However, in a paper Gove conceded that the "arguments often raised, … that radiocarbon measurements on the shroud should be performed blind seem to the author to be lacking in merit; … lack of blindness in the measurements is a rather insubstantial reason for disbelieving the result. We are faced with actual blackmail: The proposed changes to the Turin protocol sparked another heated debate among scientists, and the sampling procedure was postponed.
On April 17, , ten years after the S. Among the most obvious differences between the final version of the protocol and the previous ones stands the decision to sample from a single location on the cloth. A further, relevant difference was the deletion of the blind test, considered by some scholars as the very foundation of the scientific method. Samples were taken on April 21, , in the Cathedral by Franco Testore , an expert on weaves and fabrics, and by Giovanni Riggi, a representative of the maker of bio-equipment "Numana". Testore performed the weighting operations while Riggi made the actual cut.
Also present were Cardinal Ballestrero, four priests, archdiocese spokesperson Luigi Gonella, photographers, a camera operator, Michael Tite of the British Museum, and the labs' representatives.
An outer strip showing coloured filaments of uncertain origin was discarded. The other half was cut into three segments, and packaged for the labs in a separate room by Tite and the archbishop.
The lab representatives were not present at this packaging process, in accordance with the protocol. The labs were also each given three control samples one more than originally intended , that were:. In a well-attended press conference on October 13, Cardinal Ballestrero announced the official results, i. The official and complete report on the experiment was published in Nature. Colonetti', Turin, "confirmed that the results of the three laboratories were mutually compatible, and that, on the evidence submitted, none of the mean results was questionable.
Although the quality of the radiocarbon testing itself is unquestioned, criticisms have been raised regarding the choice of the sample taken for testing, with suggestions that the sample may represent a medieval repair fragment rather than the image-bearing cloth. Since the C14 dating at least four articles have been published in scholarly sources contending that the samples used for the dating test may not have been representative of the whole shroud.
Rogers took 32 documented adhesive-tape samples from all areas of the shroud and associated textiles during the STURP process in On 12 December , Rogers received samples of both warp and weft threads that Luigi Gonella claimed to have taken from the radiocarbon sample before it was distributed for dating. The actual provenance of these threads is uncertain, as Gonella was not authorized to take or retain genuine shroud material,  but Gonella told Rogers that he excised the threads from the center of the radiocarbon sample.
Raymond Rogers stated in a article that he performed chemical analyses on these undocumented threads, and compared them to the undocumented Raes threads as well as the samples he had kept from his STURP work.
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He stated that his analysis showed: The main part of the shroud does not contain these materials. Based on this comparison Rogers concluded that the undocumented threads received from Gonella did not match the main body of the shroud, and that in his opinion: As part of the testing process in , Derbyshire laboratory in the UK assisted the Oxford University radiocarbon acceleration unit by identifying foreign material removed from the samples before they were processed. It may not have taken us long to identify the strange material, but it was unique amongst the many and varied jobs we undertake.
The official report of the dating process, written by the people who performed the sampling, states that the sample "came from a single site on the main body of the shroud away from any patches or charred areas. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg is an expert in the restoration of textiles, who headed the restoration and conservation of the Turin Shroud in She has rejected the theory of the "invisible reweaving", pointing out that it would be technically impossible to perform such a repair without leaving traces, and that she found no such traces in her study of the shroud.
Gove helped to invent radiocarbon dating and was closely involved in setting up the shroud dating project. He also attended the actual dating process at the University of Arizona. Gove has written in the respected scientific journal Radiocarbon that: If so, the restoration would have had to be done with such incredible virtuosity as to render it microscopically indistinguishable from the real thing.
Even modern so-called invisible weaving can readily be detected under a microscope, so this possibility seems unlikely. It seems very convincing that what was measured in the laboratories was genuine cloth from the shroud after it had been subjected to rigorous cleaning procedures.
Probably no sample for carbon dating has ever been subjected to such scrupulously careful examination and treatment, nor perhaps ever will again. In , statisticians Marco Riani and Anthony C.
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Atkinson wrote in a scientific paper that the statistical analysis of the raw dates obtained from the three laboratories for the radiocarbon test suggests the presence of contamination in some of the samples. In December , Timothy Jull , a member of the original radiocarbon-dating team and editor of the peer-reviewed journal Radiocarbon , coauthored an article in that journal with Rachel A Freer-Waters.
Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin
They examined a portion of the radiocarbon sample that was left over from the section used by the University of Arizona in for the carbon dating exercise, and were assisted by the director of the Gloria F Ross Center for Tapestry Studies. They found "only low levels of contamination by a few cotton fibers" and no evidence that the samples actually used for measurements in the C14 dating processes were dyed, treated, or otherwise manipulated. They concluded that the radiocarbon dating had been performed on a sample of the original shroud material.
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In March , Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua , conducted a battery of experiments on various threads that he believes were cut from the shroud during the Carbon dating, and concluded that they dated from BC to AD, potentially placing the Shroud within the lifetime of Jesus of Nazareth.
A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggest the shroud is between and years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as years". Pictorial evidence dating from c. Others contend that repeated handling of this kind greatly increased the likelihood of contamination by bacteria and bacterial residue compared to the newly discovered archaeological specimens for which carbon dating was developed.
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Bacteria and associated residue bacteria by-products and dead bacteria carry additional carbon that would skew the radiocarbon date toward the present. Rodger Sparks, a radiocarbon expert from New Zealand, had countered that an error of thirteen centuries stemming from bacterial contamination in the Middle Ages would have required a layer approximately doubling the sample weight.
Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry examination failed to detect any form of bioplastic polymer on fibers from either non-image or image areas of the shroud. Harry Gove once hypothesised that a "bioplastic" bacterial contamination, which was unknown during the testing, could have rendered the tests inaccurate. He has however also acknowledged that the samples had been carefully cleaned with strong chemicals before testing. He inspected the Arizona sample material before it was cleaned, and determined that no such gross amount of contamination was present even before the cleaning commenced.
Others have suggested that the silver of the molten reliquary and the water used to douse the flames may have catalysed the airborne carbon into the cloth. They concluded that the proposed carbon-enriching heat treatments were not capable of producing the claimed changes in the measured radiocarbon age of the linen, that the attacks by Kouznetsov et al. Skip to Main Content. Sign In Register Sign In.
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