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13-Nov-2017 22:07

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The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval.

The Shroud of Turin , which many people believe was used to wrap Christ's body, bears detailed front and back images of a man who appears to have suffered whipping and crucifixion.

But the three laboratories undertook not to compare results until after they had been transmitted to the British Museum.

Also, at two laboratories (Oxford and Zurich), after combustion to gas, the samples were recoded so that the staff making the measurements did not know the identity of the samples. On the basis of the Islamic embroidered pattern and Christian ink inscription, this linen could be dated to the eleventh to twelfth centuries AD. Linen from the collection of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, associated with an early second century AD mummy of Cleopatra from Thebes (EA6707).

Each subsample was treated with 1M HCL (80° C for 2h), 1M Na OH (80° C for 2 h) and again in acid, with rinsing in between.

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Subsequently the shroud was made available for scientific examination, first in 19 by a committee appointed by Cardinal Michele Pellegrino .

It was first displayed at Lirey in France in the 1350s and subsequently passed into the hands of the Dukes of Savoy.

After many journeys the shroud was finally brought to Turin in 1578 where, in 1694, it was placed in the royal chapel of Turin Cathedral in a specially designed shrine.

Even for the first investigation, there was a possibility of using radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the linen from which the shroud was woven.

The size of the sample then required, however, was ~500cm, which would clearly have resulted in an unacceptable amount of damage, and it was not until the development in the 1970s of small gas-counters and accelerator-mass-spectrometry techniques (AMS), requiring samples of only a few square centimetres, that radiocarbon dating of the shroud became a real possibility. The shroud was separated from the backing cloth along its bottom left-hand edge and a strip (~10 mm x 70 mm) was cut from just above the place where a sample was previously removed in 1973 for examination.

The Arizona group split each sample into four subsamples.

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