New research suggests that the Shroud of Turin, one of the Catholic Church’s holiest relics, may be the real deal.
Believed by some to have been Jesus’ burial cloth, the Shroud has been the subject of much research. The latest battery of experiments led experts to conclude the cloth may have come from the first century.
Scientists at the University of Padua in Italy used infrared light and spectroscopy (the study of a physical object’s interaction with electromagnetic radiation) to study the shroud and found that it’s actually much older than previously believed.
Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua, announced the findings in a book that hit shelves this weekend in Italy. Fanti has written several papers about the shroud, including one in 2011 that hypothesized how radiation could have caused the image of a man’s bloody face and body to appear on the cloth.
In his most recent effort, Fanti and a research team from the University of Padua conducted three tests on tiny fibers extracted from the shroud during earlier carbon-14 dating tests conducted in 1988, according to Vatican Insider. The first two tests used infrared light and Raman spectroscopy, respectively, while the third employed a test analyzing different mechanical parameters relating to voltage.
The results date the cloth to between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D..
Fanti said that researchers also found trace elements of soil “compatible with the soil of Jerusalem.”
The Shroud of Turin was several years ago examined by the Los Angeles coroner’s department.
It found evidence of a 177.5cm male weighing about 77 kilos with Jewish features and with the common AB negative blood type.
The man in the shroud had suffered numerous severe puncture wounds around the head and wrists — as you would find in a victim of crucifixion.
There was swelling over one cheek consistent with a beating and puncture wounds over his wrists.
He died of a painful heart attack and was certifiably dead.