Science solves the problem of authenticity of the Shroud of Turin

27 Oct

Turin shroundThe new study Shroud of Turin was to resolve disputes about the origin and authenticity of the legendary artifact. However, the results only added new questions. The history of the Shroud and the stages of its investigation. For the first traces of DNA on the mysterious relics of researchers faced in 1998, when tested blood stains, abundantly impregnated fabric. Then scientists reported having iron and protein, but not potassium found in blood, although it contains three times greater than iron.

After 17 years of organized large-scale study of the traces of DNA, and the results published in the journal Scientific Reports. It was found that the DNA samples belong to both people and plants. In particular, the DNA found chicory ordinary, European spruce, hop ordinary, walnut, Mediterranean white clover, rye grass and sycamore, locust North America, as well as growing in the Far East, Asian Pear, Chinese horn beam and other plants.

The researchers emphasize that some of these species in medieval Europe are not exactly met. However, to make some conclusions concerning the question of the authenticity of the relics, based on decoding the DNA of plants, scientists could not, adding that samples from North America in the relic probably came after the discovery of a new continent by Europeans. However, working with the alleged traces of human DNA gave fruit: the scientists sequenced the mitochondrial DNA, which are transmitted from mother to child and found out that on the shroud left a trail of very different nations – from Chinese to North African Berbers. Particularly noted in samples taken from the Shroud of mitochondrial DNA haplo types characteristic of friends – people living in a limited area in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel.

In addition, it is reported that the oldest of the found DNA samples characterized exclusively for India. This suggests that the shroud was brought to Europe from India, and nothing to do with Christ has. In favor of this interpretation and the original name of the Shroud sindon, that is what brought from India.Referred to another version – brought from the Holy Land Shroud could cross half the world before you came to Italy. However, the evidence for this theory is much smaller and with India it does not dock. The third version: the shroud was woven in medieval Europe, and the DNA of plants and people were on it because of the pilgrims who flocked from around the world.

Shroud of Turin – is one of the most important relics of Christianity. According to tradition, on this piece of linen cloth length of 4.36 meters and a width of 1.09 meters was wrapped Jesus after removal from the cross. Stored artifact in the church of St. John in Turin. Cloth impregnated with pollen therein, and contours of various plants. However, the main feature of the relics – two reddish silhouette of a man in front and behind. If you look closely, as they say proponents of the authenticity of the artifact, you can see traces of the crown of thorns and wounds from the torture undergone imprinted on the Shroud of people. The first artifact mentioned in the middle of the XIV century.

A century later the Shroud was sold to Italian rulers County Savoie. The relic was accompanied by representatives of the House of Savoy in Chamberlin, then – in Piedmont, where it was hit by fire: in 1532 it was flooded with molten silver. Subsequently, the web is not just darn maintaining the proper form. The artifact was moved to Turin in 1578. Until the mid-1980s the Shroud belonged to the House of Savoy, and the death of the last king of Italy, Umberto II became the property of the Catholic Church. The history of the Shroud of Turin to the XIV century rather vague: for over a thousand years after Christ’s execution like her description of the artifacts mentioned in some sources. For example, one of them three centuries was the capital of the Byzantine Empire – Constantinople.

Numerous studies have questioned these legendary references, and in 2009 published a critical article by the French explorer Paul Emannuelya not left by these legends stones unturned. The main problem for those who believe in the authenticity of the relics – the fact that in the New Testament in describing the withdrawal from the cross of Jesus, is it not mentioned. All four Evangelists say only at the burial shroud of Jesus’ body – and no word on her fate. Attempts to prove the authenticity of the relics taken from the time of its acquisition. However, doing it in those days, only the representatives of the Church, who did not like that the shroud is in the hands of private individuals. Because profit from its owners relics demonstrating shared with the local authorities, that they do not interfere with the business, despite the protests of the church.

The first scientific study of the artifact held in 1898: while the researchers found that the image on the shroud is made not paint, but more like a photographic negative. The next time access to the body, scientists have received 80 years. Then I managed to find a hemoglobin in the blood stains on the fabric. Further investigations revealed that the alleged blood stains have glandular ocher and cinnabar, which in the Middle Ages were a part of scarlet paint. Art and the analysis carried out in the 1970s, also said the supporters of the authenticity of the artifact points: according to art shown in fabric Silhouette responsible canon image of Christ, to issue to the XIV century, and is not the same as earlier.

In particular, it says that the hands on a print of a man lay down on the genitals, although the Jews buried their dead with his arms folded. But this is how the saints depicted in the XI century. In addition, the dead Jews shave the hair, which also corresponds to the silhouette on the shroud. One of the biggest mysteries – the age of the Shroud. In determining the age of the artifacts, scientists typically use physicochemical radiocarbon method is based on the decay of a radioactive isotope of carbon. We have three carbon isotope, the heaviest of which – 14 C – radioactive, and its half-life time of more than 5700 years. When you create an artifact content of this isotope is comparable with the weather, and then decreases due to radioactive decay.

If you compare the content of 14 C with a lighter and more stable isotope 12 C, it is possible to determine the approximate date of manufacture of the artifact. Initial studies of the Shroud of this method showed that it was created in the period from 1260 for 1390 years. Fragments of the Shroud were removed in the presence of researchers and then studied in different laboratories in several research groups. Church and then gave samples for research, but their removal was carried out without the witnesses. Subsequently, scientists have come to the critical conclusions of its predecessors, but were unable to refute them.

The debate over the Shroud was resumed in 2001, when domestic criminologists and scientists have questioned the competence of the radiocarbon dating conducted in the US, Switzerland and the UK. Russian astronomer and popularizer of science Vladimir Surdin published an article in which he explained that the sensational findings – the result of a gross mathematical error made when the equation of the ratio of carbon isotopes. Follow the work of scientists on the Shroud. It’s an interesting challenge. I think that the origin of the paintings has finally sorted out soon, but the technique of drawing is still a mystery. While not able to play something like that does not manage to convince the skeptics. A believer cannot be after that.

But this is not a problem of scientists asked for comment in the light of new studies. The scientist is to answer three main questions: when and where was woven linen, and how it was done the appropriate figure. And if the first question, researchers are trying to answer with an enviable regularity, the last serious work dedicated to print on fabric, it was published four years ago.

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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in Historical, Science



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