A Rebuttal of Jackson’s Refutation of Reweaving?

imageA reader writes:

Has anyone offered a rebuttal of Dr. Jackson’s refutation of the reweaving theory?  Or do all the authenticists just ignore it, as Charles Freeman says.

What say you all?

101 thoughts on “A Rebuttal of Jackson’s Refutation of Reweaving?”

  1. Authenticists are very much divided as to exactly why the radiocarbon date is “wrong.” A number of hypotheses have been suggested, some of them mutually contradictory, and different factions support different ideas. Some ideas have been quietly dropped in the face of clearer evidence to the contrary. The “bioplastic film” hypothesis of Garza-Valdez and Mattingly was a good idea for its time, but is generally rejected now, and John Jackson’s CO enrichment hypothesis failed in the face of actual experiment. Benford and Marino’s “patch” hypothesis, in its literal meaning, in which one side of a herringbone spine was 1st century and the other side was 14th century, has been modified to the “interweave” or “reweave” hypothesis, although opinion is still divided as to whether this involves the interweaving of new threads alongside old threads for at least a part of the mending and strengthening process (for which there should be, but is not, visible evidence), or whether the old threads have been unravelled for a small length and new threads spliced into them and glued with terpene, and then the whole section rewoven to be truly invisible. In view of the unrealistic intricacy of this work, and the fact that it would be a unique mend in the history of textile repair, and the generally shoddy nature of all the other repair and maintenance of the Shroud, this is also rejected by many, although Rogers, Heimburger and Fanti’s Vanillin and Cotton findings continue to keep the possibility alive.

    Jackson is currently wedded to some kind of nuclear enrichment process, and has no need of any interweave or contamination hypothesis, which he rejects on two connected grounds, firstly that photos of the area show uninterrupted threads and groups of threads (bands) extending right through the radiocarbon area, and secondly, that therefore there is no evidence of the 60% or so medieval material necessary to provide the skewed date.

    One other argument against medieval contamination has also been put forward by various people, which is that the coincidence of having exactly the right amount of contamination to provide a date exactly matching the first undisputed mention of the Shroud’s existence is too great to accept.

    Now, what was the question? Oh yes…..

    Good authenticists, like good non-authenticists, do not “just ignore” evidence which goes against their current thinking. On the contrary, they welcome it, as it provides the “proof of the pudding” which, if they can explain it, strengthens their case, and if they can’t explain it, suggests opportunities for further research.

    Over to you, good authenticists!

  2. Dear reader.

    The whole “refutation” by Jackson of the reweave theory is actually one single sentence taken out of the context from the short article that was written by Jackson on the request of Barrie Schwortz. As Barrie writes on his page:

    David Rolfe’s 2008 BBC documentary features physicist John Jackson, co-founder of the 1978 STURP team and founder of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, and discusses his new hypothesis regarding the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, based on possible c14 enrichment of linen due to the CO (carbon monoxide) in the atmosphere. According to Jackson, a 2% contamination could skew the resulting date by as much as 1400 years. Rather than attempt to describe Jackson’s theory myself, I asked John to write a short article to describe it in his own words.

    The article can be found there:

    Click to access jackson.pdf

    We read there:

    While this hypothesis has been argued on the basis of indirect chemistry, it can be discounted on the basis of evident bandings in the 1978 radiographs and transmitted light images of STURP. These data photographs show clearly that the banding structures (which are in the Shroud) propagate in an uninterrupted fashion through the region that would,
    ten years later, be where the sample was taken for radiocarbon dating.

    Aside from some personal considerations (reweave theory was rival for his own carbon monoxide theory, and was proposed by Rogers, with whom Jackson was at odds), not everyone agrees with Jackson assesment of those data. Alan and Mary Whangers claimed in their presentation from 3rd International Dallas Conference on the Shroud of Turin (http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/whanger.pdf ):

    To help clarify this issue, we examined in detail the area of the C14 specimen on the
    radiographs. An irregular band of threads with increased radiodensity and extending variably about 5/8 inch (1.7 cm) into the Shroud fabric is noted immediately adjacent to much of the length of the seam that borders the frontal MC. In a close-up view of the area where the Raes sample and the single C14 sample were taken, irregularities in some of the weave pattern can be noted on the Shroud fabric adjacent to the seam. (Figure 18) There is significant variability in the radiodensity of both warp and weft threads in this area. Some of the threads angulate, and the continuity of a few seems to be broken. This area is denser and the 3:1 herringbone weave pattern is much less obvious than in the nearby body of the Shroud fabric. Our conclusion is that the radiographs are strongly suggestive of significant alterations in the threads and weave of the Shroud fabric in the area from which the C14 specimen was taken, thus casting major doubts on the validity of the radiocarbon dating.

    Besides as Hugh described, the patch consist probably of the new threads spliced and glued together with the old. This suggest that repair might have passed unnoticed on the STURP radiographs and transmitted light photographs as there would be (appaerent) continuity of the threads. Beside such continuity is observed also between side strip and main body of the Shroud, even despite we know that they were originally separated (see http://www.shroud.com/adler2.htm ).

  3. “even despite we know that they were originally separated.” Actually, both Whanger and Adler conclude that the side-strip was not separated, but is continuous with the rest of the cloth.

    Whanger: “Our conclusion then was that the side strip is continuous with the rest of
    the Shroud.”

    Adler: “Therefore we conclude that the side strip is actually continuous with the rest of the Shroud.”

    Raes, of course, had a piece that separated into two sections as he investigated it. Whanger explains this quite sensibly by suggesting that when the two corner pieces were cut off, the longitudinal cuts were longer than the lateral cuts, leaving two flaps of cloth whose edges were then were tucked or rolled into the seam.

    However, I believe that there is no further evidence for damage and repair, and certainly no suggestion that the radiocarbon corner had each (or even many) of its 70 or so weft threads and 30 or so warp threads unravelled, twisted into new thread, glued and rewoven. The evidence Whanger brings forward for this (particularly Figures 17-20) are X-rays of three or four layers of cloth superimposed, from which no conclusions can, in my opinion, be drawn.

    1. Hugh, is there any evidence of a repair, reweave in the sample area? Do we have any valid reason to claim the sample area was anomalous?

      1. The short answer is no, but there are a couple of contra-indications which I would like cleared up before I were to put my head on the block for it. Rogers’s vanillin thing is vague and badly referenced, but seems to show some vanillin anomaly which cannot be dismissed out of hand, and then there’s the cotton, which various people have found various amounts of. To claim that these are conclusive proof of contamination is pushing authenticist luck too far, in my opinion, but I cannot deny that they are thorns in the side of the non-authenticist.

  4. Thanks, O.K. Has Dr. Jackson ever responded to the Wangers’ paper?

    And thank you, Dan, for posting my question.

  5. It should not be forgotten that no examination of the chemical composition of the 1988 sample was made.

  6. – As I understand the current situation, it is generally accepted that there HAS been SOME addition of new threads, as well as some contamination otherwise, to the Shroud. Three questions:
    1. Does the age gradient go in the right direction — from young to old as measured from outside to inside?
    2.Could the COMBINATION of new threads, and contamination otherwise, account for 1300 years?
    3. How many years WOULD be accounted for by the accepted new thread/contamination combination?

    1. 1. It depends on the patch configuration. No one has determined the patch borders -at least so far. But I have some gut feelings and sent some materials to Thibault and Joe, and I plan to work upon that.

      2. Theoretically yes -but it is hard to obtain. The greatest obstacle was, that depending on contamination/interpolation date, about 66-75 % of the carbon content of the samples should be new carbon to skew the date from 1st century to 1260-1390AD. That leves the reweave hupothesis as the only realistic one.

      3. It all depends on the relation between new and old material/threads -something which is currently unknown. But as I say, up to 75 % material should be modern (introduced between 1500-1900 AD), for the 1st century date being a real possibility.

  7. So that a highly suspect non-representative single sample, otherwise deliberately untested for its chemical content, and for which continuing questioning persists, is the sole and only evidence for asserting a medieval provenance for a cloth on which there is an inexplicable realistic image of a crucified man crowned with thorns, forensically corroborated, and on which there is exclusively Jerusalem and Anatolian pollen, unusual limestone residues typical of Jerusalem, and on which there is Byzantine and Crusader evidence of having been in Constantinople before the year of 1204. How curious!!?? So who is agenda-driven? Authenticists or skeptics?

    1. There is no difference between Atheists and skeptics of shrouds. You can’t convince them. They ignore all available data purposely.

      1. Hi Sampath!

        I am a practising Catholic, and proud of it, and a ‘skeptic of shrouds’. I utterly deny that there is no difference between me and an Atheist, and I dare say any atheist would say the same. Please point out any ‘available data’ I have ignored, purposely or otherwise, and I will immediately investigate it till its bones rattle! Good luck and God bless you!!

        1. I am sorry Mr. Farey if I have hurt you. I never consider Carbon Dating as an accurate reading to condemn Shroud of Turin as a fake painting because the sample they took is not a representative one and also the sample took from that corner is not a good place take a one to test.

          Also considering the properties of the image such as a negative of a positive photograph and also wound at the wrists and the X-ray properties of the bones of the palm and fingers convinced me that it is not a paint or a scorch. But in addition to above many scientists (not historians) published many scientific papers giving many clues to consider the image as an authentic one.

          God Bless You too.

        2. That’s OK, Sampath, and I respect your opinion, even though I disagree with it. In another forum, I am considered highly suspicious because, knowing I’m as Catholic, they think it impossible that I should also be a Skeptic. In this forum I am considered highly suspicious because, knowing I’m a Skeptic, they think it impossible that I should also be a Catholic! The truth is that belief in authenticity does not equate to Christianity, and nor does belief in non-authenticity equate to Atheism, and it would be better if these concepts were not muddled up.

      2. No, you won’t, nor can’t, as the fault lies in your interpretation!

  8. At the St Louis Conference, Ray Schneider presented yet again the Quad Mosaic photo of the radiocarbon corner of the Shroud, the so-called UV-F photo of the radiocarbon corner of the Shroud (whose provenance I cannot determine but which is certainly not from Vern Miller’s 1978 colection), and J.M. Morgan III’s false colour rendering of the radiocarbon corner of the Shroud (again whose provenance is uncertain) all of which demonstrate to his satisfaction that there is a 70% direct correlation between the published Nature dates from the three laboratories and their distance from the end of the Shroud, and a 99.93% correlation between the published Nature dates and the fluorescence of the Shroud at the places where they were taken.

    What neither he nor anybody else seems to have noticed is that the near perfect correlation between the supposed contamination, as revealed by the green corners in both Quad Mosaic and Morgan false colour photos, is inverse, so that the less contaminated sample (Arizona) came out with the youngest date, and the more contaminated sample (Oxford) came out with an older date. If any of this evidence is worthwhile, it demonstrates conclusively that any contamination of the radiocarbon corner has had the effect of making the Shroud appear older, not younger, completely destroying the ’16th century interweave’ hypothesis.

    But then. I never did put much store by the Quad Mosaics anyway…

    1. What neither he nor anybody else seems to have noticed is that the near perfect correlation between the supposed contamination, as revealed by the green corners in both Quad Mosaic and Morgan false colour photos, is inverse, so that the less contaminated sample (Arizona) came out with the youngest date, and the more contaminated sample (Oxford) came out with an older date.

      Hugh, I have noticed. And I have probable explanation for that fact. I have sent some materials on this matter to Thibault and Joe, and await their assesment before I will voice my opinion on that matter.

    2. “…the so-called UV-F photo of the radiocarbon corner of the Shroud (whose provenance I cannot determine but which is certainly not from Vern Miller’s 1978 collection)…”

      To my knowledge, the only researchers to ever perform UV fluorescence photography on the Shroud were the STURP team and Vern Miller. The provenance of those images is without question. Every member of the STURP team had access to all the images taken in 1978, including Vern’s. All data was shared equally amongst team members.

      1. I believe you are correct, Barrie. The central photo of Ray Schneider’s presentation, with its curious masking of the Holland cloth area (http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/stlschneiderpaper.pdf, page 3, captioned “the UV-Fluorescent” and described in the text as “the UV-Fluorescent image taken by Vern Miller”) is no such thing.

        1. I see your point Hugh. If that is one of Miller’s UV photos, it has been heavily manipulated, perhaps when someone drew the overlay on it. The actual UV images are considerably darker and with greater contrast.

  9. About the Quad Mosaic photo. Was there a reference exposure guide (AIM POINT) for the densimetric readings for the three filters exposing the black and white films? Does anyone see gray balance in the quad mosaic image in any area of the exposure?

    Can someone please explain to me how this image can be used for chemical analysis in a serious discussion if exposure alone can cause color cross-overs as seen in the quad mosaic image.

    1. The point is that quad mosaic actually adds little to our knowledge, it shows that this particular reason is different, which is evident even for the naked eye. The whole question is: what does it actually mean? Contamination? Reweave? Presence of dye (for what purpose), which was confirmed by Rogers direct examination of the samples?

      1. Click to access H-1-2238t.pdf

        The aims of measurements are:
        Red: 1.10
        Green: 1.40
        Blue: 1.50
        These figures are used to achieve gray balance.
        This concept is used today for G7 and Fogra printing standards.

        The three point wedge scale was also used to determine if the internegative emulsion had inherent cross overs that would make it impossible to balance transparencies for C printing. My responsibility was to inform Kodak and report the batch number to stop production of the film.

        If we were to follow the logic of the Blue Quad Mosaic process any subject I photograph (Tri Exposure) will basically reflect, transmit and absorb light based on the chemical elements pertaining to the subject resulting to an imperfect color corrected image using the above aims. So without any calibration standards, I concur OK, it adds little to our knowledge.

  10. So, just to be clear, it appears that the Whangers’ offered a pre-rebuttal to Dr. Jackson’s dismissal of the re-weave hypothesis, to which he has never responded. Is that correct? If so, then it would be incorrect to say that the authenticists have ignored Dr. Jackson’s refutation of the re-weave hypothesis.

    1. One could say that John Jackson did not refute reweave hypothesis, but in two sentences stated he does not believe it, giving radiograms and transmitted light photographs as justification for his view. Whangers interpret them in other way.

      Of course one should also take into account, that Jackson had a purpose to dismiss the reweave theory -had he accepted it, the whole his ‘new radiocarbon hypothesis’ about carbon monoxide would have no rationale for being proposed.

      1. I hate imputing motives to people, especially when I don’t know them. The only point I see to draw from this topic is that the authenticists have not ignored Dr. Jackson’s stated reason for dismissing the re-weave hypothesis, and that the ball has been in his court since 2008.

  11. Who needs to care what the specific fault is with a non-representative sample? Enough questions and enough doubts have already arisen, and the 1988 radiocarbon dating ought not to pose any challenge to evidence for authenticity. Now, if it had been representative, that would be another matter entirely.

  12. Isn’t the overlapping watermark a greater problem for the reweave hypothesis than Jackson´s banding structures?

  13. This debate may be over over precise measurements where no precision exists. The false color photographs are not intended to be interpreted chemically. They are subjective evidence for the non-uniformity of the shroud materials, supported by the findings or cotton in the test area. The shape or size of a patch is not at issue. Combined with the historical evidence that dates the shroud to before 1260, and valid concerns about dating ancient textiles (e.g. British museum mummies), the point is that the C14 date is now questionable. More evidence could be found by microscopic study of the sample area, a non-destructive test. The coincidence of the 14th century date could just as easily be considered a case of selection bias: the labs got the date they were hoping for, so they ignored the obvious gradient in their results. Any bachelor’s level engineering student could tell us that a gradient means the data is incomplete, and needed information lies outside the test boundaries.

    1. A reasonable point, Matt. However the non-uniformity of the Quad images is, I believe, more a feature of the illumination of at the time rather than anything to do with the Shroud material itself. As you no doubt know, all the Quad images are characterised by bright blue bands across the whole width of the Shroud. I have not read anyone at all, particularly not Quad devotees, attempting to characterise these bands as evidence of non-uniformity of the material. The green corners are evidence of the illumination falling off at the sides, and possibly of the changing angle of the illumination; any possibility of identifying subtle changes in the material is wholly swamped by these illumination variations.

      Secondly, this “the labs got the date they were hoping for” canard is often raised by those who would like to discredit their findings. Has anybody any evidence at all of any kind that anyone connected with the labs was in fact hoping for any such thing?

  14. Two threads inter-woven are clearly visible for experts with different kinds of magnification devices. This is stated by Flury-Lemberg and some Bendford and Marino’s informants without hesitation.
    The French reweaving is the last bastion of the theory of “invisible mending”. It is only possible in holes about 1cm, on thick fabrics, with threads extracted from the original fabric and clearly visible in the back. Cfr. Mr. Ehrlich, who was Benford and Marino’s main informant).

    Do you have any normal explanation to why a single inter-weaving of threads had never been found on Shroud samples? Do you think that Vial, Testore and Flury-Lemberg were absolute incompetents?

    Rogers’ vaniline test has never been contrasted in better conditions. A valuable method of dating has to be contrasted by different teams over decades to be sure. Cfr. radiocarbon dating between 1960s to 1980s.

    I think that we have no reason to think that Testore, Vial and Flury-Lemberg were incompetent, but we have some reasons to think that the vanillin test performed by Rogers is uncertain. It has not been appropriately contrasted, at least.

    I think that the AIM (“absolute invisible mending”) is a sindonist myth. AMI=UFO, I am sorry. Nevertheless, I have to consider the possibility that a UFO would land a day on my garden and that an expert will find some AMI in the main body of the Shroud. Science is open knowledge. I agree with Hugh.

    1. The all-over flagellation marks on the Shroud, not recorded in any actual system of flogging, are the over-looked issue that supports the radiocarbon dating. They appear after 1300 when artists incorporated Isaiah 1.6 into the iconography. James Marrow of Princeton is the expert on this although he seems not to be aware of the Shroud- he provides lots of similar examples though. This iconographic dating is right in the middle of the radiocarbon date and can thus be said to support it.

      1. If flagellation marks suddenly appear in art around 1300, they could easily be attributed to the influence of the shroud itself on the art of the day. It is well documented that the shroud has influenced artistic images of Christ as long as it has been around. Several of the popular books have documentation of this. If a 13th century artist created the marks on the shroud, he researched the topic well enough to perfectly match the historical shape and size of the Roman flagrum. We have no evidence how this bit of history was known before modern times. It is also begging the question of how such an image was made in the 13th century.

        1. Matt. You need to read up the argument in Marrow’s lengthy study of this. He shows clearly that the influence was Isaiah 1.6. He also notes how three other OT texts were used as premonitions of the flagellation, each mentioning a different instrument. So he could then explain why the iconography of the day showed all- over flagellation marks with different kinds of markings.

          However, he does not mention the Shroud.

          Then along comes Barbara Faccini who quite clearly has not read Marrow and lo and behold in her study of the flagellation marks on the Shroud she find three different kinds if markings. In other words there is a good case to be made out that the images on the Shroud were typical of a fourteenth century iconogrsphy that relied on OT texts, not the Shroud itself, as inspiration.

          Unless, of course, we add Professor James Marrow of Princeton University, acknowledged expert on the iconography of the Passion. to our list of scholarly incompetents.

    2. For “Sindonists”, it’s not only Testore, Vial and Flury-Lemberg who were incompetent. You also have to add the scientists (Christopher Ramsey, Timothy Jull , etc) who performed the test, Franco Testore, Giovanni Reggi, Luigi Gonella, the photographers, the camera operator …

      Fortunately, Zorro, A.K.A Raymond Rogers came afterward and cleaned the mess. God bless Raymond Rogers.

      1. You omit Gilbert Raes, who studied the threads of the radiocarbon corner more thoroughly than any of the above, and even identified some anomalous cotton, without observing any reweaving, interweaving or patching.

        1. In 1973, Gilbert Raes was just allowed to cut a small sample of the Turin Shroud NOT to closely examine the surrounding area and detect any reweaving and/or interweaving! Thus he never had the opportunity to really closely examined the future C14 sample area. He just studied his own sample.

        2. A long thread crossing both the Raes section and what was to be the future C14 sample riserva was taken. In 1982 Heller delivered it to Dr Rossman, a minerealogist of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), to be dated although it had not been approved by the Turin authorities. CalTech denied by letter that Dr. Rossman ever performed the test (though unofficially he did).

        3. Jason Engwer

          Because the 1982 C-14 dating was specifically forbidden in STURP’s agreement with the Turin Archdiocese, it was a secret test and Caltech could only deny it after the allegedly ‘conclusive’ 1988 radiocarbon dating of the TS. Whether Rossman was in a secondary role or not is… secondary.

  15. DaveB:

    Who needs to care what the specific fault is with a non-representative sample?

    Me, for example.

    Enough questions and enough doubts have already arisen, and the 1988 radiocarbon dating ought not to pose any challenge to evidence for authenticity.

    Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

    Because the main problem is not whether 1988 C-14 dating is faulty, but whether it is possible to skew the results from 1st century to medieval.

    The issue of 1988 C-14 dating requires answering several questions:

    1. Are the 1988 test results reliable? The clear answer is NO, they are not reliable. The statistical considerations (X^2 and other statistical tests, presence of gradient among dates), as well as considerations about the region (various anomalies, compared to the centre of the cloth) clearly show us that the results are unreliable and cannot be trusted.

    But the next question is:

    2. Are the 1988 test results wrong? The answer is PROBABLY, based on the tests itself, and Yes based on other considerations. Remember, even badly performed measurements can give true results. To know if the 1988 date is wrong, we need other, historical, chemical etc. data that would prove the Shroud must be older. Here we have those data (Robert the Clari account, Hungarian Pray Manuscript, Rogers’s vanillin) showing that the Shroud must be much older.

    But the next question is:

    3. Does the Shroud date to the first century?

    The answer is WE DON’T KNOW.

    The problem is that most people consider only two options, either the Shroud dates to circa 30 AD, or it dates to circa 1350 AD.

    But this is oversimplification.

    Even with the wrong results of the 1988 tests, the Shroud could still be a fake from another era, from the 4th, 6th, 8th century.

    So the next question is

    4. Could the Shroud date to the first century?

    The answer is also WE DON’T KNOW. To determine that, we should determine whether it is possible to skew the dates from the 1st century to 13th century.

    For today, given the 66-75 % treshold of the new material introduced, if the 1st century date have to be maintained, and given all the facts we know, the only realistic option for this to be true seems the reweave theory.

    1. I need no primary school lessons in Shroud 101, Science 101, and certainly not in Sampling Theory 101. Others might!

      1. Dave: The tragedy would be if we were certain that 1988 dating was wrong, yet there was no physical possibility to be as much as 1300 years wrong (being “just” a few centuries wrong still satisfies preconvinced sceptics).

  16. Chemistry and terpenes.
    Terpenes may be classified by the number of isoprene units in the molecule;
    a prefix in the name indicates the number of terpene units needed to assemble the molecule…


    Yesterday Hugh Farey indicated us the word “terpene”,
    here the excerpt from the phrase (and here that word is at the end of the third line):

    “… wheter the old threads have been unravelled for a small length and
    new threads spliced into them and glued with terpene,
    and then the whole section rewoven to be truly invisible. …”

    I am curious to understand what he thinks about the origin of that terpene.
    Was that terpene a residual substance, deriving from the use of oil of turpentine?
    ( link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turpentine )

    If you want another source for the word “terpene” there are the
    >triterpene saponin glycosides

    Here the third source of “terpene”:
    >Canada balsam, also called Canada turpentine or balsam of fir,
    is a turpentine which is made from the resin of the balsam fir tree …

    But, in my opinion, both are wrong ways to follow (regarding the “terpene”)…
    — — —
    I believe there is an another interesting argument to discuss:
    “Flax wax”…

    What is the exact melting point of the flax wax ?
    Here an example in the field of vegetal waxes :

    >Rice bran from the milling of rice, Oryza sativa, contains a wax
    mixed with triglycerides. The melting point of the pure wax is 75-80°C.
    >It contains esters of fatty acids (26 to 30 carbon atoms) and long-chain
    alcohols (C26 to C30) and a large amount of unsaponifiable matter (55-67%).

    I believe you can find interesting informations regarding the Flax Wax.
    Here I simply remember that, after the Fire of 1532, we have
    had the different areas (of temperature).

    I believed that flax wax was a difficult to discover not only because
    there is the low percentage (or near nothing, after the centuries…)
    of that material.

    But Rogers indicated us a simple way
    to detect the diffrences using colors for food …
    Try to do a few little experiments with food coloring
    and different kinds of linen cloth (including old primitive linen).

    Flax wax is hydrophobic.

    — —
    A natural linen is coated with residual pectins, hemicelluloses, and flax wax.
    Rogers indicated us that plasma oxidized and removed them all.
    It would oxidize and remove some of any coating…
    So …
    What happens on linen threads treated with Corona Discharge
    or … with vacuum-UV excimer laser ?

    — — **** — —
    Here another kind of analysis = the polarized ATR-FTIR…

    Although I am “a big fanatic of AFM techniques”,
    today I have found an interesting document
    on ATR-FTIR by P. Garside:
    “Characterization of Textile Fibers Using the PerkinElmer Spectrum 100
    with Universal ATR Polarization Accessory”


    Click to access 44-74295APP_TextileFibersbyIR.pdf

    >Conventional methods such as microscopy and spectroscopy can be used to investigate the morphology and chemistry of a sample, but reveal little about its microstructure.
    >Combining infrared spectroscopy with a polarizer allows both the nature and orientation of chemical bonds within the sample to be explored, thus yielding vital microstructural information. … …

    >Infrared spectra of fiber samples were collected with a PerkinElmer® Spectrum™ 100 FT-IR
    spectrometer, fitted with a UATR Polarization Accessory; spectra were recorded over the
    range 4000-625 cm-1, with a resolution of 4 cm-1 and 32 accumulations. … etc. … etc. …

    — — — — — — — — —
    Bibliographic References:

    1. P. Garside & P. Wyeth; Studies in Conservation; 51(3);
    205; 2006.

    2. P. Garside & P. Wyeth; Applied Spectroscopy; 61(5); 523;

    3. P. Garside, S. Lahlil & P. Wyeth; Applied Spectroscopy;
    59(10); 1242; 2005.

    4. S. Greiff, et al.; Scientific Analysis of Ancient and Historic
    Textiles (R. Janaway & P. Wyeth, eds); 38; Archetype
    Publications; 2005.

    see also:
    “Polarised-ATR-FTIR Characterisation of Cellulosic Fibres
    in Relation to Historic Artifacts”
    Paul Garside and Paul Wyeth


    Click to access rest_paper.pdf


    Here an (italian) excerpt from myself:

    >Dalla lettura del libro risulta che Fanti e i suoi amici professori universitari non hanno usato questo tipo di controlli (cioè quelli dello studio di Garside e Wyeth, della Univ. di Southampton, UK) quando hanno lavorato con la spettroscopia ATR-FTIR.
    >Per quanto riguarda l’uso di quella Polarised ATR-FTIR characterisation of cellulosic fibres, le informazioni fornite circa l’angolo di avvolgimento microfibrillare del lino e la sua direzionalità non dovrebbero avere delle serie connessioni con la questione dei trattamenti CD o VUV, in quanto questi trattamenti non dovrebbero influire in modo decisivo su quei parametri strutturali (ma, certamente, ne variano altri, vedere i cambiamenti della superficie, ecc. ) …
    >Resta comunque aperta la questione dei controlli meccanici (o nanomeccanici…) su fibrille di lino trattate con CD e VUV…


    Rough translation:

    > From reading the book that Fanti and his friends academics have not used this type of controls (ie those of the study of Garside and Wyeth, the Univ. Of Southampton, UK) when they worked with ATR-FTIR spectroscopy.
    > As for the use of the ATR-FTIR Polarised Characterisation of cellulosic fibers, the information provided about the winding angle microfibrillar flax and its directionality should not have serious connections with the issue of the treatments CD or VUV, in as these treatments should not have a decisive influence on those structural parameters (but, certainly, they vary more, see the changes of the surface, etc.) …
    > It remains open the question of mechanical controls (or nanomechanical …) on the linen fibers treated with CD and VUV …

  17. Is flax wax soluble in of oil of turpentine?
    Yes, I think it is soluble.
    But I have not yet found an useful reference on the Web! …
    … and you ?

    What is your idea on that argument?

    I think it’s possible to run refined microscopic controls…

  18. Errata corrige:
    >Is flax wax soluble in of oil of turpentine?

    Instead of:
    >Is flax wax soluble in of oil of turpentine?

  19. Sorry .
    Here an exact errata corrige:

    >Is “flax wax” soluble in oil of turpentine?

    1. I hope you have understood (despite my many errors)
      what I wrote in my message.
      So, I beg your pardon about my many mistakes.

      First of all: the word “terpene” is located
      at the end of second line (and not “at the end of third line”, as I wrongly wrote)

      Second correction:
      >I believed that flax wax was a difficult thing to discover…

      Instead of:
      >I believed that flax wax was a difficult to discover…

      … And as rightly pointed the finger Hugh (in his first message),
      in the second part of my message I felt into the pitfall:
      “opportunities for further research” …
      Instead of discuss the Vanillin test by Roger (= Vanillin loss from Lignin),
      the Blue Quad Mosaic, the Kodak Panchromatic Separation Film 2238
      [and inherent Spectral Sensitivity (at 370-480 nm = positive values. First small negative peak at 500-520 nm, with a second negative peak at at 560-570 nm), Green VVR99 Filter different with respect Blue and Red (= Gamma versus development time)], etc.

      But we have to recognize that Polarized ATR spectroscopy
      is a powerful tool which allows subtle microstructural features
      of a sample to be investigated.
      Problematic materials can be accurately characterized,
      and correlations can be drawn between changes in ordering
      at the molecular level.

      —- Vanillin test (or Wiesner test). —-

      I had some doubt about the “Vanillin test” because fungal attacks
      destroy Lignin, etc. and then the method has the limits if applied to the entire cloth.
      Here my past opinion: the main way was still the use of AFM, CFM, SNOM =
      the non-destructive controls.
      — — —
      The old idea of the NMR, by Giulio Fanti and Ulf Winler was not showed in a clear manner.
      Have you read the paper by Joseph Virlet (Villa Gualino. 2000) ?
      He wrote speaking about the intervention by Fanti and Winkler :
      >This paper, whose intention is laudable, cannot be used as a reference paper.
      — — —
      Another thing:
      I don’t know which kind of lignin biotransformation or what substantial
      demethoxylation and dehydroxylation of lignin will be possible to see
      under : natrococcus, natronobacterium, nocardiopsys and synechocystis, etc.
      (as it was the situation of the TS, for centuries). These microbeings are
      found by prof. Garza Valdes and Stephen Mattingly…
      Here another bibliographic reference :

      Kirk, T.K., Farrell, R.L., (1987). «Enzymatic “combustion” : the microbial
      degradation of lignin». Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 41: 465-505.

      Have you read this work ?
      I remember that Berger wrote :
      >Rien ne prouve, en effet, que plusieurs espèces chimiques n´interviennent pas
      dans le processus de dégradation de la lignine, bien au contraire (cf. test de Wiesner).

      I believe as interesting remark that
      I also have read some papers on Wiesner test.
      Have you tried to understand the matter ?

      I believed in myself (the simple idea to control the linen fibrils with the SPM microscopy,
      to develop in a good manner with the pertinent experiments) and I saw too chaos in these
      “lateral” interesting researches.

      In my opinion Berger exhibited a partial chemical knowledge when he wrote :
      >il s’agit bien la d’une méthode totalement nouvelle.
      >L’auteur ne cite aucune référence antérieure et
      aucun laboratoire de datation au monde ne propose une telle méthode.

      because he don’t know the (possible) use of
      the Vanillin test in analyses about old books…
      Have you the entire paper quoted by Berger ?

      Here the title :

      O-4-Linked coniferyl and sinapyl aldehydes in
      lignifying cell walls are the main targets of the
      Wiesner (phloroglucinol-HCl) reaction.
      Pomar F, Merino F, Barcelo AR.
      (Department of Plant Biology, University of La Coruna, La Coruna).

      The nature and specificity of the Wiesner test
      (phloroglucinol-HCl reagent) for the aromatic aldehyde fraction
      contained in lignins was studied.
      Phloroglucinol reacted in ethanol-hydrochloric acid with coniferyl aldehyde, sinapyl aldehyde, vanillin, and syringaldehyde to yield either pink pigments (in the case of hydroxycinnamyl aldehydes) or red-brown pigments (in the case of hydroxybenzaldehydes)…

      Here an old remark that I have found in my own archive =
      “Till now I have no exact colorimetric data to do a comparison !”
      — —
      I remember to know that Van Haelst together with Dr. M. Cl.
      van Oosterwijck did claimed they did some experiments and
      (if I am right in my memory) R. Van Haelst did proposed
      the temperature of 180 °C.
      Later Mario Moroni made about the same experiments.
      He measured ~180 °C for the place were the samples were taken.
      And (of course) this is in contradiction with the 25 °C proposed by Rogers.
      Following Rogers, the low thermal conductivity of linen excluded
      such a high temperature.
      But Ray Rogers was unaware of the experiments of Moroni…
      and then this researcher (Rogers) did not continued further in thermochemical-textile research because he died in 2005 …

      Do you know other details?

      Under the address :

      there was a long commentary …
      But without mentioning the question of Vanillin in old books…

      See for example:

      That “Old Book Smell” Is a Mix of Grass and Vanilla
      Smell is chemistry, and the chemistry of old books gives your cherished tomes their scent
      Colin Schultz = smithsonian.com (June 18, 2013)


      >Smell is chemistry, and the chemistry of old books gives your cherished tomes their scent. As a book ages, the chemical compounds used—the glue, the paper, the ink–begin to break down. And, as they do, they release volatile compounds—the source of the smell.
      >A common smell of old books, says the International League for Antiquarian Booksellers, is a hint of vanilla: “Lignin, which is present in all wood-based paper, is closely related to vanillin. >As it breaks down, the lignin grants old books that faint vanilla scent.” … etc. … etc. …

      Here other links:

      >…A study in 2009 looked into the smell of old books, finding that the complex scent was a mix of “hundreds of so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the air from the paper,” says the Telegraph. …


      >… In total, there are hundreds of VOCs that can contribute to the overall scent of the book in question. However, there are several chemicals that can be both named and attributed to certain fragrances. One you might recognize is vanillin — the same chemical found in artificial vanilla. As you can guess, this contributes to the “hint of vanilla” mentioned by Strlič. A less familiar name (unless you took organic chemistry, or enjoy looking up chemical compounds) is 2-ethyl hexanol. This chemical offers a gentle floral scent.


      >…(Rogers) stated that: “The fact that vanillin cannot be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicate that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggest the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years”.[ = Raymond N. Rogers, 2004, Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of turin, TCA paper]
      >Rogers concluded from this that the Shroud is much older than the earlier purported estimates…


      >… However, there is another pitfall lurking here if Rogers thought that vanillin was a volatile material, going by the aroma from old wood. That could conceal a major source of error if his sleeping partner, Dr. S.T.Kosiewicz of the title, was not aware of it. … etc. … etc. …

      >… while the nose can readily detect vanillin at exceedingly low concentrations in air, it’s in fact a white solid with a quite high melting point (82 degrees C). So when Kosiewicz measured remaining “vanillin” (read coniferaldehyde) at 70 degrees C, he would have been measuring some of the vanillin end product that had failed to vaporise, still being a solid with low surface area. But when he raised the temperature to 100 degrees, the vanillin would then be liquid, with a larger surface area, larger vapour pressure, and been able to escape more easily causing less interference in the measurement of remaining “lignin”. You see, the exponential nature of the reaction rate means that any small errors at the higher temperatures is likely to translate into major errors in estimating the tiny rates of decay under normal environmental temperature.

      >There’s an “if” here, namely that Kosiewicz was measuring lignin by disappearance, using the Wiesner test, rather than some more specific test. But we are not told how he did his chemistry. Thus the title (and chief complaint) of this posting. Since when has it been accepted practice to sub-contract vital research to one’s chums, possibly/probably unqualified in the topic of interest, whose data is withheld from publication?

      I do not believe in this type of analysis, however,
      I also thought of SNOM
      controls for Wiesner test …

      See also my post:
      December 31, 2013 at 9:56 am
      (Argument to debate = Revisiting Giulio Fanti’s Dating Methods)

      link: https://shroudstory.com/2013/12/07/revisiting-fantis-dating-methods/

      >Vanillin test (= Wiesner test) in itself is not the true solution … The new nondestructive dating technique (that I indicated in 1998) is based on SPMs (= Scanning Probe Microscopies = AFM, CFM and SNOM ) …
      — —
      What is your opinion ?

      Now I wonder to what extent it would be reliable
      the control of Vanillin (= Wiesner test) after the material of the cloth
      was sumitted to an indirect treatment (= the one who released thymol)…

  20. So far as I can tell, nobody has contested the conclusion that I offered: The Whangers’ paper challenged Dr. Jackson’s objection to the reweaving hypothesis, and he has not responded to it.

    1. Remember that Whangers’ paper (2005) preceeded Jackson’s article (2008). But neither can be described as the final scientific word on this issue. They just represent the views of their respective authors.

      The other thing is that sceptics of course took those couple sentence from the short Jackson article, and presented them as the Holy Truth -in Wikipedia and other media (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin#Radiocarbon_dating ).

      I would say that Wikipedia article is somehow biased on this issue -aside from being a mess to the large extent. But the problem is that there are several guys watching so that Wikipedia is presenting their view.

      1. Okay, O.K., but my original question was inspired by Charles Freeman’s accusation that all the authenticists have ignored Dr. Jackson’s objection to the reweaving hypothesis. From what I can tell, the truth is quite the contrary. Dr, Jackson has ignored the Whangers’ pre-rebuttal to his objection. Has anyone reponded to the Whangers’ point on this particular issue?

        1. For what I know, Whangers are usually ignored, because of their sometimes bizarre “I think I see” claims.

          In fact I can’t recall any particular reaction to their paper. In short: Whangers think their way, Jackson thinks his way, Hugh thinks his way, everyone thinks own way, and considers his/her way the best.

          That’s how the situation looks like nowadays. Everyone is playing separately in its own part of the playground, without much interaction with others.

  21. Now I’m confused. In 2008 John Jackson, a convinced authenticist, declared that the radiocarbon area could not be reweave because a) there were uninterrupted threads from the main body of the Shroud through the sample area, and b) that there was no evidence of the 60% interpolated material necessary to skew the date adequately. Although he did not mention them by name, it is clear that he disagreed with the Whangers that there was evidence of repair. That is not to say that he ignored them at all. I’m sure he would have studied their evidence carefully, as I have, but came to the conclusion, as I have, that their conclusion is not justified by the evidence. Since then, six years ago, no one has come forward to defend the Whangers’ position, or to rebut Jackson’s.

    1. I won’t pretend that I know enough about this issue to know who has the stronger case, but the proper way to answer someone’s argument is to first acknowledge their argument, then explain why it is wrong. It appears that Dr. Jackson did not do that with regard to the Whangers’ argument. And I’m afraid that it also appears that nobody else has, either.

  22. “Remember that Whangers’ paper (2005) preceeded Jackson’s article (2008).” It should be pointed out that Jackson actually presented a paper at the 1999 Richmond conference arguing against a reweave.

      1. On almost any point on the Shroud, one can find experts with opposing opinions, whether they agree it’s authentic or not. Most times a psychological aspect also comes into play, whether it’s a bias toward authenticity or not or possibly an attraction to a particular theory. All one can do is to continue to look at the evidence, acknowledging one’s own biases and continue searching for the truth. One can have a bias so strong that a rational look at the truth is impossible. There are some people who deny the Holocaust even happened. Regarding the question of a reweave, here’s a significant excerpt from Paul Maloney’s 2008 Ohio conference paper:

        It is now clear that the presence of cotton spun inside linen yarns in the Raes’ Corner is supported by the findings of five [should be “six”] separate and independent investigators:
        Gilbert Raes, (1973-1974)
        STURP’s own early analyses reported by STURP spokeswoman, Joan Janney, (1981)
        Investigators at Precision Processes (Textile lab) Ltd in England (1988)
        Ray Rogers’ 2004 investigations, and
        John Brown at Georgia Tech .
        Robert Villarreal & team, LANL (2008)

        I’ll conclude with a comment by Ray Rogers, who felt very strongly that the C-14 sample was not representative. On an internet group, he said “How much evidence is needed?”

  23. There’s one other point worth making regarding the psychological aspect of clinging to a belief. Rogers was clearly convinced at first that he would be able to disprove the reweave theory. He was then clearly embarrassed that he had to agree with 2 people whom he considered to be in the “lunatic fringe.” I dare say that not all scientists would have shown the integrity that Rogers showed in changing his position.

    1. So Joe needs now to go further.
      1) which of these sources shows that threads of cotton, not just fibres, were spun or woven into the Shroud?
      2) How and why had the cotton got there? Is there any reason to believe new cotton was woven in alongside new linen – if so why?
      3) what percentage of cotton is there in the make-up of this area of the Shroud? Would it have any significant effect on the radio carbon date?
      4) if the cotton is only to be found as fibres, what do you thunk of Raes” view that it drifted in during the spinning or weaving process at a time when cotton and flax were being woven in the same workshops?

      1. Charles,

        1) “which of these sources shows that threads of cotton, not just fibres, were spun or woven into the Shroud?”
        With all due respect, your question makes no sense.
        To spin and to weave are two different operations.

        There is NO 100% cotton thread in the shroud, even in the Raes/C14 corner.
        I do not understand your question.

        2) “How and why had the cotton got there? Is there any reason to believe new cotton was woven in alongside new linen – if so why?”

        ” ..new cotton was woven in alongside new linen – if so why?”
        “Alongside” ??
        Once again your question makes no sense. See 1)

        3) “what percentage of cotton is there in the make-up of this area of the Shroud? Would it have any significant effect on the radio carbon date?”

        In Raes 7 about 10-20%. In the main Shroud probably no more than 2%. The difference is strongly significant.

        Cotton itself is only a SIGN that at least some THREADS (new linen fibers and new cotton fibers spun together) in the Raes/c14 area are different from the threads of the main part of the shroud (linen fibers only with no more than 2% of cotton).
        Please understand that is is NOT only the cotton that is “new” but the threads, including new linen fibers (cotton+linen)

        In this anomalous part of the shroud, with about 2/3 of “new” threads (new linen + new cotton) and about 1/3 of “old” threads ( old linen), the result is consistent with the radiocarbon dating.

        4) ” if the cotton is only to be found as fibres, what do you thunk of Raes” view that it drifted in during the spinning or weaving process at a time when cotton and flax were being woven in the same workshops?”

        It is possible.
        At least, Raes demonstrated that cotton fibers were not a surface contamination.
        But how to explain the differences with the main Shroud?
        It is not easy to understand such a difference in cotton content with Raes’ explanation.
        In my opinion, it can explain the 2% cotton fibers found in the main shroud but not the 10-20% cotton fibers found in Raes 7.

        Taking into account the unique dye found by Rogers as well as the lignin, the whole picture is clear.

        The Raes/C14 corner is strongly anomalous with regard to
        what is known about the main part of the Shroud.

        1. There is explanations consistent with what has been found.
          1) The flax with which the Shroud was woven was spun in a a place where cotton was also being spun -(we know that this happened) and fibres of cotton became embedded in the yarn. Different bands of the yarn may well have had different proportions of cotton as they would have been spun at different times and even in different workshops
          2) The yarn was woven on a loom which had previously been used for weaving cotton and at the edges of the weave there were therefore traces of cotton fibres that were not found further into the cloth.

          Either of these possibilities explains the varying proportion of cotton fibres across the Shroud although if it is really difficult to spot the cotton fibres, we cannot know for the Shroud as a whole how much cotton is where. I have never understood how Rogers was able to dismiss so easily the possibility that there were cotton fibres elsewhere on the Shroud. When was the necessary examination done? If the cotton was within the structure of the weave it would not have been found on the STURP tapes.

          There is nothing inconsistent with the possibility that the Shroud was spun and woven at the period when there were massive imports of raw cotton which were treated in the same workshops as flax, e.g. after 1200. The failure to spot cotton fibres as yet in other parts if the a shroud does not mean that these parts were not also woven after 1200. You are working from a preconceived belief that the Shroud is earlier than 1200 if you insist otherwise.

        2. Sorry if I am wrong. We don’t know from where and from whom Aramathia Joseph bought the linen to wrap the body of Jesus.

          So Cotton can be in the Shroud but do all of the cotton in the Shroud have the same age?

        3. P.S. And one must also explain why they added a mix of new cotton and new linen in a so – called invisible weave. It makes much more sense if the cotton fibres drifted in during one the processes , spinning or weaving, and, in view of the enormous increase in the use of cotton in medieval times it is much more likely to be then.
          I don’t understand how the presence of cotton fibres implies the addition of new linen to am existing weave.
          Raes 7 , a selected sample, does not mean that the radio – carbon samples had twenty per cent cotton – in fact the cotton fibres that were spotted and removed from the samples were minimal.
          I prefer to stick to the common sense explanation that these were fibres that drifted in and were certainly not added deliberately by a sinner or weaver.

      2. Charles,

        Nobody (Rogers etc…including myself) said that the high amount of cotton alone in this corner is a sufficient proof of it being strongly anomalous.

        As I wrote, the evidence comes from ‘the whole picture’:
        – Cotton
        – Unique dye
        – The ‘splice’ in Raes 1 glued with a terpene-like material
        – The lignin.
        – the anomalous UV fluorescence
        – The statistical anomalies of the radiocarbon dating.

        Cotton: you wrote: ” I have never understood how Rogers was able to dismiss so easily the possibility that there were cotton fibres elsewhere on the Shroud. When was the necessary examination done? If the cotton was within the structure of the weave it would not have been found on the STURP tapes.”

        The “necessary examination” was not done (STURP was not allowed to do that).
        Rogers studied many STURP samples and could not find cotton (or only few modern cotton fibers). Paul Malloney studied several samples from Max Frei and his conclusions were similar (see my paper).
        Both Max Frei and STURP samples were ‘surface samples’, that’s true.
        However, if you apply a sticky tape to a thread containing many cotton fibers, you certainly will found many cotton fibers in your tape.

        Your hypothesis:” The flax with which the Shroud was woven was spun in a a place where cotton was also being spun -(we know that this happened) and fibres of cotton became embedded in the yarn” or “The yarn was woven on a loom which had previously been used for weaving cotton and at the edges of the weave there were therefore traces of cotton fibres that were not found further into the cloth.”
        is reliable.
        It is in fact Raes’ hypothesis.

        I can’t rule out this hypothesis.
        However, what is the probability to find by chance several threads with a high amount of cotton in a very small area of the shroud if many samples coming from many different parts of the shroud do not show any kind of cotton or only a very small amount of cotton?

        Again, cotton alone is not a proof.
        The question of cotton makes sense only as an element of the whole picture as described above.

        1. Thibault. There is no ‘high’ amount of cotton within the weave anywhere, certainly no evidence of anything that might make a difference to the R-c dating. The amount found and removed from the Oxford sample has no significance for the dating.

          Again, it is you who has told of the difficulty of teasing out cotton fibres from the linen, so there remains no evidence that the rest of the Shroud has no cotton fibres in it when tapes (where are they now and who has access to them?) were only applied to the outside of the Shroud and not to its inner structure.

          There remains the problem of why anyone would want to add cotton fibres to the Shroud. An accidental drifting in of the fibres during spinning (?the apparent splice) or weaving seems many times more likely than a deliberate placing of them among linen,new or otherwise, for no apparent reason. These are fibres not threads. How would one have handled them?

          Rogers was arbitrary in assuming there was a dye. It suited his argument to believe what he had found was a dye but he provided no supporting evidence. What he found was also used in straightforward painting of textiles.

          Flury-Lemberg dealt with the Rogers’ hypothesis, her views based on actual examination of the WEAVE, not some stray threads Rogers had gathered in, to see if there was any sign of this apparent reweaving.. As she makes clear there was not.

          There remains nothing, and this is the crucial point, that dates the material of the weave outside the medieval period.

  24. If only it were that simple. Raes, Heimburger and Fanti all examined actual threads from the radiocarbon area, and found cotton fibres twisted among them, in varying proportions. To my knowledge no-one has done the same with threads from other parts of the Shroud. Villarreal discovered so much cotton that his findings have now been rejected as worthless. The Oxford lab and Donna Campbell found distinct and distinctly coloured fibres which they picked out. They did not seem to be part of the original weave. I’m afraid all this simply isn’t adequate to demonstrate that any of the threads that made up the radiocarbon sample were sufficiently different from the threads that make up the rest of the Shroud.

    Now before anyone jumps in to shout that as a Typical Atheist I am Completely Ignoring Conclusive Evidence that the radiocarbon corner is Totally Different from the rest of the Shroud, check what I say, and what I have written. The cotton findings are there, and they are interesting. They need to be explained. I have read and re-read everything everyone has to say about them. I have not ignored them or dismissed them. I simply think that as the evidence stands, they are insufficient evidence of enough medieval contamination to skew the radiocarbon date by a thousand years.

    1. Hugh,
      – Do you have an estimate as to how many years the current evidence of medieval contamination, and biological contamination otherwise, IS sufficient to skew the radiocarbon date by? (Hope that’s coherent.)

      1. There is no clear answer for that question. We have no data to estimate that.

        In fact -all dates are theoretically possible right now.

      2. Hi Richard. Let us suppose that 75% of the radiocarbon sample is from 50 AD. and 25% is from 1600 AD. If such a sample were dated, the date would come out at 360 AD.

        If 30% of the radiocarbon sample were from 50 AD. and 75% from 1600 AD, the date would come out at 1240 AD.

        These figures are calculated using OUAU’s OxCal program (https://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/oxcal/OxCal.html) and the Carbon 14 Dating Calendar at http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869Z/CHEM869ZLinks/www.all.mq.edu.au/online/edu/egypt/carbdate.htm.

        1. Hugh,
          – Thanks.
          – But, doesn’t that contradict the 95% confidence level?
          – Just in case you don’t recognize me, I’m “Jabba” from the other forum.

        2. I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean that the dates of my mixtures above are outside the 95% confidence range of the actual radiocarbon dates, then you are correct.

        3. Hugh,
          – Unfortunately, I was thinking of it backwards… that 25% from 50 AD, and 75% from 1600 would show a carbon date of 360 AD. Oh well.
          – I’ll try to figure it out for myself, but what date would a 50/50 ratio show?

  25. Reminder for Hugh: since three tiny postage stamp size samples were used, to skew the radiocarbon date of the TS by a thousand years, doesn’t require a huge QUANTITY of the dated material to be of a later date, about 40% if the contamination is pure carbon, about 60-66% if the contamination is 19th CE cotton (most likely 19th century microreconstructions either by the princess Clothilde of Savoy-Bonaparte or the Master of upholstery in the Royal court of Savoy, in 1863 or 1868).

    If we rely on Jackson’s estimate (66,66%), the C14 sample would only need 106mg (that is 0,106g) of the 1st c. CE linen to be replaced in 1863 for the date to appear 1260-1390.
    If we rely on Evin’s estimate (50%), it would only need 79mg (that is 0,079g) to reach the same biased medieval dating. Most likely the microreconstructions were circumscribed to a couple of finger prehension tiny areas at the core of the sample.

  26. On June 22, 2013 at 8:19 am, I wrote:

    In terms of ‘ANECDOTAL’ FLAWS re the 1988 TS C14 dating:

    1/ Explicit and implicit presence of splicing threads
    Independently, Hall, Testore, Rogers and Villarreal reported the presence of spliced threads (coton intermixed with linen) in the TS corner.
    In my 2007 research paper on the TS C14 dating fiasco, I wrote:
    “Parmi ces quelques fils ou sections de fils provenant de cette zone plus sombre que forment le Coin de Raës et plus des deux tiers de l’échantillon C14 officiel, Rogers identifia, consolidé par l’enduit résineux, un fil ayant subi une épissure bout à bout de deux fils d’origines différentes. Des fibres de ce fil s’échappaient, en effet, de sa partie centrale et d’autres fibres situées à ses deux extrémités se trouvaient positionnées en sens inverse. Anomalie qui avait déjà été remarquée en 1988 sur le seul et unique fil qu’examina au microscope le Pr Edward Hall du Laboratoire d’Oxford (Cette anomalie, pourtant elle aussi avérée, n’a pas non plus été évoquée lors de la toute dernière communication de Madame Metchild Flury-Lemberg. On ne peut que le regretter).
    I also wrote about the 1982 unofficial attempt at radiocarbon dating the TS:
    “Comme beaucoup de gens encore aujourd’hui, ils (Tite et al) ignoraient qu’en 1982, un minéralogiste de renommée mondiale, le Pr George R. Rossman du laboratoire de l’Institut Technologique de la Californie (« Caltech ») à Pasa-dena, avait déjà procédé d’une façon non officielle, à un test radiocarbone sur la relique. Le micro-échantillon daté en secret6 avait consisté en un seul et unique fil d’environ 8 cm tiré à partir de la zone de l’échantillon semi triangulaire7 prélevé, en 1973, par le Pr Gilbert Raës ; zone jouxtant celle précisément où avait été extrait l’échantillon C14 officiel.
    Le fil dont une partie était apparue enduite d’une couche superficielle plus sombre avait été coupé en deux. On avait alors abouti, pour le même fil, à une datation à deux extrémités encore plus hétérogènes que celle obtenue en 1988 par les trois autres laboratoires : le IIe siècle pour la partie apparemment non contaminée et le XIIe siècle pour l’autre partie pourtant décontaminée (soit un différentiel de mille années !). Rossman ne publia jamais son résultat.
    En 1988 tout comme en 1982, le principe même de la datation par la méthode éprouvée du radiocar-bone ne pouvait être mis en cause. Pas plus qu’on ne pouvait douter du sérieux avec lequel furent, à chaque fois, effectuées les mesures de la teneur en radiocarbone surtout lorsqu’on sait qu’en 1988 les diverses phases de la procédure classique de mesure furent doublées voire même triplées pour certains des microéchantillons lors de mesures d’essai. Que des microéchantillons provenant de la même aire du drap puissent refléter cinq points diffé-rents dans le temps (le XVe, XIVe, XIIIe, XIIe et IIe siècle de notre ère), permet de conclure, de toute évidence, non pas à des erreurs aléatoires (hasard statistique ou approximations commises au cours de l’analyse) mais à une erreur systématique due à l’hétérogénéité des échantillons testés. En d’autres termes, cela signifie que toute cette série de datations 14C erratiques du même objet ne pouvaient être dû qu’à un prélèvement d’échantillons de provenance douteuse et à la non élimination de carbones plus récents malgré les traitements physiques et chimiques de nettoyage employés par lesdits laboratoires. En fonction de la valeur réelle du test du khi2 (valeur faussée dans le rapport officiel, 5 pour 1,04), il existe très exactement pas moins de 98,96 chances sur 100 pour que les différences des dates moyennes entre les 3 laboratoires soient dues au manque d’homogénéité du matériel daté en 1988.
    Selon le physicien en radiocarbone français Jacques Évin, pour concilier la date historiquement possible du Ier siècle avec la fameuse datation en âge moyen de 1260-1390, (soit avec la mesure radiocarbone 663 ± 65 années avant la date de référence de 1988), « l’échantillon atypique idéal » devrait avoir été formé, d’un poids de carbone moderne égal au poids de carbone du lin originel ou bien, dit autrement, être composé à 50% de fibres de 1858-1988 et à 50% de fibres du Ier siècle de notre ère parfaitement mêlés. D’après une autre estimation par le physicien américain John Jackson, il était possible que cette proportion fut de deux tiers/un tiers8 (66%-33%).”

    2/Statistical sleigh-of-hand (Reminder)
    As a foot note: “Annoncé officiellement à 5 % (soit juste le seuil de validité admis), le niveau de signification (ou degré de cohérence) des résultats interlaboratoires, une fois recalculé, s’avéra être totalement faux. Il était, en fait, de 1,04 % c’est-à-dire bien en dessous du seuil critique impliquant, soit qu’une erreur systématique avait été commise au cours de l’analyse (ce qui n’était pas le cas) soit que l’échantillon n’était pas homogène (ce qui était précisément le cas). Ainsi, “par obligation de résultat”, Mme Sheridan Bowman, la responsable de la partie statistique de l’expérience, avait-elle « arrondi » ce chiffre de 1,04% » à 5%. On ne peut que regretter cet excès de zèle par complaisance envers son patron, le Dr Michael Tite. Celui-ci n’avait, en effet, jamais fait mystère qu’il ne croyait pas à l’authenticité du Linceul de Turin.”

    It just seem the recurrent presence of spliced threads (coton with linen) found in the TS Raes-C14 corner and Tite and Bowman’s gross statistical sleigh-of-hand are just anecdotal pieces of evidence in Hugh’s eyes…

  27. Richard:

    – But, doesn’t that contradict the 95% confidence level?

    No, confidence level is actually entirely different thing:


    It is the probability of the true result being within the mentioned interval (1260-1390 AD in this case), assuming that measurements were performed correctly.

    If measurement were done incorrectly (which is most likely the case here), 95% confidence level is meaningless then.

    1. That’s a widespread misunderstanding between confidence interval and significance level.

      Let’s go back to nature’s article:

      “The spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the shroud] is somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted.”

      “somewhat greater”??? that’s the art of British understatement… it is rather the worst scattering acceptable, with a significance level at 5% (according to their own test, chosen a posteriori).

      Once you’ve accepted this shaky significance level, you can do the math to determine whatever confidence interval.

  28. Charles Freeman:
    March 10, 2015 at 7:18 pm
    “There is explanations consistent with what has been found.
    1) The flax with which the Shroud was woven was spun in a a place where cotton was also being spun -(we know that this happened) and fibres of cotton became embedded in the yarn. Different bands of the yarn may well have had different proportions of cotton as they would have been spun at different times and even in different workshops
    2) The yarn was woven on a loom which had previously been used for weaving cotton and at the edges of the weave there were therefore traces of cotton fibres that were not found further into the cloth”.

    Thank you, Charles. It seems a very simple and sufficient account of the “mysterious yarns of cotton”. It is a new example of how “the trees don’t let often to see the forest”. (Maragatian proverb).

    1. Yes, David, the problem of why cotton should have been inserted deliberately in such tiny quantities appears to many of us insuperable.

  29. CF: “The flax with which the Shroud was woven was spun in a place where cotton was also being spun -(we know that this happened).”

    No, you don’t know this happened at the place where the Shroud was woven. Source, please, Mr. F.

    1. What I meant was that we know that it was common to spin and weave them in the same workshops. One reason was that the skills required to spun flax and cotton were so similar that there was one guild of cotton and flax spinners, for instance at Cremona, so that they did not make a rigorous separation of the two materials. The other was that linen threads and cotton THREADs ( not fibres!) were often woven alternatively in cloths known as fustians.
      Raes who was an expert on this made the same point.
      First we need evidence of a woven part of the Shroud with cotton THREADS in it . Then if that evidence is found we need an explanation of why the threads were woven into the Shroud at all.
      If the reweave is largely in linen, why would there be any cotton added to it especially as this would make nonsense of an invisible reweave? Then there is the old question of why repair this part of the Shroud and not other areas which actually needed it. ( Remember Flury- Lemberg made the point that she saw no reasons why this corner of the Shroud needed attention.)
      It makes sense to stay with the simple explanation that cotton fibres drifted into the Shroud either when the flax was being spun or when the yarn was being woven. I hardly think it is worth doing but if access is even given to the Shroud again, it would be interesting to make a study of the proportions of cotton in the different bands of the weave. Again I have never understood how Rogers knew there was no cotton elsewhere on the Shroud – I didn’t realise anyone had actually looked under a microscope to see – it would have been a long job to cover the whole Shroud!
      It is surely time to see the presence of the cotton fibres as irrelevant in terms of challenging the radiocarbon date.

  30. MPH, You was scathing about Hugh (and the Cotton/Linen fact)…

    But you have forgotten the past criticism by G. M. Rinaldi regarding the
    exact statistical question (and a different point of view with respect that of Eng.
    Brunati, a deceased italian researcher, who [years ago] indicated the same number,
    your clamorous 1,04% )…
    Obviously this don’t change the fact that we are dealing with a number below 5%.

    In other words : the tests must be repeated … with other samples,
    taking other material from the Shroud.
    Perhaps, proceeding in this manner we can easily destroy the
    entire sheet of Turin (!!!) due to the fact that we are often persisted
    in long discussions about a glass of water or similar things…
    and therefore the time to be able to plan the work is lost.

    In order to avoid (to prevent) this nefarious (heinous) perspective
    we can try to do some interesting non-destructive analyses as underlined by
    prof. Barberis, the director of CIS in Turin…
    But I am preaching that way since 1998,
    unfortunately my simple claims […and not “mantra”, as wrote Louis
    several days ago. See also the “mantra intoning” concept by
    Colin Berry, January 20, 2015] about the use of SPM [= AFM, CFM
    and SNOM] are often disregarded.
    In the paper: “Perspectives for the Future Study of the Shroud”, Valencia 2012,
    Barberis indicated [at p. 2] the use of AFM, yes…
    But, in my opinion, this SPM technique is not a “new technology” as he wrote
    because (since years) there are several papers at disposal [and often you can
    read what I write taking some (right or wrong) examples from the Web…].

    I also understand that several years ago AFM controls on linen (with SSNDT as witnesses)
    were not famous (Dallas, 2005) probbly because I was not an engineer and I had not a Nano-Lab at disposal …
    Instead after 14 years (= 2012) there was a very little revival for AFM.

    Strangely prof. Barberis disregarded the useful ATR-FTIR, remind the paper
    by P. Garside [a Research Fellow in Conservation Science, Textile Conservation Centre,
    Univ. of Southampton, UK. B.T.W: He also quoted two FTIR papers by J. M. Cardamone
    (a researcher known to the “Shroudies”), read the Bibliography of the paper related
    to the Historic Artifacts published in 2001… Not the Perkin Elmer paper, 2011] about
    a particular version of that technique.
    Instead he sketched a particular perspective about the “poker holes”.
    He indicated the following techniques : UV-Vis, IR, Raman, TOF-SIMS …
    as useful methodologies to verify the hypothesis that the origin of that
    famous “L” is not due to combustion, disregarding the AFM and CFM
    (= Chemical Force Microscopy).
    And I say these words taking apart the fact that, after the restoring of the year 2002,
    the inherent area changed (= it became a big hole instead of a little one)
    if I am right in my remark…

    After having indicated the idea of these controls on the reminds of the past “L”
    (= what was the area near the “poker holes”), he suggested the use of
    mass spectrometry on water marks
    in order to compare the results with other sites without waterstains.
    I presume he wanted to indicate the TOF-SIMS controls that (unfortunately)
    aren’t “non-destructive controls”…
    In any case : do you remember the strange question of gamma irradiated samples
    (that I indicated few days ago) and the interesting changes in water adsorption?
    Well… this case is near similar our problem (to solve without destructions) …
    See also: the possible exact interpretation about the inherent “chromatographies” on linen!

    The AFM techniques can also be useful in the case of the tests
    “on the Holland cloth and on the patches removed in 2002”.
    But Barberis indicated only (and vaguely) “spectroscopic tests”…
    So …
    What was the meaning of this particular “smoke on our eyes” of the year 2012?

    How is possible to show a very good project of SPM (Scanning Probe Microscopy)
    line system on linen without any previous true help from the Laboratories? …
    — — — — —
    We have seen the past photographies about the Arizona’s sample =
    Report on the STERA, Inc. – University of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory
    Macro Photography – 30 August 2012

    link: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/arizona.pdf

    the observations by Pam Moon and Donna Campbell (“The black thread”)

    link: http://www.shroudofturinexhibition.com/Shroud_of_Turin_exhibition/Three_threads_files/Arizona%20for%20website.pdf

    But all these things are insufficient to emit a verdict.
    So, in my opinion, we have to test this sample under SPM analyses.

    Is it possible to contact Dr. Timothy Jull in order to obtain that control
    or few (very little) linen samples to submit to the SPM tests?

    If the photographies about the Arizona’s sample were non-destructive controls,
    then the same can happen with tests under AFM techniques…

    But the advanced analyses on the sample of Arizona may not be sufficient to establish the truth regarding the whole cloth of the Shroud!
    So we have to do the comparisons with the other linen samples already taken from the Holy Shroud of Turin.
    … And this is the final sentence of my “analytical sermon”.


  31. Here a topic which I thought was interesting:

    Remote Control & Visualization of Scanning Probe Microscopes via Web
    Junyi Sun Anshuman Razdan


    I have read that students and non-experienced can use the IN-VSEE
    to control a microscope without any training.
    The claim was that this interface will in future provide different levels of
    functionality based on users proficiency in controlling the microscope….

    The term “state of the art” refers to the highest level of general development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field achieved at a particular time.
    What is the “state of the art” of remote control SPM ?

    Here a concrete and useful example about the reality :

    “Imaginenano 2015”
    Venue:Bilbao, Spain
    Date:10 – 13 March 2015

    It is a fair in Bilbao (Spain) that hosts the 3rd edition of the largest European Event in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, ImagineNano, from the 10th until the 13th of March 2015
    … at Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC).


    Is it possible to test the capability of remote operation of the SPM
    via the Web using a technical fair?
    Is it easy to show an example of chemical fingerprinting on linen fibrils?
    In any case “Imaginenano 2015” does not seem to be a conference
    that is addressed in the particular field of the textile topics … or in archaeo-textile field …
    — —
    I have found another address:
    the 62nd JSAP Spring Meeting 2015

    Link: http://meeting.jsap.or.jp/file/category_timetable_en.pdf

    But even that does not seem to be a conference that is centered on our own textile field …

  32. Just for fun, another case about C14 dating on a less passionate debate:

    “Existing radiocarbon (14C) dates on American mastodon (Mammut americanum) fossils from eastern Beringia (Alaska and Yukon) have been interpreted as evidence they inhabited the Arctic and Subarctic during Pleistocene full-glacial times (∼18,000 14C years B.P.). However, this chronology is inconsistent with inferred habitat preferences of mastodons and correlative paleoecological evidence.”

    Guess what went wrong…

      1. They actually decided to redate American mastodons because they are mistaken for the much hairier mammoths… But the dating pb didn’t come from the hair, but from a poor sampling and overlooked external contamination.

        1. Thank you anoxie. I believe same thing applies to the results of Carbon Dating of Turin Shroud as they overlooked the external contamination.

  33. In an interview posted yesterday Italian physicist and Shroud scientist Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro, says that contamination was not removed in 1988 and that any future test should ensure that there is no sign of it. He did some very interesting research on image formation, published in a peer-reviewed journal: https://www.academia.edu/11355553/Dr._Paolo_Di_Lazzaro_explains_his_research_on_image_formation_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin
    “Miraculists” and “Naturalists” may be able to decide who has more reason — till today.

    1. Thank you Louis for giving the link of the research paper. People need to talk about the image formation rather than finding material in the Shroud. No one can explain how this image was formed. That is a mystery.

  34. In my idea your previous interesting discussions
    were a bit far from the field of careful Textile Analyses.

    Although I had some doubt, the question of Cotton presence into the fibres
    of linen samples taken from the Shroud is not trivial.

    In other words : we have to show what kind of blend was produced and then we have not only to find the exact percentage of Cotton versus Linen that was produced but the geometrical distribution of Cotton (along the threads).
    And this doesn’t seem a very difficult problem to solve.
    Do you agree with me?

    A more difficult question to solve is the true identification for the origin (of that presence or subsequent contamination).

    When can we read only some rough words about “actual threads ”
    and “cotton fibres twisted among them, in varying proportion”
    we cannot solve our problem because we don’t know if the distribution
    was at random or periodical…

    So… What we require it’s an useful and careful drawing or particular photographs
    (or both) that can describe the difference Cotton versus Linen (and/or viceversa)
    and their exact positions, one with respect to other (and the first idea that came into my mind was the use of PLM… But this work has to be obtained from adequate samples, not mechanically damaged, etc.).
    Probably, using that description, we can draw interesting conclusions from: drawings, photographs or maps.
    Was Raes able to do that?
    Here my rough opinion: I don’t believe.

    I am curious to read your answers about the idea to investigate the issue
    with an adequate research tool.
    At the end of this message you can read a very short bibliography
    and after the inherent readings you can draw your own conclusion
    about the possibility to identificate the textile materials (Linen and Cotton)
    in blends.

    The investigative works “were forbidden” in the case of the past rough C14 test
    (for obvious reasons = the material coming from the Shroud was easily
    recognizable in comparison with the other samples!).
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Only a rigorous work (if it is possible to do what I have indicated here,
    in a vague manner) can show the truth.
    Obviously vain discussions cannot produce the useful answer.
    But some exchange of words (perhaps I am more inclined to enter into
    the boring “problem solving approach”…) is always interesting.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Here a Short Bibliography:

    – M. Sohn, D. S. Himmelsbach, D. E. Akin, and F. E. Barton II,
    “Fourier transform near-infrared spectroscopy for determining linen content
    in linen/cotton blend products”
    Textile Research Journal, vol. 75, no. 8, pp. 583–590, 2005

    – D. D. McAlister III, J. A. Foulk, D. E. Akin, and P. A. Annis,
    “Cotton fibres: proportion and interaction with flax fibres in blends:
    focus on rotor spun yarn”
    in Proceedings of the 26th International Cotton Conference,
    pp. 207–211, Faserinstitut Bremen, Bremen, Germany, 2002.

    – ISRN Textiles Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 649407, 4 pages
    “Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Anticounterfeiting Innovative Fibers”
    by Jing Cao and Suraj Sharma
    Then the question to answer can be the following:

    FT-IR, FT-NIR or PLM for determining linen content in blends ?
    Here another way:
    >Cotton and linen content measurement meet in
    textile industry standard FZ/T30003-2000 cotton
    blended products of microscopic projection method
    and quantitative analysis method
    >Conform to the inspection standard of SN/T0756-1999
    import and export of linen/cotton blended products
    quantitative analysis method, the microscopic projection method
    >Standard: FZ/T30003-2000\FZ/T32004-1996\SN/T 0756-1999

    These avenues of research do not seem dareo great information
    on the type of distribution of cotton in the mix …
    What we need is some kind of QR code.
    Quick respone and Denso-Wave code …
    = http://www.qrcode.com/en/history/
    In 2012, the QR Code won a prize in the Media
    for Industry category of the Good Design Award
    (established in Japan to comprehensively promote industrial design)

    See alo the first “cryptanalist” and the analysis of frequewncy …

  35. Errata corrige:
    >See also the first “cryptanalist” and the analysis of frequence …

    Instead of:
    >See alo the first “cryptanalist” and the analysis of frequewncy …


    >… Al-Kindi was a great mathematician and is knows today in the modern world as “father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy”. He was so advanced in mathematics that his mathematical and medical expertise, he was able to develop a scale that would allow doctors to quantify the potency of their medication. While performing a textual analysis of the Holy Quran, he found out that Arabic has a characteristic letter frequency. This discovery made has allowed him to develop what we called today as Frequency Analysis …

  36. Ciphers based on one-to-one substitutions, also known
    as monoalphabetic ciphers, can be easily broken by frequency analysis.
    The method was proposed by the 9th century polymath from Baghdad, al-Kindi (800-873AD), often called the philosopher of the Arabs.

    But I believe that MPH has some interesting story about Jules Verne and
    William Legrand (1843, by Edgar Allan Poe…).

    1. I hope not to be misunderstood.
      I do not believe that there are strange secret messages based on cotton …
      What interested me emphasize is the solution to the problem inherent to the study of the frequency with which Cotton appears in blend Linen/Cotton.

      Linen is the strongest of all the vegetable fibers, perhaps
      with 2 to 3 times the strength of Cotton and
      it contains lignin. Instead lignin is absent in Cotton.
      This is another point where we can start with another
      type of analyses.

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