MYSTERIES FROM THE HOLY LAND
MYSTERIES FROM THE HOLY LAND
THE SHROUD OF TURIN:
, Dr. Joseph Kohlbeck of the Hercules Aerospace in Utah, with help from Dr. Richard Levi-Setti of the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute, compared dirt from the Shroud to travertine aragonite limestone found in the area of Jerusalem. There was a perfect chemical match. Remarkably, there are no places on earth, other than the Jerusalem locale, where aragonite is known to have the same exact chemical signature as that found in the dirt on the Shroud.
In the April 26 1997 edition of the Jerusalem Post, reporter Judith Siegel wrote that reknowned botany Professor, Avinoam Dannin of Hebrew University , Israel, found images of flowers, plants and herbs on the Shroud that are native only to Israel, and some of which only bloom in March and April.
Using new technology, a special process of photography that increases the contrast and makes visible images that are not easily seen by the naked eye,Professor Dannin identified 28 species of Israeli plants.
December 17, 2000 SCIENCE FEATURE
Dating the Shroud
Argument Continues Over Holy Claims
By Traci Angel
The Associated Press
S T. L O U I S, Aug. 3 — The Shroud of Turin is much older than some scientists believe, according to researchers who used pollen and plant images to conclude it dates from Jerusalem before the eighth century.
The study gives a boost to those who believe the shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus and contradicts a 1988 examination by scientists who said the shroud was made between 1260 and 1390.
In June, the researchers said the cloth originated in the Jerusalem area, also contradicting the 1988 study which concluded it came from Europe.
The shroud's age is implied by pollen grains found on it that match those on another cloth associated with Jesus Christ, botany professor Avinoam Danin of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem said Monday during the International Botanical Congress here.
More History to Other Cloth
The other cloth has been kept in the same location since the eighth century, and its known history is even longer, traceable to the first century.
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth about 13 feet long and 3 feet wide that has been kept in the city of Turin, Italy, since 1578. It bears the image of a man with wounds similar to those suffered by Jesus.
The shroud also contains pollen grains and faint images of plants. "We have identified by images and by pollen grains species on the shroud restricted to the vicinity of Jerusalem," Danin said Monday, reiterating the findings released in June. "The sayings that the shroud is from European origin can't hold."
Analysis of the floral images and a separate analysis of the pollen grains by botanist Uri Baruch identified a combination of plant species that could be found only in March and April in the region of Jerusalem, Danin said.
Danin identified a high density of pollen of the tumbleweed Gundelia tournefortii. The analysis also found the bean caper. The two species coexist in a limited area, Danin said. "This combination of flowers can be found in only one region of the world," he said. "The evidence clearly points to a floral grouping from the area surrounding Jerusalem."
An image of the Gundelia tournefortii can be seen near the image of the man's shoulder. Some experts have suggested that the plant was used for the "crown of thorns."
Two pollen grains of the species were also found on the Sudarium of Oviedo, believed to be the burial face cloth of Jesus.
Danin, who has done extensive study on plants in Jerusalem, said the pollen grains are native to the Gaza Strip.
Similar Blood Stains
Since the Sudarium of Oviedo has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the eighth century, Danin said that the matching pollen grains push the shroud's date to a similar age. Both cloths also carry type AB blood stains in similar patterns, Danin said.
"The pollen association and the similarities in the blood stains in the two cloths provide clear evidence that the shroud originated before the eighth century," Danin said.
The location of the Sudarium of Oviedo has been documented since the first century. If it is found that the two cloths are linked, then the shroud could be even older, Danin said.
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.
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. New tests show that the Shroud of Turin originated near Jerusalem before the 8th century.
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