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Microchemists say 1988 dating of Shroud tested a newer patch, not the "much older" original
Continuing good news for those who believe in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin—a retired chemist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory has published a peer-reviewed study declaring invalid the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the cloth (which dated it between 1260 and 1390).

The problem, writes Raymond N. Rogers, in the January 20 issue of Thermochimica Acta, is that the 1988 study tested a sample from a medieval patch, not the shroud itself.

"The radiocarbon sample had been dyed, most likely to match the color of the older, sepia-colored cloth," Rogers told Discovery News. "The sample was dyed using a technology that began to appear in Italy about the time the Crusaders' last bastion fell to the Mameluke Turks in 1291. … The radiocarbon sample cannot be older than about 1290, agreeing with the age determined by carbon-14 dating in 1988. However, the shroud itself is actually much older."

How much older? That's hard to tell, Rogers wrote.

The fact that vanillin can not be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1,300 and 3,000 years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years.

"The presence of a patch on the shroud doesn't come as a surprise," says Discovery News. "The linen cloth has survived several blazes since its existence was first recorded in France in 1357, including a church fire in 1532. Badly damaged, it was then restored by nuns who patched burn ...

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Shroud of Turin Between 1,300 and 3,000 Years Old, Journal Says
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