Re: Botanist: Shroud of Turin came from Jerusalem

Allan Harvey (
Thu, 05 Aug 1999 08:48:47 -0600

Moorad copied an AP article (is that legal?) about the recently announced
shroud findings, where it was claimed to have been shown that it was from
the Jerusalem area and before the 8th century, in contrast to the
findings of carbon-dating results.

Maybe somebody out there can answer three obvious questions that came to
my mind:

1) The main argument for the 8th century seems to be that the pollen
grains are similar to those on another cloth known to be at least that
old. But how does the conclusion follow? Unless Jerusalem plant life
changed over the centuries, the presence of the same pollens just
indicates that both came from Jerusalem (or at least were in Jerusalem at
some point in their history) and says nothing about their relative ages.
The only other "similar age" argument is that of "similar bloodstains",
which seems pretty subjective.

2) Why have I never heard of this other bloodstained cloth "believed to
be the burial face cloth of Jesus"? One would think that if such a thing
were really traceable to the first century, it would be more famous than
the Shroud of Turin. Has this other cloth been carbon dated?

3) Since the shroud allegedly has the image of Jesus' face on it, it
would seem that its authenticity would be incompatible with the
authenticity of a "burial face cloth" of Jesus. Am I missing something there?

>The 1988 study used carbon dating tests. Danin noted that the earlier study
>looked at only a single sample, while he used the entire piece of fabric.

wre certainly several samples, as several (3?) labs tested different
samples. I *think* they took these samples from more than one place on
the cloth, but I could be mistaken there. Of course it is correct that
the carbon dating didn't use "the entire piece of fabric", but was this
guy really allowed to look at the pollen grains and blood over the entire

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
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