Radiocarbon dating of the shroud of turin

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The author dismisses 1988 carbon-14 dating tests which concluded that the linen sheet was a medieval fake.

The shroud, which bears the faint image of a blood-covered man, is believed by some to be Christ's burial cloth.

Unfortunately, some people seem to need or want more. Historically interesting, yes, and relatively unique, but the connection between this cloth and Jesus Christ is stretching the imagination so far as to be ridiculous.

Only the faithful will believe it anyway, and those people who need their faith to be bolstered by something as trivial as this need to question why they believe in the first place.

However, the shroud itself is actually much older." Some now hope the Vatican will give approval for samples of the shroud to be re-tested.

But, says Mr Minor, "the church is very hesitant, very reluctant for that to be done, because they've been given so many conflicting opinions". However, I wonder why nobody considered the patch idea earlier.

It is said to have been restored by nuns who patched the holes and stitched the shroud to a reinforcing material known as the Holland cloth.

"[The radiocarbon sample] has obvious painting medium, a dye and a mordant that doesn't show anywhere else," Mr Rogers explained.

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In addition to the discovery of dye, microchemical tests - which use tiny quantities of materials - provided a way to date the shroud.Maybe, some day, we'll find that the 'story' was true!Nancy Robinson, Pittsburgh, PA, USA Whether the shroud is faked or real does not diminish in anyway the fact that Christ died and was wrapped in a piece of cloth.That led to the then Cardinal of Turin, Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, admitting the garment was a hoax.Michael Minor, vice-president of the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research, commented: "This is the most significant news about the Shroud of Turin since the C-14 dating was announced in 1988. But [the new research] is saying that they dated the rewoven area." But since the announcement of the 1988 results, several attempts have been made to challenge the authenticity of these tests.

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