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Old 10-06-2009, 04:58 AM
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The Shroud of Turin


Most people, and certainly most scientists, have accepted the idea that the shroud was made not long before it was first put on display in 1357. But how it was made we still have no clue. Says Cecil.



The Shroud of Turin has been reproduced, according to Italian scientists, who claimed their experiment proved that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus's burial cloth is a medieval fake.

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Old 10-06-2009, 07:49 AM
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If a man were wrapped in the Shroud as shown about the Shroud Of Turin he would have to be as flat as a paper doll, there is no room for the pate of his head.The top of the front of the head and the back touch like this )( too close for a human that was fatter than a paper doll. The back and front wouldn't touch if it were wrapped around a man!
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:26 AM
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This isn't the first time some have claimed to reproduce the process. I have seen more than one theory on the Bad Science Channel (The History Channel.) I love to see the theories and will be interested in this one too. One used an egg-yolk mixture that was photo-sensitive. Wrapped around a statue and exposed to light it produced an effect similar to the shroud.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:05 AM
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Joe Nickell has reproduced parts of the shroud using a daubing action with powdered paint over a bas-relief image. The bas-relief provides a different distortion than a fully-shaped sculpture does, and seems to match the Turin work better. The daubing action gives a "negative" image automatically, something that "believers" think would be impossible before the advent of photography.

While it may not be the way the original was produced, it at least provides a plausible mechanism and is easier and more believable than many other methods.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:45 AM
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IIRC the main piece of evidence was carbon dating to the approximate medieval date the shroud first appeared. Skeptics will argue the different flaws in the process (carbon from handling, from the fire that ruined a corner, etc.). I seriously doubt the testers were stupid enough to take their sample from the replacement patch of new cloth sewed on after the fire.

The general proportions, layout and shape of the body suggest it was made over a statue; as mentioned above, it appears to have no room to wrap around the head. Likely they simply made the image from a statue or relief at a nearby church; just sell it far enough away that nobody recognizes the image source.

At the time this shroud appeared there was a very healthy trade in holy relics. One joker once remarked there were enough fragments of the true cross in Europe to build a fairly large fleet of ships. Faking a shroud would be a pretty lucrative endeavour, if they could find the right "mark".
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:06 PM
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One thing that always confuses me is that one of the Shroud investigators was a microscope specialist, who claimed the shroud contained pigments. However, I rarely see this mentioned, and often it is claimed there are no signs of pigments. This seems to be an area of contention that is buried. (Joe Nickell is the one who most often brings up the pigment claim.)

md2000 said:
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I seriously doubt the testers were stupid enough to take their sample from the replacement patch of new cloth sewed on after the fire.
You would think. However, I have seen pretty good evidence that was uncovered by laypeople that the samples used were from a patch job. This was discovered by looking at photos of the Shroud in IIRC infrared and seeing color variances in the cloth, plus the lay of the fibers was different. The people who found this got the attention of one of the senior Shroud researchers (who handles hundreds of claims regarding the Shroud and most are utter garbage, so that was what he expected), and he found it compelling enough to look further. The problem is that the Vatican was so protective of the holy relic, they were very controlling over where samples could be taken, and how large the samples were.

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Joe Nickell has reproduced parts of the shroud using a daubing action with powdered paint over a bas-relief image.
Seen his method. Joe based his method on the aforementioned claims of pigment on the shroud. Others dismiss his claim on the basis of the claim there is no pigment.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:08 AM
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Who is Joe Nickell ?
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:11 AM
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I don't doubt the Shroud's a fake but does anybody here have at least a bit of grudging respect for whoever pulled this off? This thing dates to at least 1357 and over 650 years later we're still not sure exactly how it was done. The fact that the person (or persons) who did this went such extensive detail (like, for example correctly having the nail wounds in the wrists rather than the hands) is especially impressive.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:52 AM
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I can also remember reading in a reasonably balanced article that if any of the negative effect were obtained with a pigment, it would have had to have been applied in parts with a brush the width of a fine hair and the cloth "painted" thread by thread. (It has been at least twenty-four years since I read this article for I remember living in another house at the time.)
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:23 AM
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Who is Joe Nickell ?
Funny (if you like vintage Woody Allen), but not accurate. Here's the real Joe Nickell:
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Joe Nickell, Senior Research Fellow for CSICOP, is considered the world’s leading paranormal investigator. A former professional stage magician and private investigator, he has used his varied background to investigate myths and mysteries, frauds, forgeries, and hoaxes.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:42 AM
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I don't doubt the Shroud's a fake but does anybody here have at least a bit of grudging respect for whoever pulled this off? This thing dates to at least 1357 and over 650 years later we're still not sure exactly how it was done. The fact that the person (or persons) who did this went such extensive detail (like, for example correctly having the nail wounds in the wrists rather than the hands) is especially impressive.
The shroud couldn't be wrapped around a person or statue, other wise the back of the head and the front of the head wouldn't touch, the person would have to be flat! They would need more space near the fold and there isn't! The front and back would be different, plus the image would be backward,The stain would be on the inside of the cloth not just on the outside. If the image soaked through the cloth then the image would also be brighter on the insied than the out! If it were pulled tight less of the image would show. Try it with a doll and some dye and see what you get!

There was a man on TV a couple of years ago who produced such an image by putting on some substance and getting the same type of image by placing it in the Arizonia sun. It still didn't show why there was no room for the pate of the head. He just got an image.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:50 AM
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Joe Nickell has reproduced parts of the shroud using a daubing action with powdered paint over a bas-relief image. The bas-relief provides a different distortion than a fully-shaped sculpture does, and seems to match the Turin work better. The daubing action gives a "negative" image automatically, something that "believers" think would be impossible before the advent of photography.

While it may not be the way the original was produced, it at least provides a plausible mechanism and is easier and more believable than many other methods.
I doubt that the believers of that time cared if there was a photographic image, just seeing bloody marks on a cloth would sway them, as the cloth of Veronica did. She supposedly wiped Jesus face and his image appeared. How a picture perfect image would show is quite a feat! People see images of the Virgin Mary even today in panckes, toast etc. They want a reason to believe and they use that,even though the pictures in the clouds also look like things. If one is looking for a sign anything will suffice if one wants it bad enough!
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:11 AM
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I don't believe the shroud is legitimate; but I also take issue with the logic of the Italian scientists mentioned in the OP who say "We can duplicate it; therefore it is a fake!" Just because it can be duplicated doesn't by itself discredit the shroud.

But, on the preponderance of evidence (including the carbon dating, spacing and dimension issues, etc), it's almost certainly a very well-executed fake.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:40 PM
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But, on the preponderance of evidence (including the carbon dating, spacing and dimension issues, etc), it's almost certainly a very well-executed fake.
I'm with you on that but apparently monavis would strongly disagree with that assessment. According to his posts, he thinks that even as a fake, the Shroud is an obvious medieval hack-job that could be easily duplicated by anybody of at least average intelligence.

Of course, the topic of how clever a fake the Shroud is belongs in another thread in another forum.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:41 PM
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I doubt that the believers of that time cared if there was a photographic image, just seeing bloody marks on a cloth would sway them, as the cloth of Veronica did.
Possibly you misunderstand. Photography wasn't developed until more recently than either Jesus or the middle ages when the shroud was probably made. But modern viewers have noticed that a reversal image of it looks like a modern film negative, and some jumped to the conclusion that it must have been made by supernatural means therefore, or at least by some genius who anticipated that kind of artistic development.

But if it can be shown that the negative aspect is merely an unintended byproduct of a simple medieval method, that pokes hole in the supernatural claim. Nickell was able to illustrate such a method.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:55 AM
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I don't believe the shroud is legitimate; but I also take issue with the logic of the Italian scientists mentioned in the OP who say "We can duplicate it; therefore it is a fake!" Just because it can be duplicated doesn't by itself discredit the shroud.

But, on the preponderance of evidence (including the carbon dating, spacing and dimension issues, etc), it's almost certainly a very well-executed fake.
There is an article today on refdesk where an Italian scientist has duplicated the image. I can not understand why a person can see that the shroud at the fold shows it wasn't wrapped around a human,unless he or she was flat as a paper doll!
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:11 AM
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Possibly you misunderstand. Photography wasn't developed until more recently than either Jesus or the middle ages when the shroud was probably made. But modern viewers have noticed that a reversal image of it looks like a modern film negative, and some jumped to the conclusion that it must have been made by supernatural means therefore, or at least by some genius who anticipated that kind of artistic development.

But if it can be shown that the negative aspect is merely an unintended byproduct of a simple medieval method, that pokes hole in the supernatural claim. Nickell was able to illustrate such a method.

I apparently didn't make myself clear...of course there wasn't any photography back in the century when the shroud was made, and people just took the word of someone that it was the shroud of Jesus. They want to believe so badly that it gives them hope. Modern humans(some) want it to be authentic so they try to look for signs that it is, like their thinking it was a photographic negative so it must have been supernaturally imposed!

I watched a priest many years ago In the early 40's over several years (after that on TV) talking about the shroud and each year he seemed to have something added, like coins over the eyes etc. he seemed sincere, but it was my noticing that there was no room for the top of the head that I began to see it couldn't be wrapped around any human. If so there would be a large space at the fold. The inside of the shroud would have had the stain not just the outside and the inside was never shown, the priest suggested it must have been because Jesus risen body burned the image through it.
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:26 PM
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I don't doubt the Shroud's a fake but does anybody here have at least a bit of grudging respect for whoever pulled this off? This thing dates to at least 1357 and over 650 years later we're still not sure exactly how it was done.
That doesn't really impress me - if I had been charged with making a fake shroud with a faint image back in the 14th century, surely there would have been dozens or hundreds of ways I could have done it. Our not knowing the exact way it was made seems to me like a sign that no one has bothered to ask for details, not any mystery.

Was there ever some idea floating around out there that 14th century technology couldn't have faked a shroud? If so, then how would anyone explain how the shroud was supposed to have been made inadvertently in the first century? Any indication that it was difficult to make would surely point to the "fraud" explanation instead of being genuine.
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:23 PM
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monavis said:
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The front and back would be different, plus the image would be backward,The stain would be on the inside of the cloth not just on the outside.
How do you know they are showing the outside of the cloth and not the inside?

Skammer said:
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I don't believe the shroud is legitimate; but I also take issue with the logic of the Italian scientists mentioned in the OP who say "We can duplicate it; therefore it is a fake!" Just because it can be duplicated doesn't by itself discredit the shroud.
If you read the article closely, nowhere are scientists quoted saying that just because they have shown how it could be made they have proven it a fake. There are not extensive enough quotes given to separate that from "We have proven there is a technique that would have provided the same results. Ergo, it could have been faked. Couple that with the other data, like the carbon dating, and we are fairly confident it is a medieval fake." Which is your position. Don't blame the scientists for the reporter's editing.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:02 PM
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The age of the Turin cloth had many miracles for sale. Weeping statues and jugs of sacred water from healing springs, pieces of the true cross, bones of saints, etc, were sold then like fake Rembrandt etchings today. Rich people can be gulled and grateful clerics accept their gifts that can be displayed to boost interest in their local endeavors.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:59 AM
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monavis said:


How do you know they are showing the outside of the cloth and not the inside?

Skammer said:


If you read the article closely, nowhere are scientists quoted saying that just because they have shown how it could be made they have proven it a fake. There are not extensive enough quotes given to separate that from "We have proven there is a technique that would have provided the same results. Ergo, it could have been faked. Couple that with the other data, like the carbon dating, and we are fairly confident it is a medieval fake." Which is your position. Don't blame the scientists for the reporter's editing.
If the blood soaked through (even a little) it would show on both sides of the cloth, the priest I listened to and saw on TV later,said it was as if Jesus's ressurected body became light and came through the cloth. There still is the question of why the pate doesn't show in the stain and why the top of the head and the back touch at the fold.There should be a space for that and there isn't! That indicates that Jesus must have been as flat as a paper doll!
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:23 PM
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I didn't argue any of those points. I certainly don't think the shroud is authentic. My question remains, why do you think they are showing the outside of the cloth and not the inside?
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:25 PM
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There's fakes and then there are things that are not what they appear. I think the Shroud falls into the latter category. The most obvious reason is that if you are faking a miracle in the Middle Ages you fake a Miracle, not something beyond your level of scientific knowledge. Any decent fake would be instantly recognisable as the contemporary image of Jesus (probably nothing like his real appearance if he existed at all) and as like as not signed by all the apostles except Judas (I'm being facetious but the point is that supernatural fakes in a credulous age do not need to be 'realistic' - the less so the more miraculous!

There is is the other 'minor' detail that if genuine, then it is deepest heresy because the only natural process that could produce it means that Jesus was alive. Not supernaturally come back to life, but sweating a high fever out: implication that he never died, so there was no resurrection.

I have seen a book which shows how the imprint could be produced. Their thesis involves the Knights Templar (Don't all good mediaeval conspiracy theories?). Whether the shroud can be traced to the torture of their last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay later burnt at the stake does not matter. The fact is that the make a very good and detailed case for its derivation from a man in high fever following crucifixion and lying in a hollow. The proportions are not right for someone lying flat. Of course usually people in a fever that high do stay still for long enough for their evaporated sweat to eat into fibre as is the case the here. Nor do they usually recover but one thing the Knights Templar would have excelled at is dealing with physical trauma.

Since I was earlier this evening listening to an interview with a concert cellist about her time in Auschwitz, that is not to say that somebody was not capable of crucifying some unfortunate to produce the thing, except that it would be unlikely that they would anticipate that result. It is possible that it originated from somebody probably considered heretical of around the century before and was venerated privately as evidence for their holiness and innocence before coming to light. I forget the details but it surfaced in a chateau with strong connections to both Templars and Cathar heretics. In fact the whole of southern France is tied closely to heresy and mystery ancient and modern.

It is even possible (I suppose) that it was the secret 'Head' that the Templars were said to worship and from their military experience with bandages might recognise as produced by a living (or dying!) body and therefore led to what of their alleged heretical views can be assumed genuine, such as stamping on the Cross. There is nothing in a surviving Jesus to conflict in words with a resurrected one: in both cases he survived the Cross and returned from the Dead and overcame Death, it is just that the meaning is drastically different.

Nor does the possibility that the Templars may have believed it the shroud of Jesus mean that it was. They were as gullible as anyone else. All the same, shrouds from Roman crucifixions cannot have been common. The usual habit was to leave corpses to rot (which much have contributed mightily to disease!). The only speculation is that this was a case that as far as we know was unusual of somebody crucified for a limited time. There's nothing to suggest that crucifixion was ever used as punishment but not execution. Then again there's nothing to say that it wasn't, or that it didn't happen unrecorded in the Middle Ages. It's quite possible that if the shroud was genuine in that sense, then it might have belonged to somebody tortured by Saracens and rescued. Islam required slaves to be returned to any relatives prepared to ransom them.

As for the problem with the crown of the head, it's unclear just where front hair meets back hair and may be deceptive.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:44 PM
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There's fakes and then there are things that are not what they appear. I think the Shroud falls into the latter category. The most obvious reason is that if you are faking a miracle in the Middle Ages you fake a Miracle, not something beyond your level of scientific knowledge. Any decent fake would be instantly recognisable as the contemporary image of Jesus (probably nothing like his real appearance if he existed at all) and as like as not signed by all the apostles except Judas (I'm being facetious but the point is that supernatural fakes in a credulous age do not need to be 'realistic' - the less so the more miraculous!

There is is the other 'minor' detail that if genuine, then it is deepest heresy because the only natural process that could produce it means that Jesus was alive. Not supernaturally come back to life, but sweating a high fever out: implication that he never died, so there was no resurrection.

I have seen a book which shows how the imprint could be produced. Their thesis involves the Knights Templar (Don't all good mediaeval conspiracy theories?). Whether the shroud can be traced to the torture of their last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay later burnt at the stake does not matter. The fact is that the make a very good and detailed case for its derivation from a man in high fever following crucifixion and lying in a hollow. The proportions are not right for someone lying flat. Of course usually people in a fever that high do stay still for long enough for their evaporated sweat to eat into fibre as is the case the here. Nor do they usually recover but one thing the Knights Templar would have excelled at is dealing with physical trauma.

Since I was earlier this evening listening to an interview with a concert cellist about her time in Auschwitz, that is not to say that somebody was not capable of crucifying some unfortunate to produce the thing, except that it would be unlikely that they would anticipate that result. It is possible that it originated from somebody probably considered heretical of around the century before and was venerated privately as evidence for their holiness and innocence before coming to light. I forget the details but it surfaced in a chateau with strong connections to both Templars and Cathar heretics. In fact the whole of southern France is tied closely to heresy and mystery ancient and modern.

It is even possible (I suppose) that it was the secret 'Head' that the Templars were said to worship and from their military experience with bandages might recognise as produced by a living (or dying!) body and therefore led to what of their alleged heretical views can be assumed genuine, such as stamping on the Cross. There is nothing in a surviving Jesus to conflict in words with a resurrected one: in both cases he survived the Cross and returned from the Dead and overcame Death, it is just that the meaning is drastically different.

Nor does the possibility that the Templars may have believed it the shroud of Jesus mean that it was. They were as gullible as anyone else. All the same, shrouds from Roman crucifixions cannot have been common. The usual habit was to leave corpses to rot (which much have contributed mightily to disease!). The only speculation is that this was a case that as far as we know was unusual of somebody crucified for a limited time. There's nothing to suggest that crucifixion was ever used as punishment but not execution. Then again there's nothing to say that it wasn't, or that it didn't happen unrecorded in the Middle Ages. It's quite possible that if the shroud was genuine in that sense, then it might have belonged to somebody tortured by Saracens and rescued. Islam required slaves to be returned to any relatives prepared to ransom them.

As for the problem with the crown of the head, it's unclear just where front hair meets back hair and may be deceptive.
Try doing the same idea with a doll,notice the separation is far greater(In proportion) than the space in the shroud which has a fold. The back and front touch at the fold, not leaving room for the top of the head and pate.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:17 AM
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Wow! I have enjoyed reading this thread. I really thought, however, that Monavis had the iron-clad proof of its inauthenticity. IF the front and the back of the head touch, it CANNOT have been laid over a human being! That is indisputable it seems to me. Of course one still has to wonder how the fake would have been made.....Still, I looked all over the internet until I could find a clear picture of the whole shroud and when I did finally find one it seemed to disprove that theory. The back of the head and the front do NOT seem to touch. I think Monavis may have been looking at what appears to be a water stain and thinking that it was the outline of the head. However, if you look closely, that would definitely have made the body very disproportionate. The actual back of the head is outlined much further down and there IS room enough to have folded it over a head. Which proves nothing about authenticity but leads me to believe that even if it is a fraud, the artist used a 3 dimensional object to render it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:21 AM
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There's fakes and then there are things that are not what they appear. I think the Shroud falls into the latter category. The most obvious reason is that if you are faking a miracle in the Middle Ages you fake a Miracle, not something beyond your level of scientific knowledge.
I don't think they were trying to fake a miracle - they were just making a fake relic that they could scam some money off of. Sort of like the Holy Grail or pieces of wood from Jesus's cross, a burial shroud from Jesus himself would be highly sought-after.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:33 AM
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Wow! I have enjoyed reading this thread. I really thought, however, that Monavis had the iron-clad proof of its inauthenticity. IF the front and the back of the head touch, it CANNOT have been laid over a human being! That is indisputable it seems to me. Of course one still has to wonder how the fake would have been made.....Still, I looked all over the internet until I could find a clear picture of the whole shroud and when I did finally find one it seemed to disprove that theory. The back of the head and the front do NOT seem to touch. I think Monavis may have been looking at what appears to be a water stain and thinking that it was the outline of the head. However, if you look closely, that would definitely have made the body very disproportionate. The actual back of the head is outlined much further down and there IS room enough to have folded it over a head. Which proves nothing about authenticity but leads me to believe that even if it is a fraud, the artist used a 3 dimensional object to render it.

Where did you find the clear picture?

I tried to get an image using a doll, there was a space larger than the full picture I once had of the shroud, it was on a holy card that the priest( who used to talk about the shroud every year around Easter) time sent me. Even on TV it looked like it touched. I also couldn't get any facial pictures of the doll unless I pushed the cloth down around the face etc. because the shroud story I had seen, showed the shroud just being laid around the body. If the cloth was loose some of the images picked up but the parts like the tip of the nose,forehead,chin,or parts that stood out further did leave a spot here and there,but the eyes or any indentation did not show up. I didn't put a crown of thorns on the head, which would have also kept the head from touching the cloth. And why would they bury Jesus with the crown of thorns on His head?

People want the shroud to be authentic. Since Jesus was said to be dead for only about 36 hours I doubt that the acids etc. leaving a decomposing body could burn the cloth. The priest said it was because Jesus risen body came through the cloth!
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:43 AM
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Here is a high resolution image of the shroud. The images of the front and back of the head do not touch.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:34 PM
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The priest said it was because Jesus risen body came through the cloth!
You say that as though you thought he was making a desperate improvisation, but that's not so: the traditional interpretation of:

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Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in. Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place.
is that the graveclothes were somehow left undisturbed. I do not say that I find that interpretation altogether convincing, but it is traditional.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:02 PM
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Thanks Fear Itself!

It would be interesting to see how the features turned out like it did, without pushing the cloth on the face to pick up them. When I used the doll,it didn't pick up enough to make an imprint of the face; if one put the shroud over Jesus as the story pictured it. I also read ,or saw on TV (I do not remember now )but the Jewish person said in those days they used strips of cloth, not a whole large cloth that the shroud shows. Perhaps if it were authentic(which I doubt) and they buried him in haste they may have used a large cloth. However,John Kennedy in the next post uses the scriptures to back up the fact that there was more than one cloth and a napkin for the head, which would also mean the image would not be as clear. And mentioning that there were linen cloths plus a napkin for the head, would make the Shroud even less likely to be the shroud in which Jesus is said to be depicted in the Shroud Of Turin, but more likely a fake!
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:44 PM
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Here is a high resolution image of the shroud. The images of the front and back of the head do not touch.
That must be an old photo, taken before the recent unfortunate accident.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:57 AM
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That must be an old photo, taken before the recent unfortunate accident.
This is a woosh ...right? Why would they wash the shroud? I can see why over the years they added things, like coins to the eyes etc. but washing it...come on!
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:26 AM
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This is a woosh ...right? Why would they wash the shroud? I can see why over the years they added things, like coins to the eyes etc. but washing it...come on!
It is an Onion article.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:49 PM
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I read an article (again, I think it was by Joe Nickel) that discusses the Shroud's origin, that said that it was identified by a priest in a letter as a fake shortly after it was put on display, and that the creator confessed. I have not attempted to confirm that story, though I would be interested in finding more details.

Jerseyman said:
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There's fakes and then there are things that are not what they appear. I think the Shroud falls into the latter category. The most obvious reason is that if you are faking a miracle in the Middle Ages you fake a Miracle, not something beyond your level of scientific knowledge.
First off, how exactly would you demonstrate it as a miracle, if not by being beyond scientific knowledge? But irrelevant. At the time the Shroud surfaced (i.e. became publically known), it was commonplace for holy relics to be displayed for the faithful. Money could be charged for said relics to be prayed over in hopes of getting divine sanction and thus a miracle. There are enough pieces of the Cross to build a fleet of ships. There's more than one Jesus' foreskin. There are plenty of saint's bones and the like. There are several pieces of cloth and shrouds and the like. The Shroud of Turin is just the most well known, in part because of it depicting the whole of Jesus, and in part because of the discovery of the appearance as a photographic negative.

The question that puzzled people and got it such attention was taking a photograph and seeing such a distinct appearance in the negative. That is what made people wonder at the detail and how it could have been made. But if that effect is a byproduct of non-supernatural means, then the mysteriousness it lends becomes irrelevant.

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The fact is that the make a very good and detailed case for its derivation from a man in high fever following crucifixion and lying in a hollow. The proportions are not right for someone lying flat. Of course usually people in a fever that high do stay still for long enough for their evaporated sweat to eat into fibre as is the case the here.
Why would a man with a fever lie with a cloth folded over his body from the head down? Covering his face.
  #35  
Old 10-13-2009, 05:25 PM
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It seems obvious there are two different questions being argued in this thread: (1) Is the Shroud of Turin the actual burial shroud of Jesus Christ, and (2) Assuming the Shroud of Turin dates to the Middle Ages, how exactly was it created?

The scientific evidence--particularly the historical provenance and the results of Carbon 14 dating--strongly favor a "no" answer for (1); perhaps not strong enough to be definitive, but at the very least it makes this a religious question, one perhaps better argued in "Great Debates".

The second question IMO is far more interesting; was the shroud deliberately created, or did it come about by accident (as Jerseyman theorizes)? Accident seems the most likely choice--a deliberate and repeatable process would likely have produce additional "shrouds" from other famous individuals in ancient/religious history (presuming the process started accidentally, then when the image was noticed the blood et al. was added). So I don't completely buy the idea advanced in the recent article that an acidic pigment was (deliberately) used. I'd be more inclined to look for some oil or other material used to anoint the dead in the Middle Ages, which when combined with this particular cloth produced the image by accident.

Last edited by CJJ*; 10-13-2009 at 05:26 PM.
  #36  
Old 10-14-2009, 10:32 AM
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One thing that always confuses me is that one of the Shroud investigators was a microscope specialist, who claimed the shroud contained pigments. However, I rarely see this mentioned, and often it is claimed there are no signs of pigments. This seems to be an area of contention that is buried. (Joe Nickell is the one who most often brings up the pigment claim.)
Walter McCrone made claims of finding red ochre and vermilion tempera paint.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:46 AM
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What bothers me about simple fakery is that I can't imagine the mediaeval mind thinking in terms of photographic negative images. They would more likely paint a straight representation or else find something that did have a few stains that the eye of belief would see as a miraculous image. It feels much more likely to me that the imprint is genuine enough but dates from the Middle Ages and somebody along the way decided that if it was anybody's shroud it might as well be Christ's.
  #38  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:02 AM
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Walter McCrone made claims of finding red ochre and vermilion tempera paint.
As if someone along the way wouldn't *improve* a faint image by pricking up the red of the blood ... and making it more recognizable.

I don't have a dog in this race, but I have always had serious doubts about the carbon dating ... if it has gone through a fire, and probably been washed, and is in direct contact with backing fabric, why cant c14 get mucked around with? molecules are rather migratory over short distances.

On TV they did show the people who claim that the corner used was frenchweaved/frenchwoven in .. and I have seen 'invisible' repairs done in that manner that I couldn't see with my bare eye. It would be very plausable to accidently screw up the dating with the repair fabric. They seemed to document it to my nontechnical satisfaction. If it was a jury trial, and the court had agreed that they were competent to be witnesses, I would have to say that it would have made me believe that they were correct.
  #39  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:07 AM
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Funny (if you like vintage Woody Allen), but not accurate. Here's the real Joe Nickell:
It would seem that the claim that he "is considered the world’s leading paranormal investigator" is like claiming that he's the world's biggest charlatan. The willingness of people to pay people without a resume large sums of money to expound upon that which doesn't exist always amazes me.
  #40  
Old 10-14-2009, 12:41 PM
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I don't have a dog in this race, but I have always had serious doubts about the carbon dating ... if it has gone through a fire, and probably been washed, and is in direct contact with backing fabric, why cant c14 get mucked around with? molecules are rather migratory over short distances.
The flaw in the skeptical view of that is that no carbon-14 appeared that had degenerated to the point of possibly being 1950 years old. It's not like they took a couple molecules off the surface...They tested several square milimeters.

The oldest C-14 from the test dated the shroud to the middle ages.

For this result there would have had to be 100% molecular migration - which, I'm not a molecular chemist, but is impossible in fabric and fiber.
  #41  
Old 10-14-2009, 01:52 PM
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What bothers me about simple fakery is that I can't imagine the mediaeval mind thinking in terms of photographic negative images. They would more likely paint a straight representation or else find something that did have a few stains that the eye of belief would see as a miraculous image. It feels much more likely to me that the imprint is genuine enough but dates from the Middle Ages and somebody along the way decided that if it was anybody's shroud it might as well be Christ's.
I'm more inclined to deliberate fraud, because that was common back then, there were a lot of gullible people, and it was easy money for someone who knew what they were doing.

If an "artist" (con- or art-) were aware of the ways to make linen light-sensitive (which probably was not uncommon knowledge in the days before the Vatican acquired the Holy Whirlpool 24934 top-load washer) then it would not be difficult. Find a nice 3D subject, some amateurish statue in an out-of-the-way church that nobody would recognize. Spread soot or whatever on the statute; drape the cloth, then rub in the parts where you want the features to stand out. Put the cloth out on a hot sunny day for maximum UV exposure. Or maybe, wave a red-hot iron near the parts you want to stand out and it lightly burns (carmelizes?) the surface where the black soot is.

When done, wash (but not with a red shirt in the same load). Voila, surface image.

The richer clients may be pious but not stupid-stupid. If you preset a cloth that's dyed, or painted, or a brass rubbing, or whatever - art was a typical means of disposing of surplus income; these guys are not going to be conned by a standard work of art. A scorched or UV-enhanced image probably looked sufficiently miraculous to fool the sophisticated mark. The faintness of the image probably added to the allure, suggesting it wasn't fake; the usual wary customer would think an obvious fake would be a more pronounced image.

Is it just me? But the picture seems to show regular striations in the image along the chest, arms, etc - almost like the cloth was pressed onto the source with fingers, giving a regular spacing of the darker aprts.

Also, if this is real it's proof of evolution. Jesus seems to have forearms so out of proportion and long they make him look like a monkey.

Last edited by md2000; 10-14-2009 at 01:54 PM.
  #42  
Old 10-14-2009, 02:08 PM
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The flaw in the skeptical view of that is that no carbon-14 appeared that had degenerated to the point of possibly being 1950 years old. It's not like they took a couple molecules off the surface...They tested several square milimeters.

The oldest C-14 from the test dated the shroud to the middle ages.

For this result there would have had to be 100% molecular migration - which, I'm not a molecular chemist, but is impossible in fabric and fiber.
Carbon dating measures the proportion of C14 to C12. C14 is continuously formed in the upper atmosphere by impact with cosmic rays etc.; it decays at a known rate to C12, so the ratio of C14 to C12 is relatively constant.

Living plants get their carbon from the atmosphere, and fix it in their structure. Animals get it from them. Once fixed in something dead (linen fibers, bones, wood) it is not replaced, but the C14 continues to decay to C12. you can figure out when the living item stopped living by the ratio of C14-C12. The less C14, the older. This scale is pretty accurately calibrated by now.

There are obvious ways to gimmick the system. A fresh infusion of new carbon (soot, wash residue, dead microbes, red dye) might dilute the original sample. Obviously, it's very difficult to go the other way, unless you added ground up papyrus dust to your mix or something.

The interesting thing about the result is that the "alleged dilution" random mix suggested by true believers does not result in a random date between the 1500's (time of the fire) and much early, say 700AD or 300AD, but coincidentally exactly when it would have been made if it is a fraud.

There are obvious triangular patches and associated scorches where the folded cloth was burned in a corner during a church fire. Nobody disputes these are repairs with recent cloth (1500's not 1200's?) very obviously sewen on. Coming up with the possibility that someone also did invisble weave repairs on the edges where the carbon dating sample was taken from? That sounds like desperate fishing for an excuse why the test gave the unwanted answer.

Last edited by md2000; 10-14-2009 at 02:10 PM.
  #43  
Old 10-14-2009, 06:27 PM
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CJJ* said:
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The second question IMO is far more interesting; was the shroud deliberately created, or did it come about by accident (as Jerseyman theorizes)? Accident seems the most likely choice--a deliberate and repeatable process would likely have produce additional "shrouds" from other famous individuals in ancient/religious history (presuming the process started accidentally, then when the image was noticed the blood et al. was added).
If you search you will discover there are lots of "shrouds" and burial cloths around. This is just the most famous one.


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Walter McCrone made claims of finding red ochre and vermilion tempera paint.
That's the guy. He was a highly skilled specialist in microscopy, included in the Shroud investigation team. He said he found traces of the pigments above. Joe Nickel cites him often, but I rarely hear anyone else even mention this, much less refute it. I do hear plenty of claims that there is no pigment found. That's what puzzles me. How have the Shroud Believers addressed McCrone's claims? As far as I can tell, they haven't.

Jerseyman said:
Quote:
What bothers me about simple fakery is that I can't imagine the mediaeval mind thinking in terms of photographic negative images.
Who says they were? The negative effect could just be an artifact of the process used to try to create some sort of visual effect that was not a mere paint drawing. It was discovered by accident, and became significant to people by virtue of existing, but was not intended at all.


aruvqan said:
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I don't have a dog in this race, but I have always had serious doubts about the carbon dating ... if it has gone through a fire, and probably been washed, and is in direct contact with backing fabric, why cant c14 get mucked around with? molecules are rather migratory over short distances.
Slightly touching surfaces wouldn't make a significant difference. In order to skew the carbon ratio significantly, it would have to be a sizeable fraction of the material that was converted. They did not use an obviously burned or patched bit. But it was in a disturbed area near an edge. They took one strip and made three samples, and sent them to three independent labs. They received three values that were from ~1230 to ~1360 (my numbers are rough estimates). The only way for the Shroud to be genuine is if a significant portion of that sample was not original material to the shroud.

As has been pointed out, a couple people did an in depth investigation of the Shroud and have good evidence that the area used for the sample was in fact a patch, a high quality patch of material interwoven, but actually of a different material. They got serious attention from one of the Shroud investigators from the team that did the carbon dating such that he felt it was worth serious inquiry. Unfortunately, he died of cancer.


Chefguy said:
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It would seem that the claim that he "is considered the world’s leading paranormal investigator" is like claiming that he's the world's biggest charlatan. The willingness of people to pay people without a resume large sums of money to expound upon that which doesn't exist always amazes me.
But he does have a resume. I suppose the relevant question is what kind of resume would interest you. He's a guy who has made a study of how people defraud others and mislead themselves, and he has applied those skills to paranormal claims in order to be a counterpoint to the charlatans and promoters.

md2000 said:
Quote:
Also, if this is real it's proof of evolution. Jesus seems to have forearms so out of proportion and long they make him look like a monkey.
His arms don't look long to me. If he were slightly hunched, his arms would cross over the crotch like they do.

Quote:
Coming up with the possibility that someone also did invisble weave repairs on the edges where the carbon dating sample was taken from? That sounds like desperate fishing for an excuse why the test gave the unwanted answer.
Look into the actual claims. They have good evidence. IR pictures show different coloration of the threads in that area. The weave pattern looks different. The technique used was available during the middle ages. The sample was taken from an area that had the disturbed weave on a diagonal across the strip. The strip was cut into three pieces. Each lab reported a different age that spans about a century. That is consistent with each lab getting a sample with a different amount of the patch material, skewing each number differently.

What none of that addresses is when the patch would have occured, or how much it could skew the numbers. For example, how would a 50% patch of material from 1600 skew something to get a 1300 date? What would the other 50% be? Seems to my first guess it would date to ~1000 AD. Can't see how that gets you to 33 A.D.
  #44  
Old 10-14-2009, 07:57 PM
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Chefguy said:

But he does have a resume. I suppose the relevant question is what kind of resume would interest you. He's a guy who has made a study of how people defraud others and mislead themselves, and he has applied those skills to paranormal claims in order to be a counterpoint to the charlatans and promoters.
Ah. So his expertise is in debunking paranormal claims. I misunderstood him to claim to be a guy who deals in paranormal activities (I see dead people).
  #45  
Old 10-15-2009, 07:26 AM
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If one believes the Scriptures the shroud could not be authentic, as John Kennedy pointed out in an earlier post: Peter saw the linen cloths and a napkin for the head, that in itself would prove the burial cloth of Jesus was not one long singular cloth, but linens is plural which indicates more than one, plus the head napkin, so the imprint would be on the head cloth and little would show on the long linen, and what were the other cloths that the gospel write tell were there?
  #46  
Old 10-15-2009, 07:31 AM
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If one believes the Scriptures the shroud could not be authentic, as John Kennedy pointed out in an earlier post: Peter saw the linen cloths and a napkin for the head, that in itself would prove the burial cloth of Jesus was not one long singular cloth, but linens is plural which indicates more than one, plus the head napkin, so the imprint would be on the head cloth and little would show on the long linen, and what were the other cloths that the gospel writer tells were there?
  #47  
Old 10-15-2009, 04:17 PM
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What none of that addresses is when the patch would have occured, or how much it could skew the numbers. For example, how would a 50% patch of material from 1600 skew something to get a 1300 date? What would the other 50% be? Seems to my first guess it would date to ~1000 AD. Can't see how that gets you to 33 A.D.
This is a reasonable estimate for a 50-50 mix. Making a bunch of simplifying assumptions (including a 5730 year half-life for Carbon-14), a 400-year old object should contain about 95.3% of its original C-14. A 700-year old object should contain about 91.2%. If 50% of the material were 400 years old, there would need to be material containing 87.1% of the expected C-14 in order to match the observed proportion. This must come from a sample which would be around 1150 years old.

Another interesting question: what if the proportion of the 400-year old cloth were much higher? How much of it would be required for the cloth itself to be 2000 years old? We would expect a 2000-year old cloth to have about 78.5% of the expected C-14. A mixture of approximately 25% of this with about 75% of the newer material should do the trick here.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:43 PM
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So a sample that was 1//4 2000 year old material and 3/4 400 year old material would resemble a sample that was 700 years old (i.e. circa 1300 A.D.)?
  #49  
Old 10-16-2009, 07:25 PM
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So a sample that was 1//4 2000 year old material and 3/4 400 year old material would resemble a sample that was 700 years old (i.e. circa 1300 A.D.)?
The point being - AFAIK they used a pretty small sample. It would be odd if they got the right mix. It would be odder if all 3 tests got exactly the same mix.

I still don't understand why there would be invisible weave on the edge. You would think they would a a fairly large chunk of cloth, in which case the edge would be all 1 sample. If the second and original pieces match that well, they must have been made at the same time, same method, roughly same source material?
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:35 PM
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So I got around to checking Wiki. They discuss my previous questions about McCrone and his findings.

md2000
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The point being - AFAIK they used a pretty small sample. It would be odd if they got the right mix. It would be odder if all 3 tests got exactly the same mix.
My question was about how a patch from mideival times on cloth from 33 AD could mix to give results from mideival times. The answer: If a large amount of patch material from 1600s were mixed with a small amount of material from 33 AD, then it could average out around 1300s. YMMV.

Quote:
I still don't understand why there would be invisible weave on the edge. You would think they would a a fairly large chunk of cloth, in which case the edge would be all 1 sample. If the second and original pieces match that well, they must have been made at the same time, same method, roughly same source material?
The Catholic Church imposed severe restraints on the testing. They limited the material to one small sample site that was on the edge of the cloth and did not bear any of the image. They were very protective of the image part and the cloth as whole. They were originally going to have samples at six labs, that became three labs from one source sample. So the fact that all three labs got similar results removes the effect of any post sampling contaminations and improper test procedures. But the three independent labs got connected bits of cloth, so it is reasonable they would get similar results.

What was insteresting was that the three dates were skewed across about a century (1260 - 1390). What is interesting about that is that the people who detected the possible patch project a seam line of the weave between the original linen and cotton from the patch runs diagonally across the sample site. That would mean each lab received a slightly different amount of each material.

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By ultraviolet photography and spectral analysis they determined that the area of the shroud chosen for the test samples differs chemically from the rest of the cloth. They cite the presence of Madder-root dye and aluminum-oxide mordant (a dye-fixing agent) specifically in that corner of the shroud and conclude that this part of the cloth may have been mended at some point in its history.

A 2000 study by Joseph Marino and Sue Benford, based on x-ray analysis of the sample sites, shows a "probable" seam from a repair attempt running diagonally through the area from which the sample was taken. These researchers conclude that the samples tested by the three labs may potentially have been contaminated by this possible repair attempt. They further note that the results of the three labs show an angular skewing corresponding to the diagonal seam: the first sample in Arizona dated to 1238, the second to 1430, with the Oxford and Swiss results falling in between. They add that the variance of the C-14 results of the three labs falls outside the bounds of the Pearson's chi-square test, so that some additional explanation should be sought for the discrepancy. To the contrary J. A. Christen applied a strong statistical test to the radiocarbon data and concludes that the given age for the shroud is from a statistical point of view correct.[55]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...s-flawed.html#

Quote:
Sue Benford and Joe Marina, from Ohio, suspected the 1988 sample was from a damaged section of the linen shroud repaired in the 16th century after being damaged in a fire.

Rogers said: "I was irritated and determined to prove Sue and Joe wrong."

However, when he came to examine threads taken in 1978 - luckily from the same section as the 1988 sample - he found cotton in them.

He said: "The cotton fibres were fairly heavily coated with dye, suggesting they were changed to match the linen during a repair.

"I concluded that area of the shroud was manipulated by someone with great skill.

"Sue and Joe were right. The worst possible sample for carbon dating was taken.

"It consisted of different materials than were used in the shroud itself, so the age we produced was inaccurate."
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