Here also belatedly, is my Shroud of Turin News for ebruary 2008, hot on the heels of my Shroud News for January 2008.
[Above: A high-definition digital photo of the face on the Shroud, Discovery News]
There does not seem to have been any othew news about the Shroud in February, except the BBC documentary that was shown on Easter Saturday, of which I have to date heard nothing, presumably because it is still a public holiday. I want to `clear the decks' of February's Shroud news items, so I can report on the programme and any results of tests, either specially or in the March Shroud News, or both. These February items are in descending date order (most recent first). My comments are in bold.
Shroud of Turin Gets High-Def Scrutiny, Discovery News, Rossella Lorenzi, Feb. 28, 2008 -- The Turin shroud, the 14-by 4-foot linen long believed to have been wrapped around Jesus' body after the crucifixion, has entered the digital age. A huge 12.8 billion-pixel image was made of the linen, on which the smudged outline of the body of a man is indelibly impressed. The image was made following a Vatican request to obtain the most detailed reproduction of the yellowing ancient cloth. The technology allows a level of scrutiny of the linen as never achieved before. "The Shroud has been photographed in high definition for the first time. We have stitched together 1,600 shots, each the size of a credit card, to create a huge photo which is almost 1,300 times stronger than a picture taken with a 10 million pixel digital camera," This was shown on the BBC documentary shown on Easter Saturday (although I have not yet seen it here in Australia). It will be interesting to see what this reveals, e.g. the presence of flower and coin images, etc. The very fact that such a high-definition photo can be done and yet not reveal any artist's workings such as brushstrokes, etc, shows that the Shroud image can not be a human product. No fake, let alone a medieval one, could have stood up to this amount of scientific scrutiny for so long.
Fresh tests on Shroud of Turin, Telegraph.co.uk, Jonathan Petre, 26/02/2008 ... The Oxford laboratory that declared the Turin Shroud to be a medieval fake 20 years ago is investigating claims that its findings were wrong. The head of the world-renowned laboratory has admitted that carbon dating tests it carried out on Christendom's most famous relic may be inaccurate. Carbon dating tests carried out 20 years ago on the Shroud of Turin suggested that the relic was a forgery Professor Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, said he was treating seriously a new theory suggesting that contamination had skewed the results. Though he stressed that he would be surprised if the supposedly definitive 1988 tests were shown to be far out - especially "a thousand years wrong" - he insisted that he was keeping an open mind. The development will re-ignite speculation about the four-metre linen sheet, which many believe bears the miraculous image of the crucified Christ. ... The results, which are due next month, will form part of a documentary on the Turin Shroud that is being broadcast on BBC 2 on Easter Saturday. ... This is basically the same article in The West Australian newspaper that I posted last month. As previously mentioned, this article is wrong in its claim that there will "Fresh tests on the Shroud of Turin" when there are not to be any tests on the Shroud itself. I assume that if anything is to be tested, it will be other items of old linen of known date, to see if radiocarbon-dating of old linen is inherently difficult, if not impossible, to date accurately.
Age test of Shroud of Turin planned, United Press International, Feb. 25, 2008 ...A British scientist is overseeing new tests on the Shroud of Turin that he says will show it dates to the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Professor Christopher Ramsey of Oxford wants to check the theory that some type of contamination of the cloth caused the carbon-dating tests run in 1988 to mistakenly peg the shroud as a medieval forgery. The 14-foot-long cloth bearing the image of a man is said to be the burial shroud of Jesus. However carbon dating 20 years ago indicated the cloth dated from A.D. 1260-1390. Ramsey's retest is based on the theory that the level of contamination on the cloth required to skew carbon-14 dating results is far less than had been thought back in the 1980s ... The project will be covered in a BBC documentary that will reportedly include new supporting archaeological evidence. "This new theory only requires 2 percent contamination to skew the results by 1,500 years," said David Rolfe, the director of the documentary. "It springs from published data about the behavior of carbon-14 in the atmosphere which was unknown when the original tests were carried out 20 years ago." ... See above on there not going to be "new tests on the Shroud of Turin" itself. Also, Professor Ramsey was not going to "show it dates to the time of Jesus." As the previous article says, Prof. Ramsay does not believe the Shroud could be even "a thousand years wrong."