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1 - Department of Geosciences, 2 - Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA 3 - Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, UK 4 - Institut für Mittelenergiephysik, ETH-Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 5 - Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA 6 - Research Laboratory, British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich.
As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated.
The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval.
The Shroud of Turin , which many people believe was used to wrap Christ's body, bears detailed front and back images of a man who appears to have suffered whipping and crucifixion.
In October 1987, the offers from three AMS laboratories (Arizona, Oxford and Zurich) were selected by the Archbishop of Turin, Pontifical Custodian of the shroud, acting on instructions from the Holy See, owner of the shroud. Samples weighing 50 mg from two of the three controls were similarly packaged.But the three laboratories undertook not to compare results until after they had been transmitted to the British Museum.Also, at two laboratories (Oxford and Zurich), after combustion to gas, the samples were recoded so that the staff making the measurements did not know the identity of the samples. On the basis of the Islamic embroidered pattern and Christian ink inscription, this linen could be dated to the eleventh to twelfth centuries AD. Linen from the collection of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, associated with an early second century AD mummy of Cleopatra from Thebes (EA6707).One-third received no further treatment, one-third was submitted to a weak treatment with 0.5% HCL (room temperature), 0.25% Na OH (room temperature) and again in acid, with rinsing in between.
The final third was given a strong treatment, using the same procedure except that hot (80° C) 5% HCL and 2.5% Na OH were used.
Among those present when the sample as cut from the shroud were Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (Archbishop of Turin), Professor L. The laboratories were not told which container held the shroud sample.