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Friday, September 23, 2005

shroud of turin conference 2005 wrapup

There hasn't been a lot of information on the Shroud of Turin Conference 2005 recently held in Dallas, but finally we have a wrapup at shroudstory.com. Sounds like things got a little out of hand, with scientists not happy that they weren't allowed to ask questions from the floor (I would be unhappy about that too). Much discussion of the secret restoration of the Shroud in 2002 by Turin officials that may have rendered future chemical analyses much more difficult, and of the recent results by the late Raymond Rogers showing that the original 1988 carbon dating results were invalid.
Researchers now believe that in the 16th century, a corner of the Shroud had been expertly repaired using a mending technique known as “invisible reweaving.” It was from this repaired corner that the carbon 14 samples were taken. This resulted in a mixed sample of both new and old fibers leading to erroneous carbon 14 dating in 1988.

Turin wasn’t buying it even though they agreed that the carbon 14 dating was wrong. They had not seen the repairs when they examined the Shroud. Invisible reweaving, they argued, would have been noticeable. But scientists disagree. It takes microscopic, spectral and chemical analysis to identity invisible reweaving. And the scientists have photomicrographs and plenty of test results to prove it.

In 2002, Turin undertook a secret restoration of the Shroud. Archeologists, scientists and scholars of all sorts were horrified when they learned of it after the fact. It was reckless, they say. Meacham called it disastrous. It cannot be undone. Some scientists suggest that the restoration may have created problems that should be addressed to avoid potential future damage to the cloth.
There's a lot more in the article, but no specific papers from the conference. Hopefully those will be appearing later. I was quite disappointed that there was no official conference website with agendas, speakers and abstracts. Hopefully future conferences will be better organized.

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