March 29, 2013
Shroud Of Turin Dated Back To Jesus’ Time Period
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Just in time for Easter, an ancient linen cloth believed to be an image of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion was dated back to about the time he would have been around, according to a report by the Telegraph.
Giulio Fanti, a professor at Padua University, and journalist Saverio Gaeta say they have dated the 14-foot-long cloth known as the "Shroud of Turin," which bears the image of a man with wounds similar to those who suffered from a Roman crucifixion, to between 280 B.C. and 220 A.D.
The team spent 15 years of research on fibers taken from the cloth to determine the new date. Carbon-14 dating tests done back in 1988 said the shroud was made in the 13th or 14th century and was a medieval forgery. However, Fanti says the test from 20 years ago were false due to laboratory contamination.
The 1988 tests were conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, but the results were disputed on the basis they may have been skewed by contaminated fibers from cloth used to stitch back up the ancient shroud after it was damaged in the Middle Ages by fire.
The linen cloth features an imprint of a man with long hair and a beard whose body bears wounds consistent with having been crucified. Fanti suggests the image was caused by a blast of "exceptional radiation." Other scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body formed on the cloth.
Hints of dust and pollen were also found on the shroud, which the researchers were able to trace back to the Holy Land.
The Vatican has never said whether it believes the shroud to be authentic or not, but Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did say the cloth "reminds us" of Christ's suffering.
The new pope, Pope Francis, will be introducing images of the shroud on television Saturday, the day before Easter.
"The display of the shroud on a day as special as Holy Saturday means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord," Cesare Nosiglia, the Archbishop of Turin, told the Telegraph.
People who may not be able to make the broadcast can have their chance at looking at the shroud in detail through an app called "Shroud 2.0." This application features high definition photographs of the cloth, enabling users to get a close peak at the image.
Haltadefinizione, the makers of the app, says this is the first time the most detailed image of the shroud has been made available for the world to see.
In 2011, Italian researchers at the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and Sustainable Economic Development also claimed the Shroud of Turin could be the real deal. They said they believe the image may have been created by a brief flash of light, but are not sure how it would have occurred.
“When one talks about a flash of light being able to color a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things such as miracles. But as scientists we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes," Professor Paolo Di Lazzaro, leader of the study, said.