Skip to comments.A DETAILED CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE CHEMICAL STUDIES ON THE TURIN SHROUD
Posted on 10/06/2008 12:41:32 AM PDT by Swordmaker
In 1978, a team of scientific researchers (STURP: Shroud of Turin Research Project) was allowed for the first time to carry out a scientific comprehensive study of the Turin Shroud. Visual examination, macro and microphotographies, X-Ray radiographies; IR, visible and UV reflectance spectroscopy and photographs and UV-Vis fluorescence studies were conducted in situ.
32 surface samples (5 cm2 each) were obtained from specific locations using inert, non-reactive pure hydrocarbon sticky tapes for later examination. The results of the studies were published in different peer-reviewed scientific journals in the following years.
In 1981, STURP officially concluded that: «No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies.( ) The scientific consensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself.( ) Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery. We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of cientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.
In sharp contrast, Walter McCrone who also examined the samples, mainly by the mean of Polarized Light Microscopy, concluded that the Shroud was in fact a beautiful painting by a mediaeval artist who used red ochre as pigment in a collagen binder for the image and a larger amount of the same kind of pigment with vermilion (HgS) added to paint the blood.
In 1988, the results of the radiocarbon dating of a single small piece of the Turin Shroud (age: 1260-1390 with 95% confidence) apparently demonstrated that McCrone was right.
In 2005, the late Raymond Rogers published in the peer-reviewed journal Thermochimica Acta 1 his personal studies on the chemistry of some linen threads obtained from the radiocarbon area compared with that of the main part of the Shroud and concluded: the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the Shroud.
If Rogers is right (which will not be discussed here), the question to know if the Shroud is or not a medieval painting becomes again of highest interest.
Too often, contradictory or vague statements are found in the Shrouds literature and it is difficult to gather and compare the original articles of the researchers.
The goal of this paper is to present and discuss as completely and objectively as possible the results of these chemical studies, mainly on the basis of almost all the original peer-reviewed articles and of a personal research in the scientific literature available on the Internet. Comments are presented as such.
This is an excerpt, Read the rest of the article here. PDF viewer required.
This is an excellent, well written and well researched presentation on those limited areas. Mostly it revolves around McCrone's claim that the image and blood stains are paint and Heller's and Adler's claims that the the image and blood stains are not paint, and specifically identifying the blood stains as the exudates of real blood.
Thanks for the synopsis
You can speculate on the turin forever. Whether blood or paint, it can never be proved that the image is Jesus.
Thanks for the ping!
That is true... however, this is science about what is actually there, not speculation. Who it is can only be speculated.
I’ve always wondered why anyone would “Paint” a picture like this. Why would they paint a negative?
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