Shroud of Turin Can't Be Fake

Researchers think you'd need lasers to reproduce it

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2011 1:06 PM CST | Updated Dec 24, 2011 7:20 AM CST

(Newser) – The Shroud of Turin must be real rather than a medieval forgery, an Italian study has concluded, because the markings on it could not possibly have been created with medieval technology. Scientists tried to recreate the sepia image of a crucified man that graces the shroud, and found its physical and chemical characteristics “impossible to obtain in a laboratory,” they wrote, according to the Telegraph.

The scientists were ultimately able to replicate the marks using bursts of light from ultraviolet lasers, but those weren’t exactly around in the 13th or 14th century—the era that a (since disputed) 1988 carbon dating study suggested the shroud was actually created during. Their conclusion: The image must have been created by "some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)." The findings replicate the results of a 1978-1981 study in which American researchers concluded that "no chemical or physical methods known" could have produced the image.

Pope Benedict XVI leaves San Giovanni cathedral after praying in front of the Holy Shroud, seen in the background, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, May 2, 2010.
Pope Benedict XVI leaves San Giovanni cathedral after praying in front of the Holy Shroud, seen in the background, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, May 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
This Saturday, August 12, 2000 file photo shows the Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, displayed at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.
This Saturday, August 12, 2000 file photo shows the Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, displayed at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
This Saturday, August 12, 2000 file photo shows the Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, displayed at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.
This Saturday, August 12, 2000 file photo shows the Holy Shroud, a 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, displayed at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
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