The Shroud‎ > ‎

Examination and research

The Shroud has undergone numerous examinations and been the subject of much research. It is the most studied relic in the world and has involved over 25 different sciences.

There follows a brief summary of some of the more significant studies.

  • The photograph of 1898 allowed a legal-medical examination of the traumas of the Crucifixion, revealing a perfect match with the description in the Gospels.
  • In 1973, Dr. Max Frei, a Swiss student of micro-traces, took some samples from the Shroud cloth and discovered some plant pollens many of which came from the Middle East.
  • In 1978, studies carried out by the group of scientists of the STURP, mostly American, showed that the figure of the Man is not painted but the result of the superficial oxidisation of the cellulose in the linen fibre: a corpse was wrapped in this sheet and its impression has remained in a way we still do not understand. Studies of the blood stains have proved them to be of human origin of the AB group, from veins and arteries and pre and post death. The blood is the same type as that from the eucharistic miracle of Lanciano (Chieti) and that found on the Oviedo Sudarium (Spain). Close investigation of the imprint of the human figure has revealed that it shows a decrease in intensity in proportion to the distance between body and sheet. Decoding this information has permitted the creation of three-dimensional images using different techniques. The results confirm the three-dimensional character of the Shroud imprint and are significant because they show up details that cannot be seen in a two-dimensional view.
  • In 1988 three laboratories (Tucson, Oxford and Zurich) used the Carbon 14 dating method on a sample of cloth taken from the upper left edge of the Shroud and dated it between 1260 and 1390. That finding is no longer believed reliable as it is thought that the pollution and contamination the cloth has suffered during its varied history over the centuries could have influenced the results.