New Scientific Evidence Debunks Claim that Turin Shroud is a European Forgery

New scientific tests conducted on the famous Shroud of Turin have revealed that the flax used to make the linen was grown in the Middle East.

The results of isotope tests provide new evidence that the shroud is the actual garment that was used to cover the body of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion – and is not a forgery that was created in medieval Europe.

Fragments of cloth taken from the shroud show that its flax originated in the western Levant, a swathe of land occupied today by Israel, Lebanon and western parts of Jordan and Syria.

William Meacham, the American archaeologist who commissioned the study, said: “With a probable near Eastern origin, new doubts must be raised about interpreting the shroud as simply a fake relic made in medieval Europe, and new questions arise about what the image on the cloth signifies.

“The possibility that this cloth is actually the burial shroud of Jesus is strengthened by this new evidence.

“In my view, that remains the best explanation for the shroud.”

As a member of the board of directors of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association (STERA), Meacham obtained permission to test five of seven threads in the possession of the group.

The threads originated from a sample known as the “Raes piece” that was removed from the Shroud in 1973 for textile research.

Fourteen threads were provided by the Turin archdiocese to the physicist Ray Rogers, a member of the American scientific team that had conducted an onsite study of the shroud in 1978, and which were later passed on to STERA.

Testing was undertaken at the Stable Isotopes Laboratory of the University of Hong Kong, which is able to test very small samples of even less than 1mg.

Meacham said the Eastern origin of the shroud is important because “it reinforces other features that point in that direction”.

He explained: “Most notable was the pollen. Even though many identifications have since been discounted, certain species taken together still indicate an Eastern Mediterranean presence.

“Similarly, the crown of thorns [on the shroud] in helmet style rather than Roman circlet is a feature characteristic of Asia Minor and the Levant.

“Another is the claim of coins on the eyes in the shroud image that matched a documented instance from a second century burial in Judea.

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