The result overturned 10 years of hope among Christians that it was real, after the first scientific tests found evidence of blood and serum stains.The earliest documented sighting of the shroud is from 1353, but last week a historian claimed in the Vatican's newspaper that she had found a "missing link" in the Holy See's Secret Archives proving the Knights Templar had safeguarded it during the 13th century.1 - Department of Geosciences, 2 - Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA 3 - Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, UK 4 - Institut für Mittelenergiephysik, ETH-Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 5 - Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA 6 - Research Laboratory, British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich.As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated."It consisted of different materials than were used in the shroud itself, so the age we produced was inaccurate." In the video, made shortly before he died of cancer in March 2005, he said: "I came very close to proving the shroud was used to bury the historic Jesus."This latest evidence, to be broadcast in The Turin Shroud: New Evidence at 8pm on Sunday on the Discovery Channel, is the latest chapter in the shroud's history.For the last 21 years most have considered it to be a medieval fake, after the 1988 tests dated it as being made between 12.Photography of the shroud by Secondo Pia in 1898 indicated that the image resembled a photographic 'negative' and represents the first modern study.
Rogers said: "I was irritated and determined to prove Sue and Joe wrong."However, when he came to examine threads taken in 1978 - luckily from the same section as the 1988 sample - he found cotton in them.The Vatican, tiptoeing carefully, has never claimed that the 14-foot linen cloth was, as some believers claim, used to cover Christ after he was taken from the cross 2,000 years ago.Francis, reflecting that careful Vatican policy, on Saturday called the cloth, which is kept in a climate-controlled case, an "icon" -- not a relic.Radio carbon dating carried out in 1988 was performed on an area of the relic that was repaired in the 16th century, according to Ray Rogers, who helped lead the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STRP).He came to his conclusion after re-examining a theory from two amateur scientists that he had earlier dismissed as being from "the lunatic fringe".