ZENIT Press Agency, Wednesday, February 2, 2005

New findings make scientists discuss on the dating of the Shroud - Professor Rogers asserts that the sample analyzed by C14 is different from the main linen

ROME - A heated debate is being provoked by the study carried out by the chemist Raymond Rogers, member of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and published in the scientific magazine Thermochimica Acta, according which the result of the analysis by Carbon 14 – that dated the Shroud between 1260 and 1390 A.D. – is not truthful, since a fragment of cloth very different from the main linen type was used.

In an article published last January 22 by the newspaper Avvenire, Mgr. Giuseppe Ghiberti, President of the Commission for the Shroud of the diocese of Turin, stated: “the Swiss expert Mechtild Flury-Lemberg has examined the Shroud very closely and has not seen absolutely any sign of a textile addition.”

Ghiberti said that “even the lining has been removed and for the first time after 500 years we have seen the back of the Sheet: there is no sign of darn, and, moreover, a reconstruction is made only where a hole exists, while the sample was taken in a corner area, where it is unreasonable to think of any Medieval interwoven.”

 “I am surprised that an expert like Rogers – the president of the Commission for the Shroud said – could fall in so many inaccuracies in his article. I can definitely hope, indeed, even think that the dating by C14 is rectifiable (in fact, the method has its own uncertainties); but not on the basis of the darn theory.”

Asked by Emanuela Marinelli on behalf of ZENIT, Professor Rogers explained what the results of his researches are. The professor from Los Alamos maintains he has not been understood, because that was not a sampling from an invisible darn and specifies that there is a patent “difference between the sample used for the radiocarbon analysis and the main part of the Shroud.”

Regarding this subject, Rogers suggests we watch the ultraviolet fluorescence photographs taken by Vern Miller in 1978. “They show the area of the sampling as a dark zone and that demonstrates that the relevant chemical composition was not the same as the main cloth one. The dark area is not the result of dirt or a shadow. I can explain the fluorescence in great detail, but it is based completely on the chemical composition.”

“I am not a  textile expert, but I have found a strange junction with the ends in contact between the threads, that the textile expert Gilbert Raes took in 1973,”  the professor stated. Professor Rogers said that Anna Maria Donadoni, supervisor of the Egyptian Museum of Turin, “showed me how the separate lengths of yarn were overlapped in the weaving of the Shroud main cloth.”  

“The junction is completely different; moreover, it is clear that the two ends of the junction are different: one is downy and white, the other is coloured and closely twisted.”

“Even if I am not a textile expert,”  Rogers concluded,  “I am an esteemed expert in chemistry and my article in Thermochimica Acta has been submitted to the peer review. Few persons thought that the determination of the radiocarbon age could be wrong: it was difficult to convince the skeptics.”