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

n the Shroud were probably clearer in earlier centuries.

Botanical investigation of the Shroud began with Max Frei's 1973 observations of pollen grains on the Shroud, which he sampled by means of sticky tape. Frei took a second set of 27 sticky tape samples from the Shroud during the scientific study in 1978. In 1979 he took 46 sticky tape samples from the Sudarium of Oviedo. In 1983 faint floral images on the Shroud linen were noted by O. Scheuermann, and subsequently in 1985 by the Whangers. Botanist Avinoam Danin began collaborating with Shroud researchers Alan and Mary Whanger in 1995. They were joined by Israeli pollen expert Uri Baruch in 1998. Frei's Shroud botanical collections were acquired in 1994 by the Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST) and became the resource for this study which analyzed 313 pollen grains.

The burial cloth known today as the Shroud of Turin is a linen rectangle measuring 4.35 meters by 1.1 meter. It has been kept in the city of Turin (Torino), Italy, since 1578. In 1694, the Shroud was placed in a special chapel within the Italian cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Except for a brief period during World War II when the cloth was moved elsewhere for safety, the Shroud remained in this cathedral until the night of April 11, 1997, when a raging fire necessitated its removal. The Shroud was not damaged, and was kept elsewhere in the city until it again was placed in the cathedral for public display from April 18 through June 14, 1998.

While there have long been historical, literary, and artistic claims that the Shroud represents the authentic burial cloth of Jesus, there has been little scientific evidence to support this. In 1988, carbon-14 dating of a single sample from a corner of the Shroud was identified to be from 1260 to 1390 A.D., leading to the widespread conclusion that the entire Shroud was from the Medieval period.


Contact: Eileen Kugler
XVI International Botanical Congress

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