The Shroud of Turin has been a matter of debate for ages now, with a mysterious image of the face and body of a man on it. It is an old cloth of linen sheet, 4.36 metres long by 1.10 metres wide. Other than the two dark parallel lines with the white triangles (burn marks from the Chambery fire in 1532), the imprint of an image (a negative, front and back) of a man can be seen. Over the years, the researchers have struggled to find out the cause of the print on the shroud. Many believe it to be the cloth in which Jesus’s body was wrapped after he was crucified. The shroud was sent to Turin 1578 from Chambery after it was rescued from a fire. The first in-depth study of the shroud took place in 1978 by an international team of researchers and in 1988, the shroud was put on carbon dating analysis, which declared the Shroud to be of the 14th century. A lot of controversies still surround the findings as people claim the sample collected was modified due to the exposure the cloth had during the fire in Chambery.
As reported by shroud.com, the experiments conducted on the Shroud do not show any use of pigments, paints, dyes or stains, spices, oils or any known biochemicals produced during life or death by the body. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry tests were further confirmed by ultraviolet and infrared evaluation affirming the above findings to be correct.
The Shroud as it appears to the naked eyes (left) and the negative of the photograph (right)
There are further claims that the cloth had remnants of blood in the form of haemoglobin and blood protein albumin. The image seems to have been formed due to certain physical or chemical reaction that changed the molecular structure of the fibrils of the cloth. After the first photograph of the shroud was taken, it was found that the negative of the picture looked like the positive of other pictures, certain features which were not clear on the shroud became more prominent on the negative showing wounds similar to the one caused by crucifixion. And incidentally, they match the description of wounds on Jesus.
But due to the lack of proper scientific means and exploration, the exact truth still defies us, putting the shroud under continuous scrutiny. With strong religious and sentimental factors attached to the issue, the Shroud is foremostly a religious article. Man made or divine manifestation is a decision to be made by every man on his own for now.