Paper Chase: Barrie Schwortz’ “The Shroud of Turin Research Project 1978 Scientific Examination of the Shroud”

If you haven’t seen it, you must. One hundred pages of great pictures and explanations.


5 thoughts on “Paper Chase: Barrie Schwortz’ “The Shroud of Turin Research Project 1978 Scientific Examination of the Shroud””

  1. Well I’ll tell you, skimming through those photos really makes you appreciate the work involved in the STURP research project and mostly, that they managed to pull it off in just 120 hours! But also, appreciated is how FAINT the Shroud image actually is, when there is no photo-enhancement!


  2. After reading this document I am still surprised at how one of the -in my view- most relevant papers (*) in which a co-author is a STURP member (Drusik) has largely gone unnoticed. I myself have only come across it recently and just received the whole paper from my institution’s library.
    In his list of papers in page 100, Barrie doesn’t mention it either. However, authors published it in a scientific peer-review journal
    As early as 1988!! authors proposed an isotope analysis to determine the geographical origin of linen in the Shroud, BUT instead of focusing on C14 the authors suggest hidrogen and oxigen isotopes. Their results were truly promising and a simple analysis of threads could have determined the geographical origin of the Shroud.
    I cannot stop thinking how different research on the Shroud could have been along these years, if the first isotopic approach and subsequent methodological developments had focused on oxygen and hydrogen instead of or simultaneously with carbone. This first decision in favour of C14 test put the focus on a methodology that now we know is not appropiate and has determined the evolution of the research not only for the Shroud, but also for example, the Oviedo sudarium. It also meant ruling out further research and tests on geographical origin and oxygen and hydrogen.
    If all we know now on the C14 were also available for what authors propose, I am pretty sure that in 2012, we would be in a completely different situation regarding the research on the Shroud.

    DeNiro-M.J., Sternberg, L., Marino, B and_Drusik-J. Relation between D/H ratios and 180 and 160 ratios in cellulose from linen and maize. Implications for paleoclimatology and sindonology._Geochim.-Cosmochim.-Acta, 1988, vol 52., 2189-2196.

    1. Thank you Gabriel. I was not aware of this particular paper so it was not included on our Bibliography of STURP Published Papers page ( Of course, it was authored and published many years after the STURP team ended its formal existence. However, since you brought it up, I have added it as #29 to the list on our site as of today.

      Also note this quote from Larry Schwalbe on the page: “As I said, these papers do not deal directly with the data collected in 1978. Instead, the work was intended to serve as background to support a future investigation that we thought was still possible in the late 80s. There are probably more papers like these. Perhaps including these will flush out more such information.” And that’s exactly what happened! Thank you for your contribution!

  3. That’s an awesome slideshow. I’m fairly sure Barrie used this when he was here in New Mexico, or at least many of the slides and photos in a different order. I am linking to this in our slide presentation for those who want a more intimate view of STURP and what they did.

  4. This is a very nice presentation and the only question that arises is if chemistry alone can help determine the image-forming process.

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