Mystery of Shroud of Turin Investigated
March 10, 2010
The Shroud of Turin Mystery Tour will be coming to Stonehill on Thursday, March 18 at 4 p.m. The highly acclaimed multi-media presentation about the mysterious cloth is being sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Affairs and will be held in the Martin Institute. The event will be free and open to the public.
The presentation is a production of Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. and will be presented by Russ Breault, president and founder. The presentation is a fast moving, big-screen experience using over 150 images covering all aspects of research.
Breault is an international lecturer and researcher who has been featured in seven national documentaries and has presented at numerous colleges and universities including Duke, West Point, Auburn and others.
The Shroud of Turin is the most analyzed artifact in the world yet remains a mystery. The 14-foot long linen cloth that has been in Turin, Italy for over 400 years bears the faint front and back image of a 5'10" bearded, crucified man with apparent wounds and bloodstains that match the crucifixion account as recorded in the Bible.
Millions of people over the centuries have believed it to be the actual burial shroud of Jesus. The historical trail tracks back through Italy, France, modern day Turkey and may have originated in the Middle East according to botanical evidence.
A team of 24 scientists in 1981 concluded it was not the work of an artist. They found no visible trace of paint, pigment, dye or other artistic substances on the cloth. Other discoveries have defied explanation such as why the image shows up as a positive image in a photographic negative.
The image also contains 3-D or distance information indicating the cloth must have wrapped a human form at the time the image was created. The blood is AB positive with human DNA. Skeptics have mounted numerous attempts to show how a medieval artist could have produced the image but all have been inadequate to fully explain how the mysterious image was formed.
The image is so superficial it only penetrates the top micro-fibers to the depth of a single bacterium. In addition, there is no image under the blood meaning that the blood was on the cloth before the image. No attempt at replicating the image has resolved these two key attributes. If the cloth indeed wrapped a corpse, there are no stains of decomposition.
The Shroud was largely dismissed in 1988 when three carbon dating labs indicated a medieval origin. However chemical research published in a peer reviewed scientific journal in 2005 shows that the single sample cut from the outside corner edge was not part of the original Shroud material.
In violation of the sampling protocol, only one sample was used for dating and was cut from the most handled area of the cloth, an area that should have been avoided. The sample appears to have been part of a section that was frayed and repaired sometime during the Middle Ages.
Based on this new evidence, many scientists now believe the carbon dating result is inconclusive and should no longer be considered valid.
Adding strength to the Shroud's authenticity, scientists from Hebrew University confirmed the presence of pollen from plants that grow only in Israel. The mystery continues. National Geographic called it "One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times."
The Shroud of Turin Mystery Tour will cover all aspects of the history, science, art and theories of how the image may have been formed.
For more information, contact the Intercultural Resource Center at 508-565-1811.