Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth that contains the image of a man having suffered severe physical trauma similar to people crucified. This controversial historical evidence about Jesus Christ is kept at the royal chapel in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin. Most of the scholars believe that this Shroud is associated with the cruxification and burial of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has kept numb on the issue neither refuting nor acclaiming the claims made. A negative image of the Shroud was taken by Secondo Pia in 1898. The black and white negative of the Shroud clearly showed the presence of a face in the Shroud. In 1978 a team of American scientists conducted tests on the Shroud and found no evidence of forgery in it and claimed that it was indeed the burial cloth used for the last rites of Jesus Christ. But in 1988 a radiocarbon dating was carried out which confirmed that the piece of cloth was from the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390. This led to the mystification about the Shroud of Turin.
In the subsequent years till date there have been many research conducted on the Shroud of Turin. According to the new studies, the Radiocarbon 14 dating conducted on the Shroud was flawed as the samples were taken from inaccurate places. The latest research in the field has often come to the conclusion that the Shroud was made in first century Palestine (which would be close to the time when Jesus lived). In 2000 another burial shroud belonging to a high priest in Jerusalem was found it had the similar herringbone twill structure as the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin has many stains that are similar to the bloodstains. While some have dismissed them as iron oxide which might have been used as pigments to make the cloth others have suggested that iron oxide is indeed a natural residue of haemoglobin. Further tests have also revealed the presence of porphyrin, albumin, bilirubin and proteins. Forensic pathologists have also opined that the blood group of the bloodstains found on the Shroud of Turin are AB.
Another study conducted by Avinoam Danim suggests that the images of Chrysanthemum coronarium are flowers that bloom in the month of March or April in Palestine. This was roughly the time when Jesus Christ was crucified. When the samples of cloth were examined closely about 58 different types of pollen grains were found on the Shroud. Out of these 45 were from the Jerusalem area.
Anatomical studies of the Shroud have revealed that the person covered had a series traumatic injuries from the shoulder to the lower portion of the back which would have been caused due to constant whipping that Jesus Christ was subjected to, there are marks on the right shoulder that were caused due to carrying a heavy object such as the cross. The person in the Shroud had been whipped, wounded on the head by some pointed instrument and nailed after stretching the body to the farthest extremities. According to Giulio Fanti who is a professor of mechanical measurements “apart from the hands afterward placed on the pubic area, the front and back images are compatible with the Shroud being used to wrap the body of a man 175±2 cm tall, which, due to cadaveric rigidity, remained in the same position it would have assumed during crucifixion”.
Image Analysis of the faint image found in the shroud reveal that the person had a beard, was injured on the forehead, had signs of trauma on his face and had shoulder long neatly parted hair. These are the descriptions that would fit in quite well with Jesus Christ.
Though there are so many evidences in favour of Shroud of Turin being authentic yet there are many sceptics sighting other instances. But most of researchers are of the opinion that Shroud of Turin is indeed the cloth that covered Jesus in his coffin and has his image.