A study conducted on a sample of the Shroud of Turin confirms that the cloth dates from the Middle Ages.
Following in-depth study of the surviving sample with the two proven methods of stereoscopic microscope work (to re-create the relief) and fluorescence, the researcher brought out several key points: first, the fabric is almost exclusively linen, hardly contaminated with any cotton fibres; it also has been subjected to no coatings or dyes.
Next, the sample was indeed taken from the original part of the 4-metre-long shroud.
As he explained to Sciences et Avenir, it is "a piece of the shroud sample, which his Tucson laboratory received on 14 April 1988” - which he had cut, set aside and assumed something of a caretaker role for.
For the first 1988 analyses, the Vatican had permitted only a few milligrams of the shroud to be taken for analysis by three laboratories, in Tucson (USA), Zurich (Switzerland) and Oxford (England).
Director of the University of Arizona laboratory in Tucson, Arizona in the United States – one of three laboratories the Vatican selected to perform the 1988 analyses – he has published new analyses in the peer-reviewed journal Radiocarbon (2) which Sciences et Avenir has been able to read prior to publication.
They aim to finally halt the steady criticisms since the dating that suddenly dashed the hopes of those touting the cloth's authenticity; it is claimed that it is the very shroud in which the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion. The italian translation of the article by Sciences et Avenir. Timothy Jull, a long-standing figure in the story and in a privileged position for playing the part, today brought out major artillery…12.39 milligrams of linen, measuring only 0.5 cm by 1 cm.This dye was alizarin dye, extracted from the madder root, and used in Italy only from 1291; it would indicate that the dated parts had been stained later to ingeniously hide the piecemeal reweaving work on the original shroud : he triumphantly declared to the BBC. Rogers also measured vanillin levels, a natural breakdown product of the lignin present in flax; this vanillin content declines over time.The test was negative for the adhesive-tape fibre samples from the shroud's overall surface, but positive for the Raes sample, in the area next to the C14 sample as well as on the Holland linen.For the chemist, this proves the fibres from the radiocarbon dating samples are different from those from the rest of the shroud.All that remains is to estimate its age on the scientific basis of how vanillin levels vary over time.“Since they have a lot of influence, and they discredit the radiocarbon sample, I thought it was important. On the other hand, while he felt the Rogers paper raised a scientific challenge, he did continually and with great aplomb ignore the violent polemic around the dating itself, which nevertheless upset more than one researcher (read the interview with Jacques Evin).