Shroud of Turin Facts

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Plant Images on the Shroud of Turin

During a 1999 conference of the Missouri Botanical Society in St Louis, Missouri, Avinoam Danin, a botany professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a leading authority on the flora of Israel, along with Uri Baruch, a pollen specialist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, reported that the combination of pollen spores lodged in the Shroud’s surface, as well as floral images mysteriously “imprinted” on the cloth, could only have come from plants growing in a restricted area around Jerusalem. How floral images came to be on the cloth is as big a mystery as are the body images.

Pollen identification is a common method used in criminal forensics to determine where an object has been geographically. Max Frei, a Zurich criminologist, had previously identified a total of 58 different pollens on the Shroud. These pollens are native to areas around 1) the Dead Sea and the Negev, 2) the Anatolian Steppe of central and western Turkey, 3) the immediate environs of Constantinople, and 4) Western Europe. Danin and Baruch confirmed much of Frei’s work. They also confirmed some previous floral image identifications by Oswald Sheuermann, a German physicist, and Alan Whanger, a professor at Duke University.

  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