Shroud of Turin Facts

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The most significant plants that Danin and Baruch identified and reported on are:

  • 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 Jerusalem."

  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