New Scientific Evidence Suggests the Shroud of Turin is Approx. 2,000 Years Old

shroud-of-turin-faceShafer Parker Jr. writes at the National Catholic Register:

Just in time for the current Easter season, news emerged from Italy that a new approach to dating the Shroud of Turin has located it squarely in the time frame necessary for it to have wrapped the crucified body of Jesus Christ.

A new book written in Italian, Il Mistero della Sindone (The Mystery of the Shroud), by Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua’s Engineering Faculty, and journalist Saverio Gaeta, states that by measuring the degradation of cellulose in linen fibers from the shroud, two separate approaches show the cloth is at least 2,000 years old.

And while Fanti’s methodology has been questioned by others, the book also states that another series of mechanical tests, designed to measure the compressibility and breaking strength of the fibers, corroborated these findings.

According to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, the three separate tests, when averaged, showed the linen fibers of the shroud to have been woven into cloth around 33 B.C., give or take 250 years, thus nicely bracketing the year 30, when most historians say Jesus died on the cross.

In response to email questions, Fanti explained that he used a pair of established techniques, infrared light (Fourier Transform Infrared, or FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy, to measure the amount of cellulose in shroud fibers given to him by microanalyst Giovanni Riggi di Numana, a participant in the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), as well as the controversial 1988 carbon-dating tests of the shroud. Riggi died in 2008, but the fibers were transferred to Fanti through the cultural institute Fondazione 3M.

According to Fanti, both the infrared light beam and the red laser of the Raman spectroscope excite the molecules of the material, and the resulting reflections make it possible “to evaluate the concentration of particular substances contained in the cellulose of the linen fibers.” Because cellulose degrades over time, he said, “it is therefore possible to determine a correlation with the age of the fabric.”

Fanti compared his results with nine other ancient textiles of known provenance, with ages from 3000 B.C. to 1000, and two modern fabrics. Having taken into account differences resulting from the various environments and pollutant levels to which the fabrics were exposed, he’s confident any remaining unaccounted variables are included in the 500-year window within which he placed his primary date of 33 B.C.

Read more here.

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  • Stephen Balentine

    lol too bad they don’t get a 4 billion year old rock and prove the Bible is wrong with that……..

    • The sheep says, Baaaaaaa :P

      The Bible itself does Not explicitly claim that the Earth was created a few millennia ago, various people have INFERRED that from some of the writings in Genesis — BIIIIIG difference, genius. And not nearly every religious believer is in accord with this postulation. Also, most idiots (like yourself) believe Genesis to have claimed that the world was made in 7 DAYS, when this is absolutely Not what is stated — they are in no way implied to be literal 24-hour periods; each “day” is a phase or era of development, and is definitely NOT to be taken so literally XD

      Then there’s the fact that a great many translations of the Bible vary considerably in content, and numerous editions are translations of earlier translations, etc. …
      The New World Translation has been verified to be the most accurate translation of the Bible in existence, translated directly from the original Hebrew and Greek source texts — and this NWT version in no way indicates this “Creation timeline theory”…

      You sir, are an idiot, and need to do some research of your own, instead of taking everything you are told by conventional “experts” as incontrovertible FACT – Sheep…
      A lot of information in the Bible has in fact been verified; scientific facts, archaeological sites and eras, as well as historical figures.

      Also, most of the Old Testament was taken by Hebrew scribes from muuuuch older Sumerian texts, abbreviated and edited (plagiarized), and made into the monotheistic version that became Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament.
      Just sayin’, do some actual research into the whole story, and get the actual facts on the topic, instead of letting others feed you their bullshit theories and proclamations, and then regurgitate them to others as if you developed these thoughts and ideas on your own.
      Can Stephen say, “baaaaaaah”? :D

      • Stephen Balentine

        People who call others Sheep are usually Sheep themselves

      • Stephen Balentine

        By the way you must spend a lot of time on the internet trolling people to write such a long diatribe to me inferring all sorts of things, listening to science doesn’t make me stupid, and inferring I don’t know about Hebrew and Sumerian myths and such is complete conjecture, but hey at least I use my real name here unlike some cowards…..

    • Andrew

      Catholics don’t interpret the Genesis creation stories as literal history.

      • Stephen Balentine

        Yeah they don’t interpret anything, others tell them what to think.

        • Andrew

          If they tell them not to believe that humans suffer because a snake literally got a woman to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, then I’m fine with that.

  • atlanticus

    Wouldn’t practically every man have looked like that in that time period? I mean, bearded with long hair?

    Even if 1.) the shroud is really from that time period, and 2.) Jesus was an actual historical figure who actually existed…this could still be Brian.

    It also says absolutely nothing about the age of the person, nor how their face got so perfectly imprinted onto the shroud…

    (Like anyone cares about the details. Silly Catholics trying to fit their metaphysical, SUPERnatural God into a human-sized understanding of physical reality…)

    • Dingbert

      To be fair, the argument in the article is Jewish v. Atheist. The RC Church takes no position on the Shroud’s authenticity.

      • atlanticus

        Where does it say that? I’d say the Roman Catholic church is indeed taking a position by even keeping the Shroud…

        • Dingbert

          Oh I was looking at the argument between Nickell and Schwortz, whoops. The Archbishop of Turin himself, who oversees the shroud, doubts the veracity of Fanti’s claims. So I guess it’s more RC layman v. RC clergy.
          The Church keeps it for use as an icon. Here ya go, from the latest Pope:

          http://www.economist.com/node/21574664?fsrc=nlw%7Cnewe%7C4-1-2013%7C5434002%7C36502154%7C

        • Andrew

          The Catholic Church keeps a lot of antique art.

    • mannyfurious

      I actually always thought the image on the shroud looked like white-hippie Jesus, which was more than enough for me to believe it had nothing to do with the historical Jesus.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      always look on the bright side

  • Tchoutoye

    You only have to look at the image of the face to see that is a projection. A shroud would have been wrapped (or draped) around the head and the imprint would portray (parts of) the sides of the face, such as the sides of the nose and cheeks. The image would have been fragmented and stretched, not a neat frontal image of a face with correct proportions.

    • The sheep says, Baaaaaaa :P

      One postulation was that this image was a result of Jesus’ resurrection —

      to clarify, a lot of people mistakenly think that this meant Jesus rose from the dead and was alive again, but in fact the narrative states that his body was taken to Heaven to be in his spirit form once again.
      The tomb was sealed with a massive stone, and when it was removed, there was no body to be found, dead or alive.

      Of the various, inconclusive, some biased, and conflicting test results obtained,
      one result showed that the pattern visible on the shroud was not blood, paint, etc., but was actually ‘burned’ into the fabric, which would be consistent with the explanation of a corporeal body turning to light energy and leaving the physical world.

      If this were the case, then it’s easy to see how a frontal depiction of the body was imprinted on the linen.

      • kowalityjesus

        yeah, but it would have radiated out, not necessarily up.

    • echar

      Yes but… The miracle of God blah blah blah.

    • BuzzCoastin

      I actually tried to replicate the effect
      by putting paint on my face & wrapping a large piece cloth around it
      it didn’t come out like the image on the shroud
      it was very distorted & strange

      • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

        Dedicated research!

    • kowalityjesus

      this is something that I had foolishly never considered before. However, the empirical evidence pointing towards its authenticity (lack of pigment, consistent soil samples, consistent pollen grains, consistent time-period, impossibility of reproduction) stops this from requiring a skeptical explanation and would rather challenge us to attribute it to a proper effect.

      Anyone want to know the music I’m swimming in? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U6sWqfrnTs

  • Dingbert

    “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” -Jesus Christ

  • Rhoid Rager

    We know your plan, scientists….keep cutting up pieces of the Shroud to run ‘tests’ until there’s no Shroud left…. for shame!

  • howiebledsoe

    Funny that. The knee benders just HATE science. Until they can use it to their own ends. Then suddenly science is unquestionable and proof beyond all reasonable doubt.

    • fizmath

      Modern science began in Christian Europe. Deal.

      • Calypso_1

        Define modern and in which fields of scientific endeavor.

      • Tom

        How unfortunate then that science has grown to show how silly the claims of Christianity are!

      • Jin The Ninja

        astronomy, anatomy, botany, and mathmatics did not actually begin in x’tian europe…

  • Jim Steitz

    Expect this non-discovery to leap into immortality in the blogosphere, while it is sheepishly not submitted to any review by professional chemists or materials physicists. That’s how most of the junk antiquarian research in support of Christianity works.

  • festernaecus

    World’s first photoshop job?

  • Sean

    Watch….Christians will seize on science’s ability to date this…..using the same scientific methods that date the age of the Earth.
    Ironic…isn’t it…

    What rubs me the wrong way is how defined the face is. It looks like a damn painting. For one thing, it doesn’t look realistic at all. Facial proportions are all off…

    And…it’s too perfect. Every indentation and crease in the face is shown. Surely blood stains on cloth wouldn’t leave such a detailed impression….

    The whole thing strikes me as a fraud. And given the “bracket” of 250 years it could have been made….the possibility of a deliberate fraud is still plenty possible.

    If I had to bet my life on it, I’d have to say it’s a fraud.

    • fizmath

      It’s anatomically correct. How did the fraudsters know how to insert the proper pollen grains into the fabric?

  • BuzzCoastin

    Jebus needs some new PR people
    at this point
    only his second coming is gonna get him any cred

  • echar

    One interesting theory I encountered is that the shroud may not be the “likeness/impression” of Jesus, but of Jacques de Molay. Who was tortured after being held by the Roman Catholic church. I find this more believable, and more interesting. However, I feel it is most likely it’s fraud to attract the masses for funds and such.

    http://blog.templarhistory.com/2010/03/the-templars-and-the-shroud-of-turin/

  • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

    I find the Middle Ages art hoax explanations of the shroud to be the most interesting.

  • BrianApocalypse

    The Turin Shround.

    Or as I like to call it, “The last of the crucifixion commemorative kitchen towels”.

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