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The most recent claim – that the blood on the Shroud is from a torture victim – has re-opened the debate.
The delicious irony is that it is our sceptical, scientific society that has empowered all the new evidence.
However, the imaging expert Barrie Schwortz, not himself a Christian, has challenged Allen’s work, which he says only accounts for some of the Shroud’s properties.
Like a tennis ball, the hypotheses are whacked back and forth.
He concluded that the image itself was therefore, in effect, a photographic negative.
The question immediately arises, “If the Shroud is a medieval forgery how did they do that?
This technology uses infra-red light and spectroscopy to measure the radiation intensity through wavelengths, and from these measurements a date can be calculated.
A different sort of dating test was conducted by Giulio Fanti of Padua University in 2013.
Predictably, the result has been criticised for a range of reasons.