Key Facts About the Shroud of Turin
· Purported burial cloth of Jesus.
· A linen shroud covering the dead body of Jesus is mentioned in all four Gospels.
· The cloth, a rare 3-to-1 herringbone twill weave of hand-spun linen, 3 feet 7 inches by 14 feet 3 inches, bears the detailed front and back images of a man crucified in a manner identical to that of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the Scriptures.
· Displayed publicly in Lirey, France, in 1355, considered by many to be the first documented appearance of the shroud. It was brought to Turin in 1578, its home to this day.
· In 1988, the shroud’s credibility suffered a setback after three separate carbon-dating tests placed the origin of its linen fibers no earlier than the 13th century. Since that time, several experts have testified that the tested fibers, taken from the outer edge of the cloth, were contaminated through repeated handlings and likely not part of the original cloth.
· Strong evidence indicates the shroud was in Europe hundreds of years before it appeared in Lirey. The Pray Manuscript, the earliest surviving text in Hungarian, is dated to 1192 and features drawings that are clearly influenced by the shroud. The artist not only arranges the body of Christ in precisely the same manner, he is being enveloped in the same sort of shroud, in which the artist even imitates the herringbone weave of the cloth and includes some of the burn holes still extant.
· Other scholars have traced the shroud back to Constantinople at the end of the first millennium, confirming its Middle-Eastern provenance and casting further doubt on the theory that it is a medieval forgery.
· First photographed in 1898 by Secundo Pia, who also discovered the image is a negative.
· The human image on the shroud rests on the outer fibers of the linen weave, in a layer 100 times thinner than a human hair.
· Uniformly dark pixels make the image similar to a random halftone, with more pixels per area in darker portions.
· The sharply bounded pixels that make up the body image cannot be duplicated by any known process today.
· In 1976, a VP-8 Image Analyzer confirmed that the image, unlike any regular photograph, drawing or painting, is dimensionally encoded, able to yield spatial information about the head and body that lay beneath.
· Darkness on the cloth is inversely proportionate to the body surface’s distance from the cloth — up to a limit of 3.5 cm. This results in the 3-D nature of the image.
· The image on the shroud presents an X-ray-like picture of the skeletal system, particularly displaying the bones of both hands, the left wrist, the skull and front teeth and some of the vertebrae.
· Blood stains are exactly correct as modern medicine would expect to see from a crucified victim.
· The nail holes are placed not in the palms, but in the wrists, a position necessary to support the full body weight of a crucified man, but a bit of information unknown to medieval artists.
· Scourge marks (approximately 120) have UV response around them, consistent with the presence of blood serum.
· Travertine aragonite dust, as found almost exclusively in the vicinity of Jerusalem, is found on the feet, knees and nose.
· In 2002, Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg, former curator of the Abegg Foundation textile museum in Berne, Switzerland, and a world authority on ancient textiles, announced that the weave and style of the materials were from the Dead Sea area and could only have been woven in the period from 40 years before the birth of Christ up to 70 years afterward.
· In 2005, chemist Raymond Rogers, a fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and an original member of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), publishes peer-reviewed research in the journal Thermochimica Acta, showing the carbon-14 testing from 1988 was, in fact, not done on the original burial cloth, but, rather, on a patch that in the Middle Ages had been cleverly re-woven into the border area, thus creating an erroneous date for the actual shroud.
Shroud of Turin - Carbon 14 test proves false