CLEVELAND - Based on its timing, some may consider a new study a Christmas miracle.
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered crucifixion hundreds of years ago.
Now, Italian scientists released their findings after performing experiments on the legendary burial cloth. They claim the marks on the shroud, which many believe are the imprint of Christ’s body, could not have been faked with technology available in the medieval period.
Believers say the shroud was used for Christ’s crucifixion more than 2,000 years ago, but skeptics dispute that. In 1988, labs at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology tried to carbon date the age of the shroud.
The samples tested in 1988 showed the shroud came from about 700 years ago. But believers disputed that, saying the samples tested were patches used to repair the shroud when fire damaged it in the Middle Ages.
The new Italian study differs in that it looked at the actual image on the shroud, and not the shroud itself.
Researchers say the image of a bearded man, that many believe to be Jesus Christ, must have been created by some form of electromagnetic energy, such as a flash of light at short wavelength.
The Italian researchers did not offer a scientific explanation for the phenomenon, which could support the belief that the image was created at the moment of Christ’s Resurrection.
Laboratories in Frascati, Italy, performed the research, which matches the findings of an American study in 1978 and 1981. The American group, Shroud of Turin Research Project, blasted linen cloth with X-rays and ultraviolet light. They concluded no paints or dyes could have created the legendary image, and modern science cannot explain it either.
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