Scientists challenge previous radiocarbon testing that dated the Jesus’ burial cloth to the Middle Ages.
For the doubters, a radiocarbon analysis conducted in 1988 by scientists from Oxford University, the University of Arizona and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology settled the question. After testing samples of the shroud, they estimated that the cloth dated to sometime between 1260 and 1390.
Today that testing is being called into question, according to a report in Vatican Insider News.
Scientists are expected to present evidence challenging the reliability of the 30-year-old testing at this week’s meeting of the International Center of Sindonology in Chambéry, France.
According to Vatican Insider News, scientists will challenge the 1988 findings, based on the following findings:
1. Questions about the reliability of testing fabrics
Paolo Di Lazzaro, research manager of the Aeneas of Frascati, found that “the calculation that transforms the number of C-14 atoms in the age of a fabric” presents “greater uncertainties than in other solid samples (bones, artifacts, etc.) because of the greater permeability of the textile sample to external agents (bacterial digestion, mold, dirt).”
2. Questions about laboratory procedures
The reliability of the data is in question, Di Lazzaro explains, because the three laboratories that dated the Shroud 30 years ago “have always refused to provide the exact distribution of raw data.”
3. Evidence that contamination may have distorted results
Previous tests showed that different samples of the cloth produced different results, indicating the possible presence of contamination.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?