Two scientific developments

DALLAS, January 19, 2005 - The American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR), a scientific organization dedicated to research on the enigmatic Shroud of Turin, thought by many to be the burial cloth of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth, announced today that the 1988 Carbon-14 test was not done on the original burial cloth, but rather on a rewoven shroud patch creating an erroneous date for the actual age of the Shroud.

"Now conclusive evidence, gathered over the past two years, proves that the sample used to date the Shroud was actually taken from an expertly-done rewoven patch," says AMSTAR President, Tom D'Muhala. "Chemical testing indicates that the linen Shroud is actually very old -- much older than the published 1988 radiocarbon date."

"As unlikely as it seems, the sample used to test the age of the Shroud of Turin in 1988 was taken from a rewoven area of the Shroud," reports chemist Raymond Rogers, a fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Rogers' new findings are published in the current issue of Thermochimica Acta, a chemistry peer reviewed scientific journal.

"Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin which is currently housed at The Turin Cathedral in Italy," says Rogers.

"The radiocarbon sample has completely different chemical properties than the main part of the shroud relic," explains Rogers. "The sample tested was dyed using technology that began to appear in Italy about the time the Crusaders' last bastion fell to the Mameluke Turks in AD 1291. The radiocarbon sample cannot be older than about AD 1290, agreeing with the age determined in 1988. However, the Shroud itself is actually much older."

Rogers' new research clearly disproves the 1988 findings announced by British Museum spokesperson, Mike Tite, when he declared that the Shroud was of medieval origin and probably "a hoax." The British Museum coordinated the 1988 radiocarbon tests and acted as the official clearing house for all findings.

Almost immediately, Shroud analysts questioned the validity of the sample used for radiocarbon dating. Researchers using high-resolution photographs of the Shroud found indications of an "invisible" reweave in the area used for testing. However, belief tilted strongly toward the more "scientific" method of radiocarbon dating. Rogers' recent analysis of an authentic sample taken from the radiocarbon sample proves that the researchers were right to question the 1988 results.

As a result of his own research and chemical tests, Rogers concluded that the radiocarbon sample was cut from a medieval patch, and is totally different in composition from the main part of the Shroud of Turin.

TURIN, Italy, MAY 10, 2001 - The Shroud of Turin has bloodstains on its reverse side, indicating that the image of the man it bears was not copied, a new study indicates.

The shroud, widely believed to have been the burial cloth of Jesus, was subjected to new scanning techniques last November, and results of the tests were first scrutinized by a symposium of scientists. Cardinal Severino Spoletto, archbishop of Turin, released the news of the tests.

In 1534, two years after a fire damaged the shroud, Poor Clare nuns added a linen lining to the cloth to mend the damage. That allowed only one side of the relic to be seen.

The recent examination, carried out with a scanner, revealed bloodstains on the reverse side, indicating that the image was not copied.

"This is a confirmation of the unfounded character of the hypothesis formulated in the past, according to which the image of the holy shroud was formed by combustion, namely, by the warming of an image wrapped in the cloth," explained Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti, vice president of the Commission for the Exposition of the Shroud.

Experiments which have reproduced this technique have always left traces on the reverse of the fabric -- something that does not happen in the case of the Shroud of Turin.

Paolo Soardo of the Galileo Ferraris Italian Institute carried out the scanning of the reverse of the shroud, which no one had seen in more than 450 years.

In the one-week study, done in the sacristy of the new cathedral, a flat scanner was introduced between the shroud and the linen lining. This made possible the photographing of the central band, and yielded the unique images, Monsignor Ghiberti said.

The photographs show bloodstains from the wounds in the feet, legs, hands and arms.

The color and black-and-white pictures will be published in two volumes: one for the general public and one for experts.