The debate on the authenticity of the shroud focuses on whether this image was transferred to the linen by some means from a real corpse or whether it was artificed by a clever forger. London which determined there was no relevence between concentrations of iron oxide particles and the varying densities of the image.Chief among the proponents of the image as a “painting” was W. Mc Crone, one of the most respected names in particle analysis. Iron Oxide is not responsible for the image on the cloth.L., Sindon 24, 31, 1982, pp 5-9; Baima Bollone, P., Gaglio, A.Sindon 26, 33, 1984, pp 9-13; Baima Bollone, P., Massaro, A. Shroud Spectrum 6, 1983, pp 3-6.) It is significant that analysis of the blood of the cloth demonstrated high levels of bilirubin consistent with the severe concussive beating suggested by the image of the “man of the shroud.” The 1988 Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud Radiocarbon dating is the use of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to measure the amount of C14, a radioactive isotope of carbon.When first used, the procedure required larger samples of the test material, consequently the custodians of the Shroud of Turin were unwilling to permit the destruction of large portions of the shroud.The advances in the procedure has gradually decreased the amount of sample required and permission was finally obtained to test 12 small samples of the non-image bearing portion of the shroud linen.
Samples of the shroud were excised and given to three different radiocarbon dating laboratories in Zurich, Oxford and Arizona.
This issue was addressed by experts in blood analysis, Dr. Alam Adler of Western Connecticut State University. Heller and Adler went far beyond the mere optical examination of Mc Crone.
Applying pleochroism, birefringence and chemical analysis, they determined that, unlike artist’s pigment which contains iron oxide contaminated with manganese, nickel and cobalt, the iron oxide on the shroud was relatively pure.
The ghostly, sepia colored image is nearly imperceptable close-up but discernable at a distance.
It was not until the first photographs were taken of the shroud in 1898 by Turin Councillor Secondo Pia that the negative plates revealed the startling “positive” of the clear picture of the “man in the shroud.” The image is of a male, almost 6’ tall, bearded, severely abused and scourged with the distinctive “dumbell” markings of a Roman flagrum.