Carbon 14 dating and the shroud of turin

Radiocarbon Dating: The Shroud of Turin - Chemistry LibreTexts

carbon 14 dating and the shroud of turin

The Shroud of Turin is much older than suggested by s radiocarbon dating, a new chemical study suggests. Radiocarbon dating the Shroud of Turin. A critical review of the Nature report ( authored by Damon et al) with a complete unbiased statistical analysis by Remi. Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin. by P. E. Damon,1 D. J. Donahue,2 B. H. Gore,1 A. L. Hatheway,2 A. J. T. Jull,1 T. W. Linick,2 P. J. Sercel,2.

The third was a multi-parametric mechanical test based on five different mechanical parameters linked to the voltage of the wire. The machine used to examine the Shroud's fibres and test traction, allowed researchers to examine tiny fibres alongside about twenty samples of cloth dated between BC and AD.

December 21, Article: Decades of research on Jesus' proposed burial cloth have revealed an array of conflicting ideas surrounding the shroud's authenticity. However, researchers from Italy's National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development believe their findings undermine previous theories that the shroud was faked in the medieval period, the Telegraph reports. The new claim seems to be stirring controversy again, as many point to previous research to the contrary.

Last year scientists were able to replicate marks on the cloth using highly advanced ultraviolet techniques that weren't available 2, years ago -- or during the medieval times, for that matter. Research in the s suggests the image was "forged" on the cloth between andbut scientists have determined the hypothesis was based on testing material from a patch likely used to to repair the cloth after a firethe BBC reports.

Since the shroud and "all its facets" still cannot be replicated using today's top-notch technology, researchers suggest it is impossible that the original image could have been created in either period. However, scientists are willing to point out the flaw in their findings.

The Vatican Insider reports: Scientists claim 'Shroud of Turin' could not have been faked HuffingtonPost. They concluded that the radiocarbon dating had been performed on a sample of the original shroud material. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggest the shroud is between and years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as years".

Others contend that repeated handling of this kind greatly increased the likelihood of contamination by bacteria and bacterial residue compared to the newly discovered archaeological specimens for which carbon dating was developed. Bacteria and associated residue bacteria by-products and dead bacteria carry additional carbon that would skew the radiocarbon date toward the present.

Rodger Sparks, a radiocarbon expert from New Zealand, had countered that an error of thirteen centuries stemming from bacterial contamination in the Middle Ages would have required a layer approximately doubling the sample weight.

carbon 14 dating and the shroud of turin

Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry examination failed to detect any form of bioplastic polymer on fibers from either non-image or image areas of the shroud. Harry Gove once hypothesised that a "bioplastic" bacterial contamination, which was unknown during the testing, could have rendered the tests inaccurate.

He has however also acknowledged that the samples had been carefully cleaned with strong chemicals before testing. He inspected the Arizona sample material before it was cleaned, and determined that no such gross amount of contamination was present even before the cleaning commenced.

They concluded that the proposed carbon-enriching heat treatments were not capable of producing the claimed changes in the measured radiocarbon age of the linen, that the attacks by Kouznetsov et al. Jackson proposed to test if this were actually possible. Before conducting the tests, he told the BBC that "With the radiocarbon measurements and with all of the other evidence which we have about the Shroud, there does seem to be a conflict in the interpretation of the different evidence.

Other similar theories include that candle smoke rich in carbon dioxide and the volatile carbon molecules produced during the two fires may have altered the carbon content of the cloth, rendering carbon-dating unreliable as a dating tool. These initial tests show no significant reaction — even though the sensitivity of the measurements is sufficient to detect contamination that would offset the age by less than a single year.

This is to be expected and essentially confirms why this sort of contamination has not been considered a serious issue before. He also added that there is as yet no direct evidence to suggest the original radiocarbon dates are not accurate. Christen applied a strong statistical test to the radiocarbon data and concluded that the given age for the shroud is, from a statistical point of view, correct.

But I have not yet discovered in the literature the claim "of some people'' reported by McCrone Contamination, Fictitious Ages and Anomalous Results Advances in radiocarbon research and technology have brought about increasing refinement of the means of measurement and especially of the calibration of results.

The half-life of C was corrected from to years, the fluctuations in atmospheric C led to calibrations based on measurements of bristlecone pine tree rings, research in isotopic fractionation has given a minor correction factor. At the same time, new problems associated with each type of C material have been uncovered: Before considering its application to the Shroud, I shall briefly review the ability of C testing to produce reliable dates for other materials, from the worst to the ideal sample types.

Documentary - BBC — Shroud of Turin

Bone and shell carbonate dates have a reliability of nil to good, depending on ground water exchange of carbonates, recrystallization of the shell structure and other factors. Bone carbonate dates are highly suspect and many laboratories now refuse this type of sample.

Shell has fared slightly better, though ancient shells may be contaminated forward and modern shells can have fictitious ages up to several thousands of years Keith and Anderson On the other hand, many shell dates do agree with those from other associated materials.

It is generally agreed that examination of the shell structure for recrystallization and comparison of stable isotope ratios between the sample and living shells in the region must be done before a shell date can be given any credence. Bone collagen dates are held in somewhat higher esteem, but remain controversial. The results may be erratic for reasons not fully understood.

Munnich ; Tamers and Pearson Indisputable Neolithic at least years BP fish bone samples from Hong Kong gave ages of less than years by collagen fraction and BP by carbonate fraction, whereas Neolithic human remains from the same site gave less than years by carbonate and BP by collagen Meacham Soils, peats and clays have been found to give ages too recent.

Gilet-Blein et a1 report that "a continuous process of organic turnover occurs in soils Thus most ages from C dating of organic matter of soils must be too recent. Chao and Coleman report, in a list of over dates obtained, the following instances of suspected contamination: Date greater than BP was expected based on nearby dates of related features. Dates probably resulted from overwhelming predominance of 'dead' organic carbon from Leached condition of overlying loess suggests that sample was contaminated by humic acids translocated from modern soil.

All samples were of course subjected to standard laboratory pretreatment. C dating of pottery originally held great promise for the archaeologist Taylor and Bergerbut recent work has shown it to be quite unreliable, partly because of insufficient combustion in the kiln firing of non-cultural organic matter present in the original clay, and partly from post-burial contamination.

Radiocarbon Dating: The Shroud of Turin

Pottery from the Philippines and Hong Kong have given dates too old by years, whereas dates on ceramics from the southwestern USA ranged from older than expected to younger, even into the future i. Plant materials wood, charcoal, textiles, grain etc.

Apart from contamination, other factors can cause an apparent age. Some species of hardwoods live several centuries, and the C result should represent the date of the rings present in the wood or charcoal sample.

Furthermore, dates on plant materials grown in regions of volcanic activity may be older than the true age because of a natural dilution of the local atmospheric C by volcanic gases. Plants growing in this region of volcanic emissions Monte Amiata, Tuscany, central Italy gave fictitious dates ofand years BP. Divergence of the C age from the historically dateable context is clearly the best, perhaps the only, method of evaluating the effects of contamination.

While it is indisputable that C does give results generally harmonious with the expected historical age, the exceptions are manifold, even with optimum sample material and site conditions. In a series from historical sites in Yugoslavia Srdoc et alwood samples of the 13th century gave dates of and BP, a 14thth century sample gave BP, 1st-2nd century B.

The site of Akrotiri in Greece, destroyed by the Thera eruption of ca. All of the samples were grain or charcoal of short-lived wood, and all were found in jars in one room. Regarding the early dates, the authors remarked: Why are they so early?

Are there special factors or phenomena surrounding the Akrotiri samples of which the radiocarbon specialists are unaware?

At present, the series II dates are certainly of little or no value for Minoan chronology.

carbon 14 dating and the shroud of turin

Betancourt et a1 One or two dates should never be used by themselves to establish a site's chronology. So many dates have proven to be useless because of contamination and other causes that one can only establish a radiocarbon chronology with some degree of confidence if several dates from the same site fall into a consistent pattern that agrees with the stratigraphic sequence. Possible contaminating agents are many and varied, as described above.

Turin Shroud may date from time of Jesus - Telegraph

Unless there are specific conditions which warrant specialized pretreatment, most laboratories process samples with acid and alkali washes. While this standard pretreatment is usually effective in removing modern contaminants, it may not do so for intrusive materials deposited much earlier. The well-known controversy over the earliest date pre, B.

One of the proponents of contamination, C. Vance Haynes, was a pioneer of chemical pretreatment methods to remove plant debris from C samples. He points out that the dated samples from Meadowcroft are not pure charcoal but "mixtures of finely divided carbon and carbonaceous matter with Humate extractions were dated some 10, years earlier than the residual material in one sample.

Cook investigated apparent charcoal samples from archaeological sites using chemical procedures similar to but stronger than those of C pretreatment, and concluded that many were decayed wood with "considerable amounts of organic matter produced by micro-organisms through past centuries. Another famous early man site in North America, the Old Crow site in the Yukon territory of Canada, also yielded very misleading C results according to a recent study by Nelson Bone tools from the site had given a date of around 27, years B.

These tools were made of caribou ribs, and Nelson found that the outer portions of the bone had exchanged carbon with the air and ground water. A sample taken from the innermost portion of the bone yielded an age of 1, years.

As in the Meadowcraft samples, the dating of progressive fractions revealed discrepancies not apparent when the samples were subjected to traditional pretreatment and dated.

My own investigation of a "charcoal" sample dated BP from a geological context in Hong Kong led to uncertainties inherent in the dates on wood samples from certain depositional environments. The wood was taken from a marine clay 18m. Below sea level; it was jet black as if charred. Laboratory examination Grisack revealed however that the cellulose structure did not exhibit the morphological changes associated with charring.

carbon 14 dating and the shroud of turin

Scanning electron microscope study revealed that the pore spaces of the cellulose were almost completely filled.

The analytical spectrometer showed the main inorganic substances present were sulfur and iron, with lesser amounts of silicon, aluminium, calcium and sodium. The sample also showed very little birefringence under polarized light, whereas wood fibers should be brightly birefringent.

In the opinion of F. Kendall, Director of the: Radioisotope Unit at the University of Hong Kong, standard C pretreatment of wood and charcoal samples would not succeed in removing organic material translocated into the lumens and cell walls of the cellulose personal communication It is clear that "more research on dating technology needs to be conducted so that the reliability of dates can be assessed" Stanford Clusters of congruent dates on different materials, replicated at different sites, eventually allow for a reliable radio-carbon chronology to be established, but there is, quite simply, no possibility of an absolute date on a single sample or artifact.

Carbon Dating the Shroud: First and foremost is the abandonment of any notion that a radiocarbon age of whatever magnitude will settle for all time the question of authenticity.

carbon 14 dating and the shroud of turin

Second, the choice of sampling sites on the relic should be governed by considerations of possible contamination and by the desirability of measuring both typical and atypical samples. Third, an elaborate pretreatment and screening program should be conducted before the samples are measured.

Finally, the result should be interpreted to the general public in the light of contamination and other uncertainties inherent in the radiocarbon dating method. Undeniably, a "bullseye" result with mid-point at 20 or A. But a result of or or AD would create more controversy than it settled, especially with the necessary margin of error at -t years or more.

It is of course futile to speculate in advance on the interpretation of results, and I shall proceed to a consideration of the types of contamination which may be present on the Shroud, and of other factors which may influence the C result.

One such factor is the environment where the flax used to make the linen was grown.

Turin Shroud may have been created by earthquake from time of Jesus

If it was an area such as Monte Amiata or Vesuvius in Italy, with regular volcanic emissions, obviously a radiocarbon measurement would be meaningless. Another factor is the process of water-retting of the flax, during which ion exchange takes place. Betting is traditionally carried out by placing the cut and dried flax in a pond or pool for several days, during which a process of fermentation takes place resulting in a change of the intercellular substance.

During retting, the cellulose takes up calcium, strontium, iron and other ions from the water; these elements are distributed evenly throughout the Shroud linen Heller Depending on the chemical substances in the water or produced during retting, organic solubles and carbonates may have penetrated the cellulosic pores.

The possible adsorption of old carbon could, like atmospheric dilution effects, result in a C age older than the true age. Both types of backward contamination are, however, unlikely in view of the rare conditions in which they occur. The main contamination possibility is that of carbon from organic materials deposited in the porous cellulose structure long after the Shroud was manufactured. One source would be mold, mildew or other fungal growths which are encouraged in linen by high humidity environments.