Last week, The Guardian dredged up a 1988 article for us; maybe some editor thought we missed Turin Shroud leak starts unholy row. Following the lead which reads, “Scholars at Oxford University believe the linen, said to have wrapped the body of Jesus, may be a fake,” the article begins:
Representatives of the Archbishop of Turin condemned Oxford University last night for allowing news to leak out that the Turin Shroud – revered by Roman Catholics as a bloodstained relic of the crucified Christ – is a medieval forgery. They announced that the university could not possibly know.
The furore began after Dr Richard Luckett, a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that a date of 1350 “looks likely” for the 14ft piece of linen, which bears the imprint of the face, the thorns, and wounds of Jesus’s body.
He referred to laboratories as “leaky institutions”. A fragment of the shroud is being radiocarbon-dated at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford. At Magdalene the message was that Dr Luckett was away for the weekend.
It is now twenty-seven years later, and just in case we still had questions, The Guardian included this last line with a link that reads, “Scientists and the church still disagree about the authenticity of the shroud.”
Despite the fact that the cloth was radiocarbon-dated to the 14th century in 1988, an array of theories continue to be presented to support its authenticity – including, this year, the idea from scientists at the Politecnico di Torino that an earthquake in AD 33 may have caused a release of neutrons responsible for the formation of the image.
But, according to research by British scholar and author Charles Freeman, to be published in the journal History Today, the truth is that the shroud is not only medieval, just as the radiocarbon dating suggests, but that it is likely to have been created for medieval Easter rituals – an explanation that flies in the face of what he called “intense and sometimes absurd speculation” that coalesces around it.
Doesn’t the mainstream media understand that it is the job of bloggers to dredge up old news that nobody cares about when we don’t have anything else to say?