Shroud of Turin Facts

Shroud of Turin FactsMore Facts Previous: Scorching Fire and Carbon 14  Next: Radiation and Images

Material Intrusion in the Carbon 14 Sample Area

Material intrusion is a potential problem in some carbon 14 dating exercises. A classic example is the dating of peat from ancient bogs. Miniscule roots from much newer plants get entangled in the peat -- some roots having decomposed into newer peat -- and this will distort the results.

Did material intrusion affecte the results of dating of the Shroud? Yes! As it turns out, chemical and visual analyses, done in just the last two years, show unmistakable proof of material intrusion of new linen fibers. By some estimates there is enough material intrusion to make a 1st century cloth seem medieval. The discovery of alizarin and purpurin dyes (from Madder root), a hydrous aluminum oxide mordant and plant gum along with twisted-in cotton fibers and spliced threads in the carbon 14 sample region shows that the sample area was discretely repaired. These substances are not found anywhere else on the Shroud.

  The scientific study of the Turin shroud is like a microcosm of the scientific search for God: it does more to inflame any debate than settle it.”

  And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious relics to have a justifiably mythical status.

  It is simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was made.”

Scientist-Journalist Philip Ball
Nature, January 2005

Nature, that most prestigious of scientific journals, that once had bragging rights to claim that the Shroud was fake, responding to new, peer-reviewed studies that discredit the carbon 14 dating and show that the Shroud could be authentic.


  1. The Shroud of Turin is certainly much older than the now discredited radiocarbon date of 1260-1390. It is at least twice as old and it could be 2000 years old.  FACTS
  2. Though no one knows how it was made, the image is a selective caramel-like darkening of an otherwise clear coating of starch fractions and various saccharides.  FACTS
  3. The blood is real blood.  FACTS
  4. Much of what we think we see in the image is an optical illusion FACTS

Shroud of Turin Facts Check: 2005 Facts