Avinoam Danin: Four plant species, the images of which are found on the Shroud, indicate the geographical origin of the Shroud. Fresh stems of the plants Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum, Cistus creticus and Capparis aegyptia could be placed on the dead Man’s body only in a strip of land, a few kilometers wide between Jerusalem and Hebron. Nine blooming species found on good photographs of the Shroud share blooming months of March and April, thus indicating that the event of covering the man with the plants in the Shroud took place during that time of the year.
The Man of the Shroud was possibly tortured with thorns of Rhamnus lycioides, Ziziphus spina-christi and Gundelia tournefortii. A cane of Arundo donax was inserted to the Shroud covering the Man as well.
Avi Solomon: What has been the reaction from your colleagues in the scientific community?
Avinoam Danin: Of the botanists who glanced at the plant images, there were those who objected to my interpretation of these images and others who agreed and supported this. A first dose of encouragement came from my friends, botanists themselves, Dr. Peter H. Raven and Dr. Michael G. Barbour.
They are well known American scientists and their agreement with much of what I showed them was an important component of the strength I needed to stand against potential criticizers. In June 2006, I presented my findings to the staff of an important European botanical garden. At the end of my lecture, one of the attendees declared that as a botanist who is used to seeing and identifying plants, said he does not support my findings. Later that day three botanists having a similar position in that institute arrived incognito and warmly supported my findings and interpretation.
I can mention the response of three Israeli archaeologists. One of them, a good friend of mine and my family for more than 30 years, changes the subject whenever I try to confront him with the whole subject. Another colleague opened our conversation by saying that according to his experience there were no people as tall as the image of the man of the Shroud. He therefore was not ready to talk about my findings, and I thanked him for the short conversation I had with him. However, there were several Israeli archaeologists who were ready to hear what I said with appreciation for the interesting findings
Professor Danin also wrote to me this morning to remind us all that his book, Botany of the Shroud: The Story of Floral Images on the Shroud of Turin is now available. Here are some reviews from Prof Danin’s website:
"The book is absolutely beautiful and a great contribution!"
– Dr. P. Raven, Director, The Missouri Botanical Garden
"Having read it from cover to cover I found it extremely interesting and important; beautifully produced and ingeniously designed."
– Rex Morgan, Sindonologist, Australia
"While many have questioned the Shroud’s true origin, one small book by a widely-respected Jewish botanist provides strong evidence of its authenticity… The theological significance of Danin’s conclusions is immense…"
– Tania Mann, L’Osservatore Romano
The price of the book is $30.00.