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Is the Shroud of Turin Medieval? History Tells a Different Story
In 1988, the Shroud of Turin entered a period of its history as dark and gloomy as the approaching storm. It will be a storm of bad press and negative opinion. The Shroud was a fake, as determined by three carbon dating laboratories. The party is over. Seven years earlier, in 1981, hopes were high as the Shroud of Turin Research Project announced their results after five days on the canvas and three years of data analysis. Their results have strengthened the global opportunity. The shroud was not the work of an artist and the blood was real. Could the garment be authentic? Is this even possible?
Not according to carbon dating labs. Science has spoken and science is never wrong. I dedicate this article to the memory of the late Paul Harvey, the great radio news anchor who became famous for his catchphrase, “Now you know the rest of the story.”
In 1985, twenty-two scientists got together in a hotel in Norway to discuss a protocol for how to carbon date the Shrod. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but it was agreed that seven different laboratories would be involved, four using the older proportional counter technology and three using the newer nuclear accelerator technology. The tests will be blinded so that the laboratories involved will not know which sample was the control or the dressing. Finally, and most importantly, they cut at least three different places on the garment to balance out any slop from potential contamination. This is what was supposed to happen.
Now the rest of the story. Luigi Gonnella was the Catholic Church’s chosen scientific adviser on the whole affair. It was his decision to limit the number of laboratories from the original seven to three. That alone wasn’t earth shattering, seven was probably too much anyway. But the real mistake was much more than a simple mistake; It was a colossal mistake and one that would forever leave the shroud in limbo. As the leaders of the three labs in Oxford, Zurich, and Tucson gathered around the venerable fabric to determine where to cut the dating samples, Luigi’s scientist hat fell to the floor to reveal another hat brimming with Catholic piety. Instead of cutting three different areas on the fabric, Luigi decided on just one area that was adjacent to the area cut by Gilbert Raes for textile analysis in 1973. why there It looked beautiful. The most important carbon dating event of the twentieth century was defined by aesthetics rather than sound methodology.
In Luigi’s defense, there are indications that he was pressured to ignore the sampling protocol by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Center for Sindonology in Turin. It may be so, but he will always be the one to blame for this lie.
What happened? Instead of three samples, only one was cut. And where was he wounded? One of the most elaborate parts of the garment, the very corner that has been picked up and straightened hundreds of times over the centuries as the shroud has been removed and held horizontally by church officials for thousands to see. It has been brought out many times to bless royal weddings since it belonged to the Royal Savoy family for over 400 years.
So not only was the carbon test limited to just one sample, it was also taken from a place any archaeologist would avoid like swine flu. Is there a pattern problem? A radiograph of the sample area shows a higher density of threads for some reason. Another clue came from chemist Dr. Alan Adler in 1996. He noticed that the spectrographic data from this corner did not match the rest of the tissue, suggesting a different chemical composition. In 2003, chemist Ray Rogers took thread samples from the same area for carbon dating and compared them to threads taken from the main body of the fabric. Rogers used chemistry to confirm suspicions raised by other tests. His work was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2005. The angle was not uniform. It was different; In fact, it was quite different.
The presence of starch, lint, and root dye indicates some repair. What? Has the corner been repaired? When? How? it does not matter. Couldn’t Luigi and the others notice the difference? Not if it was done by skilled French weavers who specialized in “invisible mending”. During the late Middle Ages in France, weavers formed a craft guild and excelled at restoring tapestries, draperies, and fine clothing to their original condition. Were they employed to mend the garment? There is no written account to confirm this event, but the smoking gun is clearly visible. Cotton was used to repair the damaged corner because it easily absorbs the paint. Dye was used in the new cotton threads to blend with the heavily yellowed threads of the garment, and finally starch was used to strengthen the cotton threads as they were carefully woven into the corner. What else could be the reason for the discovery of these anomalous substances in this very corner?
Luigi’s colossal mistake leaves us nowhere. Since the legitimacy of the carbon dating sample is clearly in question, it must be rejected as inconclusive. If the Shroud was some other non-descript artifact from some obscure archaeological site, it would simply be re-dated. Not so with the Shroud, twenty-one years have passed since the first carbon dating tests and there is still no consideration of repeating the tests.
It seems that historians must now take center stage to answer one of the central questions surrounding the Shroud. Is it the Middle Ages? If not, how old is it?
This article cannot discuss the entire history of Schroed. However, it would be instructive to see if the fabric dates back to the estimated carbon date of 1260 to 1390. The labs determined with “95% confidence” that the oldest date would be 1260, the youngest 1390. At least we know that it wasn’t the work of Leonardo da Vinci, who was born a bit later – 1452 – if he certainly invented time travel.
One of the historical challenges was to bridge all the gaps with clear documentation. Historians lament the severe lack of documents about almost any person or event dating back more than a few hundred years. Gaps are filled in by inference and context. With the Shroud, one such gap exists between 1204 and 1356. We have a clear historical trail from its arrival in Lire, France, when it was first exhibited, to the present day.
What happened in 1204? This year marks the lowest point in Christian history, when Venetian and French crusaders invaded Constantinople, the center of Eastern Christianity. It was considered the richest city on earth and was proud of its collection of relics, including the crown of thorns and “the most holy linen cloth in which our Lord Jesus Christ was wrapped.” This is how it was presented in a letter to Pope Innocent III in 1205 protesting the invasion. We know from other accounts that this linen contained the image as a shroud. The city was looted and burned. Almost all the relics in some cathedrals in France, Spain or Italy can now be traced back to Constantinople. Where did the dress go? The document reveals that it was taken to Athens and seen there in 1207. Now four documents confirm this. who had It became the property of the famous crusader, Otto de la Roche of Burgundy. He was a man of wealth and position and contributed significantly to the successful sack of Constantinople. In return for his service, he was granted Athens as a fief and became the Duke of Athens and was awarded several relics, including a robe. However, his political reign was short-lived due to clashes with the Pope, and in 1230 he returned to his castle at Rey-sur-Saône in Burgundy. A collection of items taken from Constantinople is still kept in one of the towers. One of the most important items is a wooden chest with the inscription, “13th century casket in which the Shroud of Christ, brought from Constantinople by Othon de Rey, was kept at Rey Castle – 1206.” There is some confusion as to whether the inscription refers to Otto or his son, known as Otto de Rey. It hardly matters. The point is that we know the location of the Shroud in 1230; It was in Burgundy, France.
Now we have to jump forward 120 years to 1350. This is when Jean de Verges, grandson of Otto de la Roche, was to marry the distinguished French knight, Geoffrey de Charney. Jean lived in Besançon, France – a hundred miles from Burgundy. It is recorded that he has a shroud and is kept in the castle of Besancon outside the city. Records indicate that it was sometimes exhibited at St. Stephen’s Cathedral during Easter. In the same year of their marriage, the temple burned down. In 1353, Jean de Verges and Geoffrey de Charn moved to Lire, where Geoffrey built a church, but died in 1356. That same year, Jean de Verge held the first public exhibition of the Shroud in Geoffrey’s honor. The Pilgrims Medal is cast showing a unique double image of the shroud with both families’ coats of arms. Historians have determined through inference and context that Jean de Verge was the rightful owner of the Shroud as a direct descendant of Otto de la Roche and gave the relic as her dowry to Geoffrey when they married.
Between the 1230s, when we know it was in Burgundy, and the 1350s, when Jean de Vergé is known to have owned it, is when it may have been held by the Templars for safekeeping. A recent document discovered by historian Barbara Frale in the Vatican archives in 1287 reveals a young recruit to the order being ushered into a secret sanctuary, where he is shown a long linen cloth bearing the image of a bearded man and asked. Kiss the feet three times. Interestingly, another Geoffrey de Charn was burned at the stake in 1314 along with Jacques de Molay. They were two leaders of the Knights Templar who were accused of heresy for worshiping a mysterious image. Is it a coincidence that another Geoffrey de Charney, a direct descendant of an executed Templar, married the rightful heiress of the Shroud, Jean de Verge, thirty-six years later? Wow! Writers pay attention. Are you looking for a story full of intrigue, mystery, scandal and betrayal? You just found it.
What does it all mean? Look at the dates…1205, 1207, 1230, all of which clearly precede the early carbon date of 1260. We clearly own the fabric of Otho and his descendants. The most important aspect of this story is this – if we can connect the Shroud of Turin to what disappeared during the Fourth Crusade; We suddenly have a documented trail dating back to the sixth century! The history of the fabric described as “most sacred” began in 525 and disappeared in 1204.
Is there another way to bridge the gap between 1204 and 1356? There is and this is the most important thing. About thirty years ago, an important image was discovered on the pages of a Hungarian prayer manuscript. It was the first book written and bound in Hungarian. Inside is a picture showing two different scenes. The first scene shows Jesus laid in his tomb with only four fingers and no thumb as a shroud. The second scene shows a cloth wrapped around Jesus with an image of a face, which roughly shows that the cloth contains an image. Here’s the clincher; The image also shows an “L” shaped pattern of burn holes exactly as we see them on the shroud. Finally, the image clearly shows Schroed’s distinctive herringbone pattern weave. It could not be more clear. This image, dated 1192, depicts a shroud kept in Constantinople and is the same fabric that is in Turin today. Now there can be no mistake about it disappearing in 1204 and later being given to Otto de la Roche.
Is the robe medieval? There is no chance. As long as we continue to pretend that the carbon date is somewhat accurate despite the poor specimen, we will continue to search for the supposed medieval artist who created it. If you’re looking for an artist, start your search in the sixth century. However, don’t look too hard because there is evidence that takes it back to the third century. Does it all go back to the first century? Only if you believe in legends – but all legends have a kernel of truth. Now you know the rest of the story. I think Paul Harvey is smiling.
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