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Botanical evidence indicates "Shroud of Turin" originated in Jerusalem area before 8th century

ST. LOUIS, MO. August 2, 1999 -An analysis of pollen grains and plant images places the origin of the "Shroud of Turin," thought by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, in Jerusalem before the 8th Century. The authenticity of the Shroud has been debated for centuries, with a 1988 carbon dating process placing it in the Middle Ages.

Botanist Avinoam Danin of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem determined the origin of the Shroud based on a comprehensive analysis of pollen taken from the Shroud and plant images associated with the Shroud. The review of plant and pollen evidence is being published by the Missouri Botanical Garden Press as Flora of the Shroud of Turin by Danin, Alan Whanger, Mary Whanger , and Uri Baruch. The peer-reviewed publication will be available in late summer.

Danin presented his research findings at a lecture series held in conjunction with the XVI International Botanical Congress. More than 4,000 scientists from 100 countries are meeting in St. Louis this week to discuss the latest research on plants for human survival and improved quality of life. Held only once every six years, the International Botanical Congress last met in the United States in 1969, when it was held in Seattle, Washington.

Danin's analysis suggests that flowers and other plant materials were placed on the Shroud of Turin, leaving pollen grains and imprints of plants and flowers on the linen cloth. In addition to the image of a crucified man, the cloth also contains faint images of plants. Tentatively identifying the plant images through a method of image comparison known as Polarized Image Overlay Technique (PIOT), Alan and Mary Whanger have reported that the flowers were from the Near East region and that the Shroud originated in early centuries. Analysis of the floral images by Danin and an analysis of the pollen grains by Uri Baruch identify a combination of certain species that could be found only in the months of March and April in
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Contact: Eileen Kugler
EKugler@aol.com
314-611-3961
XVI International Botanical Congress
2-Aug-1999


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