Shroud of Turin Facts

Shroud of Turin FactsMore Facts Previous: Sudarium of Oviedo  Next: Images of Plants

Analysis of the Sudarium of Oviedo

In 1999, Mark Guscin, a member of the multidisciplinary Investigation Team of the Centro Español de Sindonología, issued a detailed forensic and historical report entitled, “Recent Historical Investigations on the Sudarium of Oviedo.” Guscin’s report detailed recent findings of the history, forensic pathology, blood chemistry, and stain patterns on the Sudarium. His conclusion: the Sudarium and the Shroud of Turin had been used to cover the same injured head at closely different times. Here are some highlights from Guscin’s report:

  • It seems to be a funeral cloth that was probably placed over the head of the corpse of an adult male of normal constitution. The man whose face the Sudarium covered had a beard, moustache and long hair, tied up at the nape of his neck into a ponytail.
  • The man was dead. The mechanism that formed the stains is incompatible with any kind of breathing movement.
  • The man was wounded before death with something that made his scalp bleed and produced wounds on his neck, shoulders and upper part of the back.
  • The man suffered a pulmonary edema as a consequence of the terminal process. The main stains are one part blood and six parts fluid from the pulmonary fluid.
  • The only position compatible with the formation of the stains on the Oviedo cloth is both arms outstretched above the head and the feet in such a position as to make breathing very difficult, i.e. a position totally compatible with crucifixion. We can say that the man was wounded first (blood on the head, shoulders and back) and then ‘crucified.’
  • On reaching the destination, the body was placed face up and for unknown reasons, the cloth was taken off the head.
  • The Sudarium contains pollen grains of Gundelia tournefortii, identical to that found of the Shroud that grows only east of the Mediterranean Sea as far north as Lebanon and as far south as Jerusalem.
  • The blood (stain symmetry, type and other indicators) on the Sudarium matches the blood on the Shroud.

In summary, Guscin wrote:

There are many points of coincidence between all these points and the Shroud of Turin - the blood group, the way the corpse was tortured and died, and the macroscopic overlay of the stains on each cloth. This is especially notable in that the blood on the Sudarium, shed in life as opposed to postmortem, corresponds exactly in blood group, blood type and surface area to those stains on the Shroud on the nape of the neck. If it is clear that the two cloths must have covered the same corpse, and this conclusion is inevitable from all the studies carried out up to date, and if the history of the Sudarium can be trustworthily extended back beyond the fourteenth century, which is often referred to as the Shroud’s first documented historical appearance, then this would take the Shroud back to at least the earliest dates of the Sudarium’s known history. The ark of relics and the Sudarium have without any doubt at all been in Spain since the beginning of the seventh century, and the history recorded in various manuscripts from various times and geographical areas take it all the way back to Jerusalem in the first century. The importance of this for Shroud history cannot be overstressed.

  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