit in Turin on Sunday May 2, 2010, Benedict XVI described the Shroud of Turin as an "extraordinary Icon", the "Icon of Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday , sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter...

 [...] corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus", "an Icon written in blood, the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced". The pope said also that in the Turin Shroud "we see, as in a mirror, our suffering in the suffering of Christ". On May 30, 2010, Benedict XVI beatified
Beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...

 Sister Maria Pierina De Micheli who coined the Holy Face Medal, based on Secondo Pia's photograph of the Shroud.

Scientific perspective


The term sindonology (from the Greek σινδών—sindon, the word used in the Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

to describe the type of the burial cloth of Jesus) is used to refer to the formal study of the Shroud.

Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia
Secondo Pia was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer. He is best known for taking the first photographs of the Shroud of Turin on May 28, 1898...

's 1898 photographs of the shroud allowed the scientific community to begin to study it. A variety of scientific theories regarding the shroud have since been proposed, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis. Very few scientists (e.g. STURP and the Radiocarbon dating teams
Radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth commonly associated with the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, has undergone numerous scientific tests, the most notable of which is radiocarbon dating, in an attempt to determine the relic's authenticity...

) have had direct access to the shroud or very small samples from it, and most theories have been proposed "long distance" by the analysis of images, or via secondary sources. The scientific approaches to the study of the Shroud fall into three groups: material analysis (both chemical and historical), biology and medical forensics and image analysis.

Early studies



The initial steps towards the scientific study of the shroud were taken soon after the first set of black and white photographs became available early in the 20th century. In 1902 Yves Delage, a French professor of comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny .-Description:...

 published the first study on the subject. Delage declared the image anatomically flawless and argued that the features of rigor mortis
Rigor mortis
Rigor mortis is one of the recognizable signs of death that is caused by a chemical change in the muscles after death, causing the limbs of the corpse to become stiff and difficult to move or manipulate...

, wounds, and blood flows were evidence that the image was formed by direct or indirect contact with a corpse. William Meacham mentions several other medical studies between 1936 and 1981 that agree with Delage. However, these were all indirect studies without access to the shroud itself.

The first direct examination of the shroud by a scientific team was undertaken in 1969–1973 in order to advise on preservation of the shroud and determine specific testing methods. This led to the appointment of an 11-member Turin Commission to advise on the preservation of the relic and on specific testing. Five of the commission members were scientists, and preliminary studies of samples of the fabric were conducted in 1973.

In 1976 physicist John P. Jackson, thermodynamicist Eric Jumper and photographer William Mottern used image analysis
Image analysis
Image analysis is the extraction of meaningful information from images; mainly from digital images by means of digital image processing techniques...

 technologies developed in aerospace science for analyzing the images of the Shroud. In 1977 these three scientists and over thirty others formed the Shroud of Turin Research Project
Shroud of Turin Research Project
The Shroud of Turin Research Project refers to a team of scientists which at the late 1970s early 1980s performed a set of experimentsand analyses on the Shroud of Turin. STURP issued its final report in 1981....

. In 1978 this group, often called STURP, was given direct access to the Shroud.

Material chemical analysis



Radiocarbon dating


After years of discussion, the Holy See permitted radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 on portions of a swatch taken from a corner of the shroud. Independent tests in 1988 at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
ETH Zurich
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich or ETH Zürich is an engineering, science, technology, mathematics and management university in the City of Zurich, Switzerland....

 concluded that the shroud material dated to 1260–1390 AD, with 95% confidence. This 13th to 14th century dating matches the first appearance of the shroud in church history, and is somewhat later than art historian W.S.A. Dale's estimate of an 11th century date based on art-historical grounds. Criticisms have been raised regarding the sample taken for testing (it may have come from medieval repair fragments), although not the quality of the radiocarbon testing itself. In 2005, Raymond Rogers
Raymond Rogers
Raymond N. Rogers was an American chemist who was considered a leading expert in thermal analysis. To the general public, however, he was best known for his work on the Shroud of Turin.-Biography:...

, who conducted chemical analysis for the Shroud of Turin Research Project
Shroud of Turin Research Project
The Shroud of Turin Research Project refers to a team of scientists which at the late 1970s early 1980s performed a set of experimentsand analyses on the Shroud of Turin. STURP issued its final report in 1981....

 stated that after further study he was convinced that: "The worst possible sample for carbon dating was taken."

Tests for pigments


In 1970s a special eleven-member Turin Commission conducted several tests. Conventional and electron microscopic examination of the Shroud at that time revealed an absence of heterogeneous coloring material or pigment. In 1979, Walter McCrone
Walter McCrone
Walter Cox McCrone was an American chemist who was considered a leading expert in microscopy. To the general public, however, he was best known for his work on the Shroud of Turin, the Vinland map, and Forensic science.-Biography:...

, upon analyzing the samples he was given by STURP, concluded that the image is actually made up of billions of submicrometre pigment particles. The only fibril
Fibril
Fibril is a fine fiber approximately 1 nm in diameter.Cytoplasmic fibrils are observed on the protoplasmic cylinders found in most spirochetal species, although no function of the cytoplasmic fibrils has been ascribed....

s that had been made available for testing of the stains were those that remained affixed to custom-designed adhesive tape applied to thirty-two different sections of the image.

John Heller and Alan Adler examined the same samples and agreed with McCrone's result that the cloth contains iron oxide. However, they concluded, the exceptional purity of the chemical and comparisons with other ancient textiles showed that, while retting flax absorbs iron selectively, the iron itself was not the source of the image on the shroud. Other microscopic analysis of the fibers seems to indicate that the image is strictly limited to the carbohydrate layer, with no additional layer of pigment visible.

Historical fabrics


In 2000, fragments of a burial shroud from the 1st century were discovered in a tomb near Jerusalem, believed to have belonged to a Jewish high priest or member of the aristocracy. The shroud was composed of a simple two-way weave, unlike the complex herringbone
Herringbone (cloth)
Herringbone describes a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern usually found in twill fabric. It is distinguished from a plain chevron by the break at reversal, which makes it resemble a broken zigzag. The pattern is called herringbone because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish...

 twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

 of the Turin Shroud. Based on this discovery, the researchers stated that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem.
According to textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg of Hamburg, a seam in the cloth corresponds to a fabric found only at the fortress of Masada
Masada
Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau, or horst, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is best known for the violence that occurred there in the first century CE...

 near the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

, which dated to the 1st century. The weaving pattern, 3:1 twill, is consistent with first-century Syrian design, according to the appraisal of Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology in Belgium. Flury-Lemberg stated, "The linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin does not display any weaving or sewing techniques which would speak against its origin as a high-quality product of the textile workers of the first century."

In 1999, Mark Guscin investigated the relationship between the shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo
Sudarium of Oviedo
The Sudarium of Oviedo, or Shroud of Oviedo, is a bloodstained cloth, measuring c. 84 x 53 cm, kept in the Cámara Santa of the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain. The Sudarium is claimed to be the cloth wrapped around the head of Jesus Christ after he died, as mentioned in the Gospel of...

, claimed as the cloth that covered the head of Jesus in the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

when the empty tomb was discovered. The Sudarium is also reported to have type AB blood stains. Guscin concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time. Avinoam Danin (see below) concurred with this analysis, adding that the pollen grains in the Sudarium match those of the shroud. Skeptics criticize the polarized image overlay technique of Guscin and suggest that pollen from Jerusalem could have followed any number of paths to find its way to the sudarium.

In 2002, Aldo Guerreschi and Michele Salcito argued that many of these marks on the fabric of the shroud stem from a much earlier time because the symmetries correspond more to the folding that would have been necessary to store the cloth in a clay jar (like cloth samples at Qumran
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

) than to that necessary to store it in the reliquary that housed it in 1532.

Dirt particles


Joseph Kohlbeck from the Hercules Aerospace Company in Utah and Richard Levi-Setti of the Enrico Fermi Institute
Enrico Fermi Institute
The Institute for Nuclear Studies was founded September, 1945 as part of the University of Chicago with Samuel King Allison as director. On November 20, 1955 it was renamed The Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies...

 examined some dirt particles from the Shroud surface. The dirt was found to be travertine
Travertine
Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot...

 aragonite
Aragonite
Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the two common, naturally occurring, crystal forms of calcium carbonate, CaCO3...

 limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

. Using a high-resolution microprobe, Levi-Setti and Kolbeck compared the spectra of samples taken from the Shroud with samples of limestone from ancient Jerusalem
History of Jerusalem
During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world....

 tombs. The chemical signatures of the Shroud samples and the tomb limestone were found identical except for minute fragments of cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

 linen fiber that could not be separated from the Shroud samples.

Blood stains


There are several reddish stains on the shroud suggesting blood, but it is uncertain whether these stains were produced at the same time as the image, or afterwards. McCrone (see painting hypothesis) identified these as containing iron oxide
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

, theorizing that its presence was likely due to simple pigment materials used in medieval times. Other researchers, including Alan Adler, identified the reddish stains as blood and interpreted the iron oxide
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

 as a natural residue of hemoglobin
Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of all vertebrates, with the exception of the fish family Channichthyidae, as well as the tissues of some invertebrates...

.

Heller and Adler further studied the dark red stains and determined and identified hemoglobin
Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of all vertebrates, with the exception of the fish family Channichthyidae, as well as the tissues of some invertebrates...

, establishing, within claimed scientific certainty, the presence of porphyrin
Porphyrin
Porphyrins are a group of organic compounds, many naturally occurring. One of the best-known porphyrins is heme, the pigment in red blood cells; heme is a cofactor of the protein hemoglobin. Porphyrins are heterocyclic macrocycles composed of four modified pyrrole subunits interconnected at...

, bilirubin
Bilirubin
Bilirubin is the yellow breakdown product of normal heme catabolism. Heme is found in hemoglobin, a principal component of red blood cells. Bilirubin is excreted in bile and urine, and elevated levels may indicate certain diseases...

, albumin
Albumin
Albumin refers generally to any protein that is water soluble, which is moderately soluble in concentrated salt solutions, and experiences heat denaturation. They are commonly found in blood plasma, and are unique to other blood proteins in that they are not glycosylated...

, and protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

. Working independently forensic pathologist Pier Luigi Baima Bollone, concurred with Heller and Adler's findings and identified the blood as AB blood group. Subsequently, STURP sent blood flecks to the laboratory devoted to the study of ancient blood at the State University of New York
State University of New York
The State University of New York, abbreviated SUNY , is a system of public institutions of higher education in New York, United States. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 465,000 students, plus...

 (SUNY). Dr. Andrew Merriwether at SUNY stated that no blood typing could be confirmed, and the DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 was badly fragmented. He stated that it is almost certain that the blood spots are blood, but no definitive statements can be made about its nature or provenience, i.e., whether it is male and from the Near East."

Joe Nickell
Joe Nickell
Joe Nickell is a prominent skeptical investigator of the paranormal. He also works as an historical document consultant and has helped expose such famous forgeries as the purported diary of Jack the Ripper. In 2002 he was one of a number of experts asked by scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr...

 argues that results similar to Heller and Adler's could be obtained from tempera
Tempera
Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium . Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist...

 paint. Skeptics also cite other forensic blood tests whose results dispute the authenticity of the Shroud that the blood could belong to a person handling the shroud, and that the apparent blood flows on the shroud are unrealistically neat.

Flowers and pollen


In 1997 Avinoam Danin, a botanist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

, reported that he had identified the type of Chrysanthemum coronarium, Cistus creticus
Cistus creticus
Cistus creticus is a species of shrubby plant in the family Cistaceae. Though it usually has pink flowers, of 4.5-5 cm diameter, this species is very variable. It is widely known as a decorative plant.-Subtaxa:*Cistus creticus subsp. creticus...

and Zygophyllum
Zygophyllum
Zygophyllum is the type genus of the flowering plant family Zygophyllaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek words ζυγόν , meaning "yoke," and φυλλον , meaning "leaf." It refers to the leaves, each of which have two leaflets...

whose pressed image on the shroud was first noticed by Alan Whanger in 1985 on the photographs of the shroud taken in 1931. He reported that the outlines of the flowering plants would point to March or April and the environs of Jerusalem. In a separate report in 1978 Danin and Uri Baruch reported on the pollen grains on the cloth samples, stating that they were appropriate to the spring in Israel. Max Frei, a Swiss police criminologist who initially obtained pollen from the shroud during the STURP investigation stated that of the 58 different types of pollens found, 45 were from the Jerusalem area, while 6 were from the eastern Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, with one pollen species growing exclusively in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, and two found in Edessa
Edessa
Edessa may refer to:*Edessa, Greece*Edessa, Mesopotamia, now Şanlıurfa, Turkey*County of Edessa, a crusader state*Osroene, an ancient kingdom and province of the Roman Empire...

, Turkey. Mark Antonacci argues that the pollen evidence and flower images are inherently interwoven and strengthen each other.

Skeptics have argued that the flower images are too faint for Danin's determination to be definite, that an independent review of the pollen strands showed that one strand out of the 26 provided contained significantly more pollen than the others, perhaps pointing to deliberate contamination. Skeptics also argue that Max Frei had previously been duped in his examination of the Hitler Diaries
Hitler Diaries
In April 1983, the West German news magazine Stern published excerpts from what purported to be the diaries of Adolf Hitler, known as the Hitler Diaries , which were subsequently revealed to be forgeries...

 and that he may have also been duped in this case, or may have introduced the pollens himself. J. Beaulieau has stated that Frei was a self-taught amateur palynologist, was not properly trained, and that his sample was too small.

In 2008 Avinoam Danin reported analysis based on the ultraviolet photograph
Ultraviolet photography
Ultraviolet photography is a photographic process of recording images by using light from the ultraviolet spectrum only.-Overview:Light which is visible to the human eye covers the spectral region from about 400 to 750 nanometers. This is the radiation spectrum used in normal photography...

s of Miller and Pellicori taken in 1978. Danin reported five new species of flower, which also bloom in March and April and stated that a comparison of the 1931 black and white photographs and the 1978 ultraviolet images indicate that the flower images are genuine and not the artifact of a specific method of photography.

Anatomical forensics


A number of studies on the anatomical consistency of the image on the shroud and the nature of the wounds on it have been performed, following the initial study by Yves Delage in 1902. While Delage declared the image anatomically flawless, others have presented arguments to support both authenticity and forgery.

In 1950 physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 Pierre Barbet
Pierre Barbet (physician)
Pierre Barbet was a French physician, and the chief surgeon at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Paris.By performing various experiments, Barbet introduced a set of theories on the Crucifixion of Jesus....

 wrote a long study called A Doctor at Calvary which was later published as a book. Barbet stated that his experience as a battlefield surgeon during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 led him to conclude that the image on the shroud was authentic, anatomically correct and consistent with crucifixion.

In 1997 physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 and forensic pathologist Robert Bucklin constructed a scenario of how a systematic autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 on the man of the shroud would have been conducted. He noted the series of traumatic injuries which extend from the shoulder areas to the lower portion of the back, which he considered consistent with whipping; and marks on the right shoulder blade which he concluded were signs of carrying a heavy object. Bucklin concluded that the image was of a real person, subject to crucifixion.

For over a decade, medical examiner
Medical examiner
A medical examiner is a medically qualified government officer whose duty is to investigate deaths and injuries that occur under unusual or suspicious circumstances, to perform post-mortem examinations, and in some jurisdictions to initiate inquests....

 Frederick Zugibe
Frederick Zugibe
Dr. Frederick Thomas Zugibe is an American expert in forensic medicine. He was the chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York from 1969 to 2002...

 performed a number of studies using himself and volunteers suspended from a cross, and presented his conclusions in a book in 1998. Zugibe considers the shroud image and its proportions as authentic, but disagrees with Barbet and Bucklin on various details such as blood flow. Zugibe concluded that the image on the shroud is of the body of a man, but that the body had been washed.

In 2001, Pierluigi Baima Bollone, a professor of forensic medicine in Turin, stated that the forensic examination of the wounds and bloodstains on the Shroud indicate that the image was that of the dead body of a man who was whipped, wounded around the head by a pointed instrument and nailed at the extremities before dying.

In 2010 Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical measurements, wrote that "apart from the hands afterward placed on the pubic area, the front and back images are compatible with the Shroud being used to wrap the body of a man 175±2 cm tall, which, due to cadaveric rigidity, remained in the same position it would have assumed during crucifixion".

Artist Isabel Piczek stated in 1995 that while a general research opinion sees a flatly reclining body on the Shroud, the professional figurative artist can see substantial differences from a flatly reclining position. She stated that the professional arts cannot find discrepancies and distortions in the anatomy of the "Shroud Man".

Artist Lillian Schwartz, who had previously claimed to have matched the face of the Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa is a portrait by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is a painting in oil on a poplar panel, completed circa 1503–1519...

to a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, stated in 2009 that the proportions of the face image on the shroud are correct, and that they match the dimensions of the face of da Vinci.

Authors Joe Nickell, in 1983, and Gregory S. Paul
Gregory S. Paul
Gregory Scott Paul is a freelance researcher, author and illustrator who works in paleontology, and more recently has examined sociology and theology. He is best known for his work and research on theropod dinosaurs and his detailed illustrations, both live and skeletal...

 in 2010, separately state that the proportions
Body proportions
While there is significant variation in anatomical proportions between people, there are many references to body proportions that are intended to be canonical, either in art, measurement, or medicine....

 of the image are not realistic. Paul stated that the face and proportions of the shroud image are impossible, that the figure cannot represent that of an actual person and that the posture was inconsistent. They argued that the forehead on the shroud is too small; and that the arms are too long and of different lengths and that the distance from the eyebrows to the top of the head is non-representative. They concluded that the features can be explained if the shroud is a work of a Gothic art
Gothic art
Gothic art was a Medieval art movement that developed in France out of Romanesque art in the mid-12th century, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, but took over art more completely north of the Alps, never quite effacing more classical...

ist.

Image analysis


Both Digital image processing
Digital image processing
Digital image processing is the use of computer algorithms to perform image processing on digital images. As a subcategory or field of digital signal processing, digital image processing has many advantages over analog image processing...

 and analog techniques have been applied to the shroud images.

The VP8 Image Analyzer
VP8 Image Analyzer
The VP8 Image Analyzer is an analog computer produced by Pete Schumacher of Interpretations Systems Incorporated in 1972. An analog computer simply processes an image and provides the result - the output cannot be manipulated, unlike digital computers....

 was produced by Pete Schumacher of Interpretations Systems Incorporated and was delivered by him to John Jackson and Eric Jumper in Colorado Springs in 1976. It showed the Shroud image has properties that, when processed through this analog computer, yield a 3-dimensional image. Rather than being like a photographic negative, the shroud image unexpectedly has the property of decoding into a 3-dimensional image of the man when the darker parts of the image are interpreted to be those features of the man that were closest to the shroud and the lighter areas of the image those features that were farthest. This is not a property that occurs in photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

, and researchers could not replicate the effect when they attempted to transfer similar images using techniques of block print, engravings, a hot statue, and bas-relief.

NASA researchers Jackson, Jumper, and Stephenson report detecting the impressions of coins placed on both eyes after a digital study in 1978. The two-lepton
Greek lepton
Lepton pl. Lepta is the name of various fractional units of currency used in the Greek-speaking world from antiquity until today...

 coin on the right eyelid was presumably coined under Pilate in 29-30, while the one-lepton coin on the left eyebrow was minted in 29. Greek and Latin letters were reported as written near the face in 1979. These were further studied by André Marion, professor at the École supérieure d'optique and his student Anne Laure Courage, in 1997. Subsequently, computerized analysis and microdensitometer, other writings were reported, among them INNECEM (a shortened form of Latin "in necem ibis"—"you will go to death"), NNAZAPE(N)NUS (Nazarene), IHSOY (Jesus) and IC (Iesus Chrestus). The uncertain letters IBE(R?) have been conjectured as "Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

". Linguist Mark Guscin disputed the reports of Marion and Courage. He stated that the inscriptions made little grammatical or historical sense and that they did not appear on the slides that Marion and Courage indicated. The authenticity of the alleged coins has also come under dispute.

In 2004, in an article in Journal of Optics A, Fanti and Maggiolo reported finding a faint second face on the backside of the cloth, after the 2002 restoration.

The front image of the Turin Shroud, 1.95 m long, is not directly compatible with the back image, 2.02 m long. In order to verify the possibility that both images were generated by the same human body, a numeric-anthropomorphous manikin was constructed by computer and wrapped in the digitized front and back images. Kinematic analysis showed that the front and back images are compatible with the Shroud being used to wrap the body of a man 175±2 cm tall, which, due to cadaveric rigidity, remained in the same position it would have assumed during crucifixion.

Hypotheses on image origin


Many hypotheses have been formulated and tested to explain the image on the Shroud. To date, despite numerous and often media-related claims, it can be said that "the body image of the Turin Shroud has not yet been explained by traditional science; so a great interest in a possible mechanism of image formation still exists."

Painting


The technique used for producing the image is, according to W. McCrone, already described in a book about medieval painting published in 1847 by Charles Lock Eastlake
Charles Lock Eastlake
Sir Charles Lock Eastlake RA was an English painter, gallery director, collector and writer of the early 19th century.-Early life:...

 ("Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters"). Eastlake describes in the chapter "Practice of Painting Generally During the XIVth Century" a special technique of painting on linen using tempera paint, which produces images with unusual transparent features—which McCrone compares to the image on the shroud.

This hypothesis was declared to be unsound as the X-ray fluorescence
X-ray fluorescence
X-ray fluorescence is the emission of characteristic "secondary" X-rays from a material that has been excited by bombarding with high-energy X-rays or gamma rays...

 examination, as well as infrared thermography, did not point out any pigment. It was also found that 25 different solvents, among them water, do not reduce or sponge out the image. The non-paint origin has been further claimed by Fourier transform
Fourier transform
In mathematics, Fourier analysis is a subject area which grew from the study of Fourier series. The subject began with the study of the way general functions may be represented by sums of simpler trigonometric functions...

 of the image: common paintings show a directionality that is absent from the Turin Shroud.

Photographic image production


According to the art historian Nicholas Allen the image on the shroud was formed by a photographic technique in the 13th century. Allen maintains that techniques already available before the 14th century—e.g., as described in the Book of Optics
Book of Optics
The Book of Optics ; ; Latin: De Aspectibus or Opticae Thesaurus: Alhazeni Arabis; Italian: Deli Aspecti) is a seven-volume treatise on optics and other fields of study composed by the medieval Muslim scholar Alhazen .-See also:* Science in medieval Islam...

, which was at just that time translated from Arabic to Latin—were sufficient to produce primitive photographs, and that people familiar with these techniques would have been able to produce an image as found on the shroud. To demonstrate this, he successfully produced photographic images similar to the shroud using only techniques and materials available at the time the shroud was made. He described his results in his PhD thesis, in papers published in several science journals, and in a book.

However a double photographic exposure, needed in that case, should have considered the distances and in such case there would be areas of photographic superimposition
Superimposition
In graphics, superimposition is the placement of an image or video on top of an already-existing image or video, usually to add to the overall image effect, but also sometimes to conceal something .This technique is used in cartography to produce photomaps by superimposing grid lines, contour lines...

 with different lights and shades. The distances on Shroud instead correspond to the body position.

Dust-transfer technique


Scientists Emily Craig and Randall Bresee have attempted to recreate the likenesses of the shroud through the dust-transfer technique, which could have been done by medieval arts. They first did a carbon-dust drawing of a Jesus-like face (using collagen dust) on a newsprint made from wood pulp (which is similar to 13th and 14th century paper). They next placed the drawing on a table and covered it with a piece of linen. They then pressed the linen against the newsprint by firmly rubbing with the flat side of a wooden spoon. By doing this they managed to create a reddish brown image with a life-like positive likeness of a person, a three dimensional image and no sign of brush strokes. However, according to Fanti and Moroni, this does not reproduce many special features of the Shroud at microscopic level.

Bas-relief


Another hypothesis suggests that the Shroud may have been formed using a bas-relief sculpture. Researcher Jacques di Costanzo, noting that the Shroud image seems to have a three-dimensional quality, suggested that perhaps the image was formed using an actual three-dimensional object, such as a sculpture. While wrapping a cloth around a life-sized statue would result in a distorted image, placing a cloth over a bas-relief would result in an image like the one seen on the shroud. To demonstrate the plausibility of his hypothesis, Costanzo constructed a bas-relief of a Jesus-like face and draped wet linen over the bas-relief. After the linen dried, he dabbed it with a mixture of ferric oxide and gelatine. The result was an image similar to that of the Shroud. The imprinted image turned out to be wash-resistant, impervious to temperatures of 250 °C (482 °F) and was undamaged by exposure to a range of harsh chemicals, including bisulphite which, without the help of the gelatine, would normally have degraded ferric oxide to the compound ferrous oxide. Similar results have been obtained by former stage magician and author Joe Nickell
Joe Nickell
Joe Nickell is a prominent skeptical investigator of the paranormal. He also works as an historical document consultant and has helped expose such famous forgeries as the purported diary of Jack the Ripper. In 2002 he was one of a number of experts asked by scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr...

. Instead of painting, the bas-relief could also be heated and used to burn an image into the cloth.

According to Fanti and Moroni, after comparing the histogram
Color histogram
In image processing and photography, a color histogram is a representation of the distribution of colors in an image. For digital images, a color histogram represents the number of pixels that have colors in each of a fixed list of color ranges, that span the image's color space, the set of all...

s of 256 different grey levels, it was found that the image obtained with a bas-relief has grey values included between 60 and 256 levels, but it is much contrasted with wide areas of white saturation (levels included between 245 and 256) and lacks of intermediate grey levels (levels included between 160 and 200). The face image on the Shroud instead has grey tonalities that vary in the same values field (between 60 and 256), but the white saturation is much less marked and the histogram is practically flat in correspondence of the intermediate grey levels (levels included between 160 and 200).

Maillard reaction


The Maillard reaction
Maillard reaction
The Maillard reaction is a form of nonenzymatic browning similar to caramelization. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat....

 is a form of non-enzymatic browning involving an amino acid and a reducing sugar. The cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

 fibers of the shroud are coated with a thin carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

 layer of starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

 fractions, various sugars, and other impurities. In a paper entitled "The Shroud of Turin: an amino-carbonyl reaction may explain the image formation," Raymond Rogers and Anna Arnoldi propose that amine
Amine
Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair. Amines are derivatives of ammonia, wherein one or more hydrogen atoms have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines,...

s from a recently deceased human body may have undergone Maillard reactions with this carbohydrate layer within a reasonable period of time, before liquid decomposition
Decomposition
Decomposition is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death...

 products stained or damaged the cloth. The gases produced by a dead body are extremely reactive chemically and within a few hours, in an environment such as a tomb, a body starts to produce heavier amines in its tissues such as putrescine
Putrescine
Putrescine is a foul-smelling organic chemical compound NH24NH2 that is related to cadaverine; both are produced by the breakdown of amino acids in living and dead organisms and both are toxic in large doses...

 and cadaverine
Cadaverine
Cadaverine is a foul-smelling compound produced by protein hydrolysis during putrefaction of animal tissue. Cadaverine is a toxic diamine with the formula NH25NH2, which is similar to putrescine...

. However the potential source for amines required for the reaction is a decomposing body, while no signs of decomposition have been found on the Shroud. The image resolution and the uniform coloration of the linen resolution seem to be not compatible with a mechanism involving diffusion.

Alan A. Mills argued that the image was formed by the chemical reaction auto-oxidation. He noted that the image corresponds to what would have been produced by a volatile chemical if the intensity of the color change were inversely proportional to the distance from the body of a loosely draped cloth.

Energy source


This section discusses energy source hypotheses. However, the hypotheses presented here do not account for where the energy came from, e.g. the corona discharge requires high levels of energy, which would have needed to have been generated from a human body. None of the papers cited in this section have presented a detailed analysis regarding the application of the law of conservation of energy
Conservation of energy
The nineteenth century law of conservation of energy is a law of physics. It states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time. The total energy is said to be conserved over time...

 with respect to the generation of the energy needed to support the hypotheses presented. Moreover, none of these suggestions have produced a similar image in a scientific setting and remain untested hypotheses.

Since 1930 several researchers (J. Jackson, G. Fanti, T. Trenn, T. Phillips, J.-B. Rinaudo and others) endorsed the flash-like irradiation hypothesis. It was suggested that the relatively high definition of the image details can be obtained through the energy source (specifically, proton
Proton
The proton is a subatomic particle with the symbol or and a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. One or more protons are present in the nucleus of each atom, along with neutrons. The number of protons in each atom is its atomic number....

ic) acting from inside. The Russian researcher Alexander Belyakov proposed an intense, but short flashlight source, which lasted some hundredths of second. Some other authors suggest the X-radiation or a burst of directional ultraviolet radiation may have played a role in the formation of the Shroud image. From the image characteristics, several researchers have theorized that the radiant source was prevalently vertical. These theories do not include the scientific discussion of a method by which the energy could have been produced.

A harsh criticism of the energy source hypothesis comes from Raymond N. Rogers who was involved in work with The Shroud since the conception of the STURP project in 1978. As he states, "If any form of radiation (thermal, electromagnetic, or particle) degraded the cellulose of the linen fibers to produce the image color, it would have had to penetrate the entire diameter of a fiber in order to color its back surface. Some lower fibers are colored, requiring more penetration. Radiation that penetrated the entire 10-15-mm-diameter of a fiber would certainly color the walls of the medulla. All image fibers show color on their surfaces but not in the medullas.".
Corona discharge

During restoration in 2002, the back of the cloth was photographed and scanned for the first time. An article on this subject by Giulio Fanti and others envisages the electrostatic corona discharge
Corona discharge
In electricity, a corona discharge is an electrical discharge brought on by the ionization of a fluid surrounding a conductor that is electrically energized...

 as the probable mechanism to produce the images of the body in the Shroud. Congruent with that mechanism, they also describe an image on the reverse side of the fabric, much fainter than that on the front view of the body, consisting primarily of the face and perhaps hands. As with the front picture, it is entirely superficial, with coloration limited to the carbohydrate layer. The images correspond to, and are in registration with, those on the other side of the cloth. No image is detectable in the reverse side of the dorsal view of the body.

Results of some new experiments propose that a Corona discharge mechanism could have been involved in the Turin Shroud body image formation, but it is impossible to reproduce all the characteristics of the image in a laboratory because the energy source required is too high. This theory and the experiment have not addressed a method by which the high level of energy could have been controlled and directed, without damaging the Shroud.

Recent developments


In 2009, Barbara Frale
Barbara Frale
Barbara Frale is an Italian paleographer at the Vatican Secret Archives. Frale has written books about the Templars and she has a special interest in the history of the Shroud of Turin. In September 2001, she found an authentic copy of the Chinon Parchment.-Biography:She was born in Viterbo on 24...

, a paleographer in the Vatican Secret Archives
Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives , located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having primal incumbency until death, owns the archives until the next appointed Papal successor...

, published two books on the Shroud of Turin. She thinks that the shroud had been kept by the Templars
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 after 1204 and that it is possible to read on the image the burial certificate of Jesus the Nazarene, or Jesus of Nazareth, imprinted in fragments of Greek, Hebrew and Latin writing. Her methodology has been criticized.

On October 5, 2009, Luigi Garlaschelli, professor of organic chemistry
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

 at the University of Pavia
University of Pavia
The University of Pavia is a university located in Pavia, Lombardy, Italy. It was founded in 1361 and is organized in 9 Faculties.-History:...

, announced that he had made a full size reproduction of the Shroud of Turin using only medieval technologies. Garlaschelli placed a linen sheet over a volunteer and then rubbed it with an acidic pigment. The shroud was then aged in an oven before being washed to remove the pigment. He then added blood stains, scorches and water stains to replicate the original. But according to Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermic measurements at the University of Padua
University of Padua
The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second...

, "the technique itself seems unable to produce an image having the most critical Turin Shroud image characteristics".

In 2010, professors of statistics Marco Riani and Anthony C. Atkinson wrote in a scientific paper that the statistical analysis of the raw dates obtained from the three laboratories for the radiocarbon test suggests the presence of an important contamination in the samples.

A team of graphic artists tried to recreate the real face of Jesus in a special two-hour documentary on the History Channel broadcast for the first time in March 2010. The image was made by taking information and blood encoded on the Turin Shroud and transforming it into a 3D image.

The Shroud was placed back on public display (the 18th time in its history) in Turin from 10 April to 23 May 2010. According to Church officials, more than 2 million visitors came to see the Shroud.

In December 2010 Professor Timothy Jull, editor of Radiocarbon, coauthored an article with a textile expert in this peer-reviewed journal. They analyzed an unknown sample of 1988 and concluded that they found no evidence of a repair. However this article was strongly criticized, even by traditional skeptics.

Further reading

  • Wilson, Ian : The Turin Shroud: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?, Galilee Trade; Revised edition, 1979, ISBN 0-385-15042-3
  • Picknett, Lynn
    Lynn Picknett
    Lynn Picknett is a writer, researcher, and lecturer on the paranormal, the occult, and historical and religious mysteries.-Life:Born in Folkestone, Kent, England in April 1947, Picknett grew up in a haunted house in York, attending Park Grove Junior School and Queen Anne Grammar School...

     and Prince, Clive: The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?, Harper-Collins, 1994 ISBN 0-552-14782-6.
  • Nickell, Joe
    Joe Nickell
    Joe Nickell is a prominent skeptical investigator of the paranormal. He also works as an historical document consultant and has helped expose such famous forgeries as the purported diary of Jack the Ripper. In 2002 he was one of a number of experts asked by scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr...

     : Inquest on the Shroud of Turin: Latest Scientific Findings, Prometheus Books; Subsequent edition, 1998, ISBN 1-57392-272-2.
  • McCrone, Walter
    Walter McCrone
    Walter Cox McCrone was an American chemist who was considered a leading expert in microscopy. To the general public, however, he was best known for his work on the Shroud of Turin, the Vinland map, and Forensic science.-Biography:...

     : Judgment Day for The Turin Shroud, Prometheus Books, 1999, ISBN 1-57392-679-5
  • Antonacci, Mark : The Resurrection of the Shroud, M. Evans & Co., New York 2000, ISBN 0-87131-890-3
  • Zugibe, Frederick
    Frederick Zugibe
    Dr. Frederick Thomas Zugibe is an American expert in forensic medicine. He was the chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York from 1969 to 2002...

     : The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry – (2005), 2nd edition, ISBN 1-59077-070-6
  • Whiting, Brendan
    Brendan Whiting
    Brendan Whiting was an Australian author and researcher, who wrote non-fiction books.Whiting was born in Australia, and lost his father during the Second World War when he was 6 years old. His first book, Ship of Courage, researched the Australian cruiser , on which his father died...

    , The Shroud Story, Harbour Publishing, 2006, ISBN 0-646-45725-X
  • Rogers, Raymond N., A Chemist's Perspective on the Shroud of Turin, Joan Rogers and Barrie Schwortz, 2008, ISBN 978-0-615-23928-6
  • Wilson, Ian : The Shroud : the 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved, Bantam Press, 2010, ISBN 0-593-06359-7

External links



Pro-authenticity sites


Skeptical sites