Radiocarbon dating of the shroud of turin
Levels of vanillin in material such as linen fall over time.
'Older date' "The fact that vanillin cannot be detected in the lignin on shroud fibres, Dead Sea scrolls linen and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old," Mr Rogers writes.
The altars of Catholic Europe are full of the interred bones of saints who, if their existence is to be believed, must have had 7 legs and 97 ribs.
Frank Wognum, Duffort, France I think that regardless of whether it is or is not Christ's burial cloth, testing should still be allowed to take place.
These tests revealed the presence of a chemical called vanillin in the radiocarbon sample and in the Holland cloth, but not the rest of the shroud.
Vanillin is produced by the thermal decomposition of lignin, a chemical compound found in plant material such as flax.
Michael Minor, vice-president of the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research, commented: "This is the most significant news about the Shroud of Turin since the C-14 dating was announced in 1988. But [the new research] is saying that they dated the rewoven area." But since the announcement of the 1988 results, several attempts have been made to challenge the authenticity of these tests."The sample tested was dyed using technology that began to appear in Italy about the time the Crusaders' last bastion fell to the Mameluke Turks in AD 1291," said Mr Rogers.