Mamzelle, numerous textile experts, including some of the top experts in ancient textiles in the world such as Madame Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, of the have examined the shroud...
"Born in Hamburg in 1929, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg studied textile art at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg under Else Mögelin. From 1952 56 she studied archaeology and art history at the Universities of Munich and Kiel. These studies were succeeded by a training in textile conservation at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich under the tutorship of Sigrid Müller- Christensen.
In 1957 Mechthild Flury-Lemberg was asked by Michael Stettler, then director of the Bernisches Historisches Museum of Berne, to take care of its unique textile treasures. At the same time she worked with Felix Guicherd on weaving techniques at the Centre International dÉtudes des textiles Anciens (CIETA) in Lyons. From 1963 she was in charge of planning and preparing the textile department of the newly established Abegg Foundation.
In 1967 the Museum of the Abegg Foundation was opened and Mechthild Flury- Lemberg took charge of the textile department that includes a workshop where students fulfil their training by working with important textiles from all over the world. "
Professor Gilbert Raes, of the Ghent (Belgium) University's Institute of Textile Technology, another world recognized textile expert was allowed to cut a sample from the Shroud in the same corner that would later be sampled for the 1988 C14 tests.
Dr. Raes examined his sample under microscope and compared it to threads lifted from other parts of the Shroud. He discovered that in his sample, cotton was interwoven with Linen... something not found anywhere else on the Shroud.
M. Sue Benford is another textile expert. It was she, along with her husband, who proposed the medieval patching done by French Invisible Reweaving as the reason why the 1988 Carbon14 testing dates were out of step with all the other science and scholarship about the Shroud. Her hypothesis was proved to be correct when separate scientists found that the area tested incorporated COTTON interwoven into the original material and actually spliced to original Linen threads.
These textile experts are in agreement the cloth is NOT medieval.
The yarn was potash and sun bleached in hanks, something that was not done in France but was commonly done in the 1st Century. It was woven on a vertical hand loom and the the various vertical warp threads show variegation due to the technique of hank sun bleaching. Medieval cloth was bleached AFTER weaving using a Lye soak, washing out the lye, and then soaking in sour milk before being laying the completed cloth out in the sun on bushes, which resulted in a more homogenous tone to the color of the cloth.
To make the weaving easier, the yarn used on the Shroud was treated with a crude starch like substance. The complete cloth was then washed in soapwort (saponaria officinalis) to remove the starch, and then rinsed. Microscopic traces of both the starch and soapwort residues are still present on the main body threads of the Shroud. This residue is consistent with evaporation drying after the rinsing. In fact, it is in this residue (less than 100å thick, about 1/100th the thickness of a human hair) that the image on the Shroud has formed. All of this, especially the residues, is expected from first century methods of linen manufacturing described by the historian Pliny the Elder. It is NOT consistent with Medieval cloth making and weaving techniques.
However, NEITHER starch or soapwort is present on the Cotton repair threads of the C14 sample area. Instead, the cotton threads were found to have Madder root alizarin dyes and an Alum (Aluminum in concentrations as high as 2%) mordant that is NOT found anywhere on the main body Linen threads. The use of Alum as a mordant was something that was developed in the 15th Century. Gum Arabic was also found... used as an adhesive to glue the end-to-end inter-twisting splicing of the old to new threads. All of this is consistent with 16th Century repair techniques.
It should be noted that despite these physical and chemical findings by numerous scientists with peer-review and duplication of experiments that prove the C14 sample is both chemically and physically not the same as the main body of the Shroud, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, still claims that the Benford-Marino hypothesis is wrong because, ignoring the evidence, she "cannot find the patch," stating that a "darn repair" would be noticeable on the back of the Shroud."
The old to new material in the sample varied from 40% - 60% new to old material to 60% - 40% new to oldgiving rise to a statistical anomaly that had the sub-samples supposedly clipped from a homogenous main sample reporting dates that varied from 1260 to 1390, a red flag that should have alerted scientists that something was wrong with the sample.
Based on estimates of the ratios of New Cotton to Old Linen from observation of photomicrographs of the 1988 C14 test samples, using a historically-plausible date for reweaving of 1560, Ronald Hatfield of the radiocarbon dating firm Beta Analytic provided estimates that show that the original shroud Linen cloth might easily be 2000 years old. Harry Gove, the inventor of the C14 process used to date the Shroud concurred with that estimate. An unauthorized C14 test performed on a thread pulled from the center of the Shroud reported a creation date of 1st century, plus or minus 100 years.
Pollen from plants growing only in the Jerusalem area has been found on the Shroud as well as imbedded limestone dustTravertine Aragonitea type that is unique and found also only in the Jerusalem area near Golgotha... The limestone dust is found ONLY on the backside of the dorsal image where the cloth would have been laid against freshly hewn limestone.
As to your comments about the value of cloth in historic times, if you will recall you and I had a discussion several years ago on FR about the amount of labor that went into producing a cloth of this nature... and its relative value. The Bible states that Joseph of Arimathea purchased a fine Linen cloth for Jesus' burial... the cloth of the Shroud meets that criteria.
So knowing what the residue consists of (say, X), and knowing what the cloth consists of (say Y), whatever would be not X or not Y would be what makes the image.
Is that not a known substance? Or is there nothing that is not X or not Y, but we see that the image does exist so it is a huge mystery? Or is it that there is so much "there" because of handling the cloth, displaying it to the elements, etc., that it cannot be "boiled down" to just what makes the image?
If you know...
Another great post! This would seem to clinch the argument, wouldn't it? Now, all they need would be to repeat it a couple of times, and the debate would be over -- or at least drastically recast!
Of course, from the Church's perspective, why end the debate too quickly? Why not let new ideas percolate and soak in slowly, so to speak?
For certain, the Shroud has a most interesting history, which will have left many different marks and deposits on it. Look at one section and it says: Medieval repairs, another section may say: sixth century Byzantine, still another: first century Jerusalem, who knows? Perhaps fully unraveling all the Shroud's mysteries could take as long as the Shroud's history itself?