Just Too Cool: The Shroud examined with a new dating technique…. SURPRISE! (Not!)

I am ever delighted when I hear news that some new technological development has been used to discover a hitherto unimagined detail in one of our famous miraculous objects.  For example, the development, pun intended, of photography reveal that the Shroud of Turin is a photographic negative, something people in earlier times would not have known anything about.  Closeup images and filtering revealed the reflection in Mary’s eye on the Tilma, the people standing before her.

We find in the National Catholic Register:

New Scientific Technique Dates Shroud of Turin to Around the Time of Christ’s Death and Resurrection

Italian scientist Liberato De Caro discusses his peer-reviewed findings, based on an X-ray method of research, used to determine the age of the shroud’s fibers.

An Italian scientist is claiming a new technique using X-ray dating shows the Holy Shroud of Turin to be much older than some scientists have stated, and that it does in fact coincide with Christian tradition by dating back to around the time of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Working with a team of other researchers, Liberato De Caro of Italy’s Institute of Crystallography of the National Research Council in Bari used a “Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering” method to examine the natural aging of cellulose that constitutes a sample of the famous linen cloth.

They concluded that their peer reviewed research shows the Holy Shroud is compatible with the hypothesis that it is much older than seven centuries old — the conclusion reached in 1988 using carbon dating techniques — and is around 2,000 years old.

In this April 13 email interview with the Register, De Caro, who has been investigating the Holy Shroud for 30 years, explains more about the discovery, why he believes the X-Ray technique is superior to carbon dating for determining the age of fabric fibers, and discusses other recent discoveries that also point to the Holy Shroud’s authenticity.


Read the rest there. Amazing.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Boniface says:

    Very nice, but not surprised in the least. Anyone worth their salt who has looked into it even minimally knows that the 1988 “dating” experiment was a mess and ended up determining nothing. Even were it reliable, there are still about 1,000 point-of-fact physical realities about the shroud that are impossible to explain in medical, historical, physical, or other terms.

    The more I’ve thought about it over the years, even though I first became convinced of its authenticity due to the “scientific” evidence, the more compelling I find, as well, the “soft” evidence to be among the greatest proofs: a very authentic-seeming and well-documented shroud relic existing in Byzantium as early as the AD 500s that was folded and pinned into an oblong frame despite only the (round-ish) face being exposed. The shroud still shows evidence of this folding.

    Nevertheless, the shroud continues to be very hard to discuss with many people because of the ignorant knee-jerk “but you just want to defend…” reaction. Uh, no, those of us who are strongly inclined to believe in its authenticity (like me) rely entirely on research and evidence.

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    I’ve had an open mind about this question for a very long time, including because I converted to Christianity in 1994 from my initial agnosticism, and after 10 years or so of further conversion, was baptised and confirmed into the Catholic Church in 2005.

    At which point, the scientific debate concerning the Shroud of Turin had been blown wide open by a separate but FAR less precise dating method that had dated it to IIRC 1000BC – 500AD.

    BTW the FACT that the Image on Shroud is essentially photographic hadn’t come out yet.

    But I have had an approach towards the Shroud of Turin that is based, from my former agnosticism, on honest & open-minded scientific pro et contra — and so this new dating method that seems to be a lot less imprecise, putting it in the 1st Century AD is VERY meaningful, to my mind anyway.

    OK — I was personally converted through direct Divine Interventions ; but the nature of them and my own original agnosticism do lead me to efforts of fine distinction between happy coincidence and genuine Providence. Perhaps because of this VERY deep intellectual hesitancy though, and yet for the Father’s Love for ALL of His creatures, the Father has seen fit on multiple occasions to intervene in my life in ways incoherent with Physics, and possible only and only in direct Divine Interventions.

    The Shroud of Turin is quite clearly an extant material Example of exactly that.

  3. WmHesch says:

    The 1898 Shroud photograph was a collective “Ecce Homo” moment for a world that would cry “Crucifige eum!” throughout the 20th century.

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