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Shroud Could Have Been Burial Cloth of Jesus

In recent years, skeptics have dismissed the Shroud of Turinas a Medieval fake. Some have even said it was created byLeonardo da Vinci. But new evidence shows that the clothfrom the shroud that researchers were using to carbon dateit was taken from a area that was clearly patched with newermaterial.

An article in the current issue of the peer-reviewedchemistry journal Thermochimica Acta dismisses the resultsof the carbon-14 dating done in 1988. At that time, threelaboratories, in Oxford (England), Zurich and Tucson,decided the shroud was a fake dating from 1260 to 1390,meaning it couldn't have been the burial cloth of Christ.

Los Alamos chemist Raymond Rogers, who was a member of the1988 investigation team, says the area they tested wasclearly rewoven at a later time. It's known the shroud wasdamaged in several fires, including one in 1532, which madeholes in it. It was restored by nuns.

For years, the Catholic Church refused to allow samples tobe taken from the shroud, but in 1978, Rogers was finallygiven permission to take 32 small samples. For this study,Rogers compared the radiocarbon sample with some of theother samples, and found that the sample that had beencarbon dated to the Medieval period had "completelydifferent chemical properties than the main part of the shroud."

Rogers' analysis is being called 'scientificallydefinitive.' The Shroud is indeed at least 1,300 years old.However, his method do not provide the kind of narrow daterange available from carbon dating. Carbon dating of theoriginal shroud material is clearly needed.

You can read the original paper in Adobe PDF format.Click here.

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