Again with the Shroud of Turin

Radiocarbon tests performed in 1988 showed that the cloth used in the Shroud of Turin was produced sometime in the 14th century. This is in keeping with the fact that the object makes its first appearance in the historical record in 1357, when the widow of the French knight Geoffroi de Charny had it displayed in a church at Lirey, France.

But according to Ray Rogers, a chemist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico who helped lead the 1988 study, the threads used for radiocarbon dating were unlike those in the rest of the shroud, and may have come from a repair made during the Middle Ages.

I am somewhat suspicious that the article in which I learned this is dated April 11, the day before Easter. TV specials about the shroud tend to get high ratings, and I suspect there is another one coming up.

Erika Hert of Science Blogs is skeptical too. In this post she provides an excellent background on the science of radiocarbon dating as it relates to the Shroud of Turin.


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