Stephen E. Jones

Article: "Botanists Shed New Light On Shroud Of Turin," Yahoo!/Reuters, August 4, 1999.

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Botanists Shed New Light On Shroud Of Turin
Yahoo! News Science Headlines
Wednesday August 4 [1999] 12:38 AM ET


ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - New scientific testing on the Shroud of Turin, thought by many to be the burial cloth 
of Jesus, has turned up evidence contradicting a carbon dating analysis that concluded the Shroud was a 
medieval fake.

Plants and pollen embedded in the Shroud have been traced to the area around Jerusalem and dated to 
before the eighth century, according to an Israeli scientist.

The earlier carbon dating examination done on a sample corner of the Shroud concluded it was made 
between 1260 and 1390 -- a disputed finding in view of possible contamination of the linen cloth that bears 
the ghostly image of a bearded man.

By analyzing the images of plants and actual pollen that transferred to the Shroud, scientists led by botanist 
Avinoam Danin of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem lent weight to those who believe it to be Christ's 
burial cloth.

"This combination of flowers can be found in only one region of the world. The evidence clearly points to a 
floral grouping from the area surrounding Jerusalem," Danin said in a presentation Monday to the 
International Botanical Congress.

Colleagues determined several of the floral and pollen species found on the Shroud bloomed in what is now 
Israel between May and March, and that another must have been picked in the Judean Desert or the Dead 
Sea Valley between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the day they were placed on the Shroud.

A type of pollen from a thistle visible near the shoulder of the man's image on the Shroud was believed to be 
the plant used for Jesus' crown of thorns, the researchers said.

Two pollen grains of this same species were also found on the Sudarium of Oviedo, which is widely viewed 
as the burial face cloth of Jesus. The Sudarium has been traced to the 1st Century, and both it and the 
Shroud carry type AB blood stains.

"There is no way that similar patterns of blood stains, probably of the identical blood type, with the same 
type of pollen grains, could not be synchronic -covering the same body," Danin said. "The pollen 
association and the similarities in the blood stains in the two cloths provide clear evidence that the Shroud 
originated before the 8th Century."

The Shroud is a yellowing linen cloth measuring 14.5 by 3.9 feet (4.4 by 1.2 meters) and bearing a ghostly 
image of a bearded crucified man.

Scientists have not been able to explain how the image of the man -- whose wounds closely fit the Gospel 
descriptions of wounds Christ suffered before and during his crucifixion -- was left on the cloth. 


Copyright (c) 1996-1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


("Botanists Shed New Light On Shroud Of Turin," Yahoo!/Reuters, August 4, 1999)

Created: 6 May, 2007. Updated: 8 July, 2007.