Shroud of Turin
If you are a religious person, or one of those who simply believe in miracles, you find it easier to understand the phenomenon of the Shroud of Turin. But scientists are not sitting still and spend years trying to unravel the mystery. This matter is complicated by the fact that every time there is a person who denies the previous version, and thus, everything starts over again when the great minds of our time strain their gyrus “burning the midnight oil”. If you’ve never heard about this story, I’ll tell you, and hope that it will take your thoughts for a while.
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth with the length of 437 and the width of 111 centimeters. It is stored in the Italian city of Turin, in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. You may ask what provides such an interest. The point is that it depicts a tall bearded man with traces of wounds. Presumably, it can be seen from the image, the traces of mutilations were acquired due to the crucifixion, crown of thorns, as well as the tortures from whips and a hit by the spear. It is believed that the image of Jesus Christ – allegedly, the Savior, taken down from the cross, was wrapped into this particular cloth, and his body was printed on it in a supernatural way. Exactly supernatural, inasmuch as the question “how has the picture appeared?” is still a stumbling block.
In 1898, an amateur photographer Secondo Pia made a photo of the Shroud and found a clear portrait in the negative plate. After this, more serious studies were started over the Shroud. At the end of the XX century Vatican has given permission to conduct researches with the help of special equipment.
A negative variant of image
A photograph of the Shroud
American group “Shroud of Turin Reasearch Project” (STURP), during the project of researches over the Turin Shroud in 1978, conducted an analysis, which showed that there was paint on the cloth in the areas of the image, but at the same time, there was also protein, fat and probably hemoglobin. Recently the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development of Italy (ENEA) has published a report of research over the Shroud of Turin which lasted for five years and in which American scientists of STURP have participated. Their findings make it possible to make a statement that the Shroud is not a fake.
It is reported that the double image of a person (front and back) subjected to tortures and crucifixion, which can be seen on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many unusual chemical and physical characteristics, which currently can’t be reproduced in the laboratory, can’t be repeated, and therefore can’t be falsified. Today, science is unable to explain how the body imprint appeared on the Shroud.
The second question is not easier than the first – the age of the Shroud. Radiocarbon dating conducted in 1988 has not helped to establish the truth. Three groups of scientists (in Arizona, Oxford and Zurich) have worked on the definition of the age of an artifact. Their verdict – XIII-XIV century (from 1260 till 1390). However, considering the fact that the cloth was damaged by fire a few centuries ago, and then it was boiled in sunflower oil in an attempt to cleanse the soot, the results of radiocarbon dating can be refuted, because they were distorted by the influence of fire and water on the cloth.
Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical measurements and thermal measurement at Padua University, has published his analysis in the book “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, coauthored with a journalist Saverio Gaeta. According to his research, the result of 15 years of work, the age of the Shroud dates back to between 300 BC and 400 AD.
Every day there are new researchers who wish to explore the Shroud, getting new facts and details and refuting versions of their colleagues. A variety of versions even includes Leonardo da Vinci, who allegedly willing to mock the Christian faith in the resurrection of Jesus could have done it. Many even see similarities of portrait on the Shroud with the face of great Leonardo.
To this day, everyone adheres to his own opinion – the supporters of the divine origin of the Shroud believe the image was imprinted when Jesus was taken off the cross, or at the time of his resurrection. The opponents of this version claim that it is really Jesus Christ depicted on the Shroud, but this is just a picture, actually an icon. It should be noted that the representatives of the Church, from the very appearance of the Shroud in the XIV century, considered it as a fake. Anyway, the origin of the imprint on the Shroud is still a secret, which remains undisclosed.