The most significant plants that Danin and Baruch identified and reported on
- Chrysanthemum coronarium: This is one of the most prominent plant
images on the Shroud. It is not a very strong geographical indicator in
that it is a widespread Mediterranean species. It is, however, a good
temporal indicator since it blooms between March and May. This suggests
that the image was formed at that time of year.
- Zygophyllum dunosum: This is the second most prominent floral image on the
Shroud. The phonologic stage of bloom, as seen on the Shroud, indicates that it
was cut or picked sometime between December and April. This plant grows only in
the Sinai, a small area of Jordan adjacent to Israel, Jerusalem, and an area of
Israel south of Jerusalem.
- Gundelia tournefortii: In addition to faint imagery, there are also a very
significant number of pollen spores for this species on the Shroud. Such large
quantities of pollen grains, of this otherwise insect-pollinated plant, can only
be explained by physical contact with the Shroud. Gundelia blooms in Israel
between March and May. This plant also grows throughout Turkey, Syria, northern
Iran, northern Iraq, and in northern Israel. The southernmost edge of its
growing region is Jerusalem.
- Cistus creticus: Numerous pollen grains tend to confirm a fuzzy image of this
plant on the Shroud’s surface. This is considered a very high geographic
indicator since it only grows in Israel along the Mediterranean coast areas and
the higher elevations east of the coast, but only as far in that direction as
the old city of Jerusalem.
- Capparis aegyptia: This plant grows only in Israel, Jordan, and the Sinai.
According to Danin and Buruch, "Flowering buds of this species begin to open
about midday, opening gradually until fully opened about sunset. Flowers of this
species, seen as images on the Shroud, correspond to opening buds at three to
four o’clock in the afternoon."
The last four plants on the Shroud are significant because, as Danin and Baruch
report, "[the assemblage] occurs in only one rather small spot on earth, this
being the Judean mountains and the Judean Desert of Israel, in the vicinity of
scientific study of the Turin shroud is like a microcosm of the
scientific search for God: it does more to inflame any debate than
And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious
relics to have a justifiably mythical status.
simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was
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.
WHAT WE KNOW IN 2005
- 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
- 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.
- The blood is real blood.
- Much of what we think we see in the
image is an optical illusion.
Shroud of Turin Facts Check: