Shroud of Turin Facts

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Why The Carbon 14 Samples Are Invalid

per: Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425 pages 189-194, by Raymond N. Rogers, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California)

A paper in Thermochimica Acta, is available on Elsevier BV's ScienceDirect® online information site. Elsevier is one of the world's largest providers of ethical, peer-reviewed scientific, technical and medical literature. The paper,

The abstract in Thermochimica Acta reads in part:

Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.

The problem is called material intrusion. It is an uncommon problem in some carbon 14 dating exercises. For instance, in dating peat bogs, which may be very old, the samples often contain miniscule roots from newer plants that grew in the peat. Sometimes the roots, having decomposed, are indistinguishable from the older peat. What is tested might simply be a mixture of old and new material leading to erroneous results. No one expected that material intrusion might be a problem with the Shroud of Turin. But it was. By some estimates, as much as 60 percent of the Shroud of Turin sample was new thread, the result of mending in the 16th century. This is sufficient to change the date of a 1st century shroud to the medieval date range arrived at by the carbon 14 dating.

Links to the Thermochimica Acta paper may be found at Shroud of Turin Story

  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