The Turin ShroudADDPMP680
The Shroud of Turin, also known as the Holy Shroud, is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man. Some describe the image as depicting Jesus of Nazareth and believe the fabric is the burial shroud in which he was wrapped after crucifixion. Since 1578, the shroud has been kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Turin, in northern Italy.
The linen shroud is rectangular, measuring approximately 4.4 by 1.1 metres (14 ft 5 in × 3 ft 7 in). Its most distinctive characteristic is the faint, brownish image of a front and back view of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin. The two views are aligned along the midplane of the body and point in opposite directions. The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth. The image on the front of the Turin Shroud, 1.95 metres (6 ft 5 in) long while the image on the back is 2.02 metres (6 ft 8 in) long. The man has a beard, moustache, and shoulder-length hair parted in the middle. He is muscular and tall (various experts have measured him as from 1.70 to 1.88 m or 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 2 in). Reddish-brown stains were found on the cloth, correlating, according to proponents, with the wounds in the Biblical description of the crucifixion of Jesus.
In 1988, radiocarbon dating established that the shroud was from the Middle Ages, between the years 1260 and 1390. All hypotheses put forward to challenge the radiocarbon dating have been scientifically refuted, including the medieval repair hypothesis, the bio-contamination hypothesis and the carbon monoxide hypothesis.
The image on the shroud is much clearer in black-and-white negative—first observed in 1898—than in its natural sepia color. A variety of methods have been proposed for the formation of the image, but the actual method used has not yet been conclusively identified. The shroud continues to be intensely studied, and remains a controversial issue among scientists and biblical scholars. Due to abnormally elongated arms and hands, which is physically impossible for an ordinary dead body lying supine, and the absence of wrinkles or other irregularities distorting the image, which is improbable if the cloth had covered the irregular form of a body, some concluded that the shroud was rather the work of a Gothic artist. Currently the Catholic Church neither formally endorses nor rejects the shroud; in 2013 Pope Francis referred to it as an “icon of a man scourged and crucified”.