Sunday, November 10, 2019

AMS: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones

AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) #9

This is "AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry)," part #9 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. It grew longer than I expected, so I have concluded it by listing the key steps in radiocarbon dating the Shroud up to 27 April 1987, where my "On this day 30 years ago in the radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud" series began. When I get to "Gove, H" I may revisit this page. For more information about this series, see part #1 and part #2. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index #1] [Previous: Allen, N #8] [Next: Antioch #10]

AMS, short for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, is a form of mass spectrometry that accelerates ions to extraordinarily high kinetic energies[2]. The special strength of AMS is its power to separate a rare

[Above (enlarge): "Schematic of an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS)"[3]. As can be seen, when the mass spectrometer is configured for it, it separates carbon-12, carbon-13 (13C4+) and carbon-14 (14C4+).]

isotope from an abundant mass of the same element, e.g. carbon-14 (14C) from ordinary carbon-12 (12C)[4].

Radiocarbon dating AMS is a technique of radiocarbon dating, which is based on the fact that carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of carbon, is unstable and has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years[5]. Radiocarbon dating was discovered in 1949 by University of Chicago Professor of Chemistry, Willard F. Libby (1908–80), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1960[6].

Carbon-14 Libby knew that there were neutrons in the upper atmosphere which must have been generated by cosmic radiation impacting atoms of the atmosphere[7]. From that Libby deduced that those high energy neutrons would collide with nitrogen-14 atoms and generate carbon-14: N14 + n = C14 + H1[8]. Libby then realised that these carbon-14 atoms would combine with oxygen to form carbon-14

[Above (enlarge)[9]: As can be seen, carbon-14 is continually being produced in the upper atmosphere by high energy neutrons from cosmic ray impacts, colliding with nitrogen-14 atoms[10]. The C-14 then reacts with oxygen to form carbon-14 dioxide[11]. Plants take up that carbon-14 dioxide by photosynthesis into their tissues[12] and when they die (including being eaten by animals), their intake of C-14 ceases and their existing C-14 (including that in animals which ate those plants) begins to decay back to N-14[13]. Thus there is a dynamic equilibrium between the constant production of C14 and its constant decay back to N14[14]. From the ratio of C-14 to C-12 in an archaeological artifact (e.g. a wooden implement, leather, cloth, bone, etc)[15], knowing that every 5,730 years half the C-14 in it would have decayed back to N-14, and assuming no contaTmination with extraneous carbon[16], the age of the artifact can be calculated[17].]

dioxide[18]. Libby then calculated that the carbon-14 dioxide would mix with the lower atmosphere's carbon dioxide and all plants and the animals that ate them would be radioactive with carbon-14[19]. Assuming that cosmic ray intensity had not varied significantly in 20,000 - 30,000 years, knowing that nuclear decay is not affected by chemical or environmental factors, and going by the then assumed half-life of carbon-14 of 5568 ± 30 years[20], Libby derived an equation by which the age of biological materials could be calculated from their carbon-14 content[21].

Advantage of AMS radiocarbon dating The Libby method of radiocarbon dating involves detecting with a Geiger counter, a beta particle emitted when a carbon-14 atom decays to nitrogen-14[22]. As only 1 in a trillion (1012) of carbon atoms are carbon-14[23], a comparatively large sample was required which must then be destroyed by converting it into pure carbon[24]. So museums and art galleries (and the Shroud custodian) were understandably reluctant to lose a large part of a precious artifact to have it radiocarbon dated[25]. But because AMS counts every C14 atom in a sample, not just the tiny fraction which just happened to decay during the dating[26], AMS needs orders of magnitude less of a sample size to be dated than the Libby method[27].

18 May 1977 The first radiocarbon dating using an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer occurred when a team led by Kenneth H. Purser (1929-2018), University of Toronto Professor Albert Edward "Ted" Litherland (1928-) and University of Rochester Professor Harry Gove (1922-2009), using Rochester University's tandem Accelerator Mass

[Right (original)[28]: Prof. Harry E. Gove (1922-2009), co-inventor of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating[29] and the unofficial leader of the Shroud radiocarbon dating project[30].]

Spectrometer, dated a few milligrams of charcoal from recently felled trees and graphite from oil deposits that were millions of years old[31]. The graphite was a control sample as its carbon-14 would have decayed to nothing long ago[32]. The charcoal sample returned over a thousand times more carbon-14 counts than did the graphite, so they had proved that AMS could detect carbon-14[33]! The amount of material needed for carbon dating by AMS was at least a thousand times smaller than required by the Libby method that it would now be possible to date even the most precious artifact[34]. Purser was due to talk on an unrelated topic at an accelerator conference in Strasbourg, France but with the permission of the conference organisers, he instead delivered a paper co-authored by himself, Litherland and Gove, describing their success[35]. A second run at Rochester in June returned even better results[36].

8 June 1977 Having presented their results to a scientific conference and repeated their experimental success, the group through Gove issued a press release announcing to a wider audience their breakthrough[37]. This was picked up by news outlets, including Time Magazine[38] and The New York Times[39]:

"Atomic scientists have devised a new method of carrying out carbon-14 dating of archeological and paleontological specimens that promises to more than double the time span from which ancient organic objects can be dated. The new method is also said to be much more accurate and to work on samples so tiny that they could not previously be dated because the conventional carbon-14 method would destroy them ... The conventional method requires between 10 and 100 grams, or up to a quarter of a pound, of the object to be destroyed in the dating process ... The new method destroys only 10 to 20 milligrams of a sample, or about seven one-thousandths of an ounce ... The new method which uses techniques of mass spectroscopy [sic], was developed by a team of researchers at the University of Rochester's Nuclear Structure Research Laboratory ... `In the past, scientists have determined the age of objects by measuring their carbon-14 radioactivity,' said Harry Gove, director of the Rochester laboratory, `... Our method does not require us to wait for the radioactive ticks of carbon-14, but measures the amount of carbon-14, directly'"[40].
24 June 1977 The Rochester AMS group received a letter from the Rev. H. David Sox (1936-2016), the General Secretary of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (which he did not disclose to the group), asking whether this new small-sample technique he had read about in Time magazine could be used to date the Turin Shroud[41]. It was the first time anyone in the Rochester group had ever heard of the Turin Shroud[42]. The Group responded to Sox that indeed AMS could carbon date the Shroud, but it was too soon to apply it to such a renowned object[43]. However, it was this inquiry by Sox which led to the dating of the Shroud by AMS eleven years later[44]!

May 1978 Litherland, Purser and Gove agreed that they should explore the possibility of dating the Turin Shroud by AMS[45]. To them the Shroud was only a means to an end: "a highly public demonstration of the power of carbon dating by AMS"[46]. Ten years later in 1988, when the first-century Shroud was falsely dated "1260-1390" by AMS, Gove declared it:

"... a public triumph for AMS, but a disappointment for those who hoped or believed it was the burial cloth of Christ"[47].
As Ian Wilson observed,
"... it would seem more and more evident that in the laboratories' eyes the Shroud was a hotly prized test for the AMS carbon-dating method, rather than the AMS method a cool, wholly impartial test for the Shroud"[48];
"Gove ... forgot all his earlier warnings that the test as conducted by just the three laboratories would not meet `the test of scientific rigour' ... declared the result to be a `triumph' for this [AMS] technique. From his enthusiasm, one might be forgiven for thinking that it had been his method that was being tried and tested, not the Shroud"[49].
Back then in 1978 Gove, an agnostic[50], "was becoming increasingly curious about the shroud" [sic] but he considered it a "remote possibility that it actually was Christ's burial cloth"[51]. In late July 1978 the Rochester AMS group sent a paper to Turin describing how they would radiocarbon date the Shroud and offering to do so if they wished[52].

9-10 October 1978 The Second International Congress on the Shroud was held in Turin[53]. A paper was submitted to the congress by the Rochester group and another by the Brookhaven non-AMS group describing how the Shroud could be radiocarbon dated using very small samples of cloth[54]. Before that the Shroud had been exhibited in the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Turin from 27 August to 8 October[55]. Then for five days from 8-13 October the Shroud was taken into Turin's Royal Palace for non-destructive tests by members of STURP and other scientists[56]. Gove saw the Shroud on 6 October, and it affected him deeply:

"... looking up at the shroud. I must say I also found it a very moving sight. It is a truly remarkable object with great artistic and religious beauty. The double image on the cloth — the front and back imprint of a crucified body — is indeed very faint and the intricate details that those who have studied it claim to see are not all apparent even at the distance from which one could view it on this wooden walkway. The triangular patches along the sides but avoiding the image, applied by the Poor Clare nuns in 1534 two years after a fire burned holes through the shroud, are the most visible features. But one could also clearly see the crossed hands showing only four fingers. There were wounds at the wrists and also what appeared to be a wound in the right side, as well as ones on the head and all over the back. I left the cathedral strengthened in my belief that the Turin Shroud was, at the very least, a religious artifact of greater significance than any other in the world that I had ever seen or heard of"[57].
Yet despite this (or because of it?), at that congress Gove resolved to continue [see 07Jul17] his anti-Christian hostility towards STURP:
"... Gove had noticed in 1978 that `most of the STURP members were, and perhaps still are "true believers" in the identity of this remarkable piece of material with Christ's shroud ... It was then, at this [Second International] Congress, that I decided that STURP would not play the least role in the radiocarbon dating measurements if I could do anything to prevent it. I am happy to say that in the end they played no role"[58].
In 1987 Gove admitted "it bothers the hell out of me" that STURP "have a pretty strong belief it's Jesus's shroud":
"Harry Gove, whose laboratory at the University of Rochester was among those chosen for the dating tests [sic], said he `wouldn't touch it [the analysis] with a ten-foot pole' if STURP was involved. `The trouble is they're all people who actually have a pretty strong belief it's Jesus's shroud, and it bothers the hell out of me they're the only ones so far who've carried out any kind of scientific measurements,' he said"[59].
Evidently Gove suffered from what the atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel (1937-) admitted was his "fear of religion itself," i.e. God:
"In speaking of the fear of religion, I don't mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper-namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that"[60].
Rochester's paper, "A Method for Dating the Shroud of Turin" (and presumably Brookhaven's) were accepted as communications and were published in the congress proceedings but were not presented orally[61]. Rochester's paper affirmed that they could date specimens reduced to 1 milligram of carbon with a precision of about ±160 years, and would need a thread only 10 centimetres long[62]. Brookhaven's paper, however, said its non-AMS method would need 10 milligrams of carbon[63].

16 February 1979 Gove mailed a letter to the Archbishop of Turin, via Don Piero Coero-Borga (1924-87), the Secretary of the Turin Sindonology Centre[64], to Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (r. 1977-1989), on behalf of the Rochester, Toronto, General Ionex, US Geological Survey group and the Brookhaven National Laboratory group, offering to date the Turin Shroud using milligram samples of cloth[65]. Sox had advised that the letter be sent via Coero-Borga, but he was a conservative "particularly opposed to carbon dating"[66] and so he chose not to deliver the letter to Ballestrero[67]. Or so Gove thought, because he never received a reply or even an acknowledgment[68], but Sox was told by the Archbishop's scientific adviser, Prof. Luigi Gonella (1930–2007), who was also Ballestrero's English translator[69], that he did receive Gove's letter but the "Archbishop had been unable to say yes or no at the time, and thought it best to say nothing"[70].

March 1982 At an archaeometry conference held in Bradford, England representatives from most of the laboratories (not Rochester[71]) which had expressed a willingness to carbon date the Shroud met and endorsed a suggestion by Robert Otlet of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell, England[72], that the British Museum provide them with samples of cloth to test their ability to do so (this became the laboratories intercomparison test[73]-see below).

January 1983 Dr Michael Tite of the British Museum's Research Laboratory informed the laboratories at Arizona, Zurich, Brookhaven, Harwell, Oxford and Rochester that he was prepared to carry out the intercomparison tests that Otlet had suggested[74]. The British Museum would provide two textile samples to each laboratory for an intercomparison test as a prelude to dating the Turin Shroud[75]. The six laboratories agreed to participate[76]. Four would use AMS: Arizona, Bern/Zurich, Oxford and Rochester, and two would use the Libby proportional counter method (Brookhaven and Harwell)[77]. In May 1983 two samples each weighing approximately 100 milligrams: Sample #1, linen from Ancient Egypt, c. 3000 BC, and Sample #2, cotton from Peru, c. 1200 AD), were sent to each of the six laboratories[78]. The laboratories were told the samples' provenances but not their ages[79]. In July the Rochester group sent their dated samples to the British Museum[80]. Gove then went on a year's sabbatical to Oxford with his wife Betty[81].

January 1984 The laboratories were told that the first results showed that the Peruvian cotton Sample #2 was more modern than thought[82], so a Peruvian cotton Sample #3, c. AD 1000-1400, was sent to replace Sample #2[83]. In May, Gove's wife Betty died suddenly while they were in Oxford[84]. So it was not until mid-November that Gove was able to send the Rochester group's second Peruvian sample #3 to the British Museum[85].

June 1985 The 12th International Radiocarbon Conference was held in Trondheim, Norway[86] from 24 to 28 June[87]. STURP was represented by Dr. Robert Dinegar (1921-2005) [88]. At the conference the British Museum presented the results of the laboratory intercomparison test[89]. Five of the six laboratories obtained dates close to one another, and close to the known c. 3000 BC date of the Egyptian cloth[90]. But the Zurich AMS laboratory was out by a thousand years, due to faulty pretreatment by the Bern laboratory[91]. Gove organised a meeting of representatives of the six laboratories, the British Museum and STURP's representative, Dinegar[92]. It was agreed that the Pontifical Academy of Sciences be contacted to ease the communications gap between the laboratories and the church in Turin[93] and that Gove prepare a protocol for carbon dating the Shroud[94].

August 1985 The final version of the protocol was completed and sent to the six carbon dating laboratories, the British Museum and to the President of the Pontifical Academy of Science[95].

14 October 1985 Gove and Shirley Brignall (1936-2019) (Gove's partner[96]) of the University of Rochester met with Prof. Carlos Chagas (1910-2000) [Left [97]], president of the Pontifical Academy of Science, and Vittorio Canuto [Below right [98]], a NASA astrophysicist and a scientific aide to Chagas, at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations in New York to discuss the possibility of holding a workshop on dating the Shroud involving all the interested parties[99].

November 1985 Canuto informed Gove that Chagas had received permission from the Vatican and the archdiocese of Turin to hold the workshop in Turin in June, 1986[100].

17 February 1986 Gove and Brignall met with Professor Luigi Gonella, science advisor to the archbishop of Turin, at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations in New York to discuss the workshop on carbon dating the Shroud[101]. Gonella insisted that the workshop be held at his institution, the Turin Polytechnic[102]. Gove noted that the workshop is being organized by the Pontifical Academy of Science and should be held in their headquarters in the Vatican[103]. But Gove failed to appreciate that any Shroud dealings favouring Rome provoked deep resentment from Turin[104]. Gonella was opposed to six carbon dating labs being involved[105].

April 1986. Chagas sent letters of invitation to attend a workshop on carbon dating the Turin Shroud to be held in the Archbishop's Palace in Turin 9-11 June 1986[106]. This included a seventh laboratory, the AMS facility at Gif-sur-Yvette in France[107]! But a few days before Chagas had revealed to an English Catholic journalist, Peter Jennings (1948-2013), that the meeting would be held in June and Jennings mentioned this in an article[108].

May 1986 The National Science Foundation approved funding for expenses of the three US participants in the Turin workshop[109]. But a few days later the Pontifical Academy of Sciences announced that the June workshop had been postponed, because of the article by Jennings[110]. Gove composed a cable which was signed by representatives of four of the six carbon dating laboratories and the British museum, and sent it to the archbishop of Turin, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli (1914–98) and Chagas, strongly protesting the postponement of the workshop[111].

July 1986 Chagas sent a second invitation to attend the workshop on 29 September through 1 October 1986[112]. It would be held in Turin in an institution associated with the archdiocese of Turin, not at Turin Polytechnic[113] and Gove was invited to prepare an agenda for the workshop[114].

August 1986 Gove and Brignall went to New York City to consult Canuto and the Vatican Ambassador to the UN, Giovanni Cheli (1918-2013), on the agenda Gove had prepared[115]. The agenda was then mailed to Chagas who deleted the reference to "six" laboratories and mailed the revised agenda to all workshop invitees in mid-September[116].

September 1986 Gove and Brignall travelled to Rome, visited Chagas in the Pontifical Academy of Science headquarters in the Vatican and were introduced to Pope John Paul II (r. 1978-2005)[117]. The Turin workshop was chaired by Chagas and held in a seminary in Turin from 29 September to 1 October 1986[118]. A protocol for dating the Shroud was agreed upon (by ignoring Gonella's concerns about the number of laboratories-see 27 April 1987)[119].

April 1987 The Fourth International Symposium on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry was held at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada 27-30 April[120]. It celebrated the tenth anniversary of the first detection of carbon-14 in natural organic material by accelerators (see above)[121]. No word had come concerning a decision from Turin or Rome to date the Shroud[122]. Those at the symposium representing the five AMS laboratories that had participated in the Turin workshop agreed to confirm to Chagas their support of the dating protocol and to press for action[123]. During the symposium an article was published in the Turin newspaper La Stampa quoting Gonella as stating that only two or three carbon dating laboratories would be given Shroud samples to carbon-date[124]. [See 27 April 1987].

Continued in 27 April 1987, where my "On this day 30 years ago in the radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud" series began.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. "Accelerator mass spectrometry," Wikipedia, 26 September 2019. [return]
3. "File:12929 2008 Article 54 Fig1 HTML.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 10 April 2018. [return]
4. "Accelerator mass spectrometry," Wikipedia, 26 September 2019. [return]
5. Bowman, S., 1990, "Radiocarbon Dating," Interpreting the Past, British Museum Publications: London, p.11; "Carbon-14," Wikipedia, 6 November 2019. [return]
6. "Willard Libby," Wikipedia, 9 November 2019. [return]
7. Libby, W.F., 1955, "Radiocarbon Dating," [1952], University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second edition, p.1. [return]
8. Libby, 1955, p.2. [return]
9. "Uses of Radioactivity: Radiocarbon dating," Pass My Exams: Easy exam revision notes for GSCE Physics, 29 June 2018. [return]
10. "Carbon-14 dating," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15 November 2019. [return]
11. "Uses of Radioactivity: Radiocarbon dating," Pass My Exams, 29 June 2018. [return]
12. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.134; Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.171; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.179. [return]
13. Murphy, C., 1981, "Shreds of evidence: Science confronts the miraculous - the Shroud of Turin," Harper's, Vol. 263, November, pp.42-65, 58; Morgan, R., 1988, "Carbon Dating the Shroud - A 1988 Resumé," Shroud News, No. 47, June, pp.3-13, 5. [return]
14. Bowman, 1990, p.10; Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.11. [return]
15. Wilson, 1991, p.171. [return]
16. Meacham, W., 1983, "The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology," Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 3, June, pp.283-311, 307; Antonacci, 2000, pp.157-158; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.138-139; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.161. [return]
17. "BioMath: Carbon Dating," The University of Arizona, 16 February 2006. [return]
18. Libby, 1955, p.5. [return]
19. Ibid. [return]
20. Libby, 1955, p.2; Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, p137; Bowman, 1990, p.11; Wilson, 1998, p.180; Guerrera, 2001, p.115. [return]
21. Libby, 1955, pp.8-9. [return]
22. Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, pp.133-134; Wilson, 1998, p.180. [return]
23. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.156; de Wesselow, 2012, p.161. [return]
24. Gove, H.E., 1999, "From Hiroshima to the Iceman: The Development and Applications of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.20. [return]
25. Gove, 1999, p.2. [return]
26. Gove, 1996, pp.11-12; Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, p.135. [return]
27. Gove, 1996, p.12. [return]
28. Extract from, "Dr. Harry Gove Co-developer, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," El carbono 14, por Manuel Carreira, Sabana Santa, 2013. [return]
29. Gove, 1999, p.314. [return]
30. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.95; Antonacci, 2000, pp.192-193. [return]
31. Gove, 1996, pp.12-13. [return]
32. Gove, 1996, p.13. [return]
33. Ibid. [return]
34. Ibid. [return]
35. Ibid. [return]
36. Ibid. [return]
37. Gove, 1996, pp.13-14. [return]
38. Stoler, P., 1977, "New Dating Game," Time magazine, 27 June. Reprinted in Gove, H.E., 1999, "From Hiroshima to the Iceman: The Development and Applications of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.20. [return]
39. Gove, 1996, p.14. [return]
40. Rensberger, B., 1977, "A New Method of Carbon-14 Dating Expected to Double Science's Range," The New York Times, 9 June, p.45. [return]
41. Gove, 1996, p.7. [return]
42. Ibid. [return]
43. Ibid. [return]
44. Ibid. [return]
45. Gove, 1996, pp.50, 101. [return]
46. Gove, 1996, p.14; de Wesselow, 2012, p.164. [return]
47. Gove, H.E., 1992, in Wilson, I., 1994, "Recent Publications," BSTS Newsletter, No. 36, December 1993/January 1994, p.22; Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
48. Wilson, I., 1989, "Recent Publications: Archaeometry," BSTS Newsletter, No. 23, September, pp.14-19, 19. [return]
49. Wilson, 1998, p.185. [return]
50. Gove, 1996, p.14. [return]
51. Ibid. [return]
52. Ibid. [return]
53. Gove, 1996, p.320. [return]
54. Ibid; Guerrera, 2001, p.116. [return]
55. Ibid. [return]
56. Ibid; Wilson, 1998, p.304. [return]
57. Gove, 1996, p.30. [return]
58. Gove, H.E., 1989, "Letter To The Editor: The Turin Shroud," Archaeometry, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp.235-237, 236, in McDonnell, D.J., 1993, "The Great Holy Shroud Dating Fraud of 1988," Shroud News, No 84, August 1994, pp.6-11, 7. [return]
59. Weisberg, L., 1987, "Shroud Splits Scientists," The Scientist, Vol. 1, No. 17, 13 July, p.1. [return]
60. Nagel, T., 1997, "The Last Word," Oxford University Press: New York NY, p.130. [return]
61. Gove, 1996, p.31. [return]
62. Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, p.21. [return]
63. Ibid. [return]
64. Gove, 1996, pp.46, 74-75. [return]
65. Gove, 1996, pp.45-47, 320. [return]
66. Wilson, I., 1987, "Obituaries," BSTS Newsletter, No. 15 - January/February, p.8. [return]
67. Gove, 1996, pp.45-46. [return]
68. Gove, 1996, pp.45-47, 320. [return]
69. Gove, 1996, pp.74, 200. [return]
70. Sox, 1988, p.100. [return]
71. Gove, 1996, p.80. [return]
72. Sox, 1988, p.94. [return]
73. Gove, 1996, p.321. [return]
74. Gove, 1996, p.321. [return]
75. Gove, 1996, p.77. [return]
76. Gove, 1996, p.321. [return]
77. Burleigh, R., 1986, "Trondheim Radiocarbon Dating Conference," BSTS Newsletter, No. 13, April, pp.5-9, 6; Wilson, 1998, p.306. [return]
78. Morgan, R., 1985, "Radiocarbon Dating Conference, Trondheim, Norway," Shroud News, No. 32, December, pp.7-9, 8. [return]
79. Morgan, 1985, p.8. [return]
80. Gove, 1996, p.77. [return]
81. Gove, 1996, p.77. [return]
82. Gove, 1996, pp.77-78. [return]
83. Morgan, 1985, p.8. [return]
84. Gove, 1996, p.78. [return]
85. Gove, 1996, p.79. [return]
86. Gove, 1996, p.321. [return]
87. Wilson, I., 1985, "Recent Developments: British Proposals for Shroud Testing and Radiocarbon Dating," BSTS Newsletter, No. 10, April, p.3. [return]
88. Wilson, 1985, p.3. [return]
89. Gove, 1996, pp.9, 321. [return]
90. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.169. [return]
91. Wilson, 1998, pp.184, 306; Tribbe, 2006, p.169. [return]
92. Gove, 1996, pp.83, 321. [return]
93. Gove, 1996, pp.9, 321. [return]
94. Ibid. [return]
95. Ibid. [return]
96. Antonacci, 2000, p.183. [return]
97. "Carlos Chagas Filho," Academia Brasileira de Ciências, n.d. [return]
98. "Speech by Vittorio Canuto, Session III," YouTube, October 11, 2011. [return]
99. Gove, 1996, pp.9, 85, 321. [return]
100. Gove, 1996, pp.86, 321. [return]
101. Gove, 1996, pp.94, 322. [return]
102. Gove, 1996, pp.96, 322. [return]
103. Gove, 1996, pp.96, 322. [return]
104. Wilson, 1985, p.182. [return]
105. Gove, 1996, pp.97, 322. [return]
106. Gove, 1996, p.322. [return]
107. Gove, 1996, p.150. [return]
108. Gove, 1996, p.322. [return]
109. Ibid. [return]
110. Ibid. [return]
111. Ibid. [return]
112. Ibid. [return]
113. Ibid. [return]
114. Ibid. [return]
115. Ibid. [return]
116. Ibid. [return]
117. Ibid. [return]
118. Ibid. [return]
119. Gove, 1996, pp.322-323. [return]
120. Gove, 1996, p.323. [return]
121. Ibid. [return]
122. Ibid. [return]
123. Ibid. [return]
124. Ibid. [return]

Posted: 10 November 2019. Updated: 2 January 2020.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Contents: The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus! #2

The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!
© Stephen E. Jones

This is the Contents page and part #2 of my online book, "The Shroud

[Above (enlarge): Secondo Pia's 29 May 1898[2] negative photograph of the Shroud face[3], which because it is a photographic positive[4], proves that the Shroudman's image is a photographic negative[5]. It is therefore, next to the Shroudman's image itself[6], the most important photograph ever taken!]

of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!" This page is the main index to this online book. I will write a word-processed version of this online book in parallel. The topics in this online book will be the equivalent of chapters in the word-processed book. For more information see the Cover, part #1. When a topic is linked it has been posted.

[Previous: Cover #1] [Next: Preface #3]

  1. Preface #3
  2. What is the Shroud of Turin? #8
  3. A linen cloth #10
  4. The man on the Shroud
  5. Other marks and images on the Shroud
  6. Bible and the Shroud
  7. History of the Shroud
  8. Prehistory of the Shroud
  9. Art and the Shroud
  10. Archaeology and the Shroud
  11. Science and the Shroud
  12. The Sudarium of Oviedo
  13. How was the image formed?
  14. Problems of the forgery theory
  15. Objections answered
  16. Conclusion

Continued in part #3 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. McNair, P., 1978, "The Shroud and History: Fantasy, Fake or Fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, pp.26-27. [return]
3. "Holy Face of Jesus," Wikipedia, 31 August 2019. [return]
4. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.7. [return]
5. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.34-35. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.233-234. [return]

Posted: 9 November 2019. Updated: 18 April 2021.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

"News and Editorial," Shroud of Turin News, September 2019

Shroud of Turin News - September 2019
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: August 2019, part #1] [Next: October 2019, part #1]

This is the September 2019 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. I have listed below linked news article(s) about the Shroud in September as a service to readers, without necessarily endorsing any of them. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated. The article's words are bold to distinguish them from mine.

• "Scientists Claim to Discover Traces of Byzantine Coins on the Shroud of Turin," Greek, Nick Kampouris, September 4, 2019 "According to a recent study published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, scientists claim that they have found traces of Byzantine coins on the famous Shroud of Turin, believed to be the linen cloth in which the dead body of Jesus Christ was wrapped. Speaking at a conference in Canada recently, researchers from US universities and the University of Padua in Italy claimed that their study discovered elements of electron, gold, silver and copper on the linen cloth of the Holy Shroud. By "electron" is meant "electrum ... [Right (enlarge[2]) ... the Latinized form of the Greek word ... elektron ... referring to a metallic substance consisting of gold alloyed with silver"[3] When they examined coins from the Byzantine Empire dating back to the 1000s and 1100s, they astoundingly discovered the exact same amounts of these elements on the ancient coins as well. According to the scientists’ remarks, there was a `full correlation' between the metallic traces found on those particular coins and on the fabric of the Holy Shroud. This has led the researchers to now hypothesize that Byzantine pilgrims rubbed their own coins on the cloth, to create what are considered `second-degree relics,' which are widely common among Christians, who often touch and rub sacred objects ... if the new discovery is true, then the linen cloth was already being venerated by Christians during the 11th century AD ..." See also: "Traces of Byzantine coins found on the Holy Shroud," Archaeology Wiki, 10 September 2019; "Traces of possible Byzantine coins found on Holy Shroud Would push back 14th-C carbon dating," ANSA, 11 September 2019; "Gold dust may prove Shroud of Turin existed before carbon-date of 14th century," Aleteia, 20 September 2019. After emailing Joe Marino last night asking if he had more information on this, I found the abstract of Fanti and Furlan's paper in Science Direct: Fanti, G. & Furlan, C., 2019, "Do gold particles from the Turin Shroud indicate its presence in the Middle East during the Byzantine Empire?," Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 38, 2019, 8 August, pp. 221-230. And then Joe sent me a PDF of the entire article! Joe told me that, "Fanti was supposed to have given a paper on it in Canada but he ended up not going." According to the article's abstract:

"This process indicated a connection between the micro-particles and the Byzantine coins. In particular, many samples of gold-silver alloy possibly containing copper residual similar to the famous Byzantine Electrum have been detected. It is well known that the Electrum gold-silver alloy is not frequent in the gold coinage of ancient time. The presence of this alloy can be considered typical of the Byzantine Empire ... Evaluation of these results, therefore, is compatible with the Shroud's presence in the Byzantine Empire in the period up to 1204 A.D., as many historical clues indicate"[4].
This just adds to the mountain of evidence that the Shroud existed long before the 1988 radiocarbon dating's 1260-1390 = 1325 ±65. Clearly a medieval forger would not likely have known about electrum, let alone use it, and nor would he have `salted' his alleged forged Shroud with pure 24 carat gold!

Posts: In September I blogged 4 new posts (latest uppermost): "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Sixteenth century (1)," - 25th; "`News and Editorial,' Shroud of Turin News, August 2019," - 16th; "`Is the Shroud of Turin authentic? Or is it a forgery?' #1," - 8th; and "`News and Editorial,' Shroud of Turin News, July 2019," - 2nd.

Updates In September, from memory, there were no significant updates in the background of my past posts.

Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud. In September, as can be seen above, I didn't blog any posts post on this topic.

My book: In September I continued writing in Word, Chapter 3, "The man on the Shroud" and in parallel also in Word, "Problems of the Forgery Theory." However, see my post of 04Nov19 where I announced that I was getting too bogged down with fine details, such that I had become increasingly worried that at almost 73 years of age, I may never finish my book. So I decided to start posting here on my blog an online version of my book, with the same name.

Pageviews: At midnight on 30 September, Google Analytics [Below (enlarge)] gave this blog's "Pageviews all time history" as 1,102,383.

This compares with 940,492 at the same time in September 2018. That is 142,970 pageviews over the year, or an average of ~392 pageviews per day.

Google Analytics also gave the most viewed posts for September (highest uppermost) as: "Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F," Jan 20, 2016 - 132; "Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index S-Z," Jun 18, 2016 - 113; "`News and Editorial,' Shroud of Turin News, July 2019," Sep 2, 2019 - 87; "Is the Shroud of Turin authentic? Or is it a forgery?' #1," Sep 8, 2019 - 78; "Introduction to my The Shroud of Turin (TSoT) blog!," Jun 30, 2007 - 72.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. "File:Electrum on quartz Telluride (cropped).jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 4 November 2019. [return]
3. Fanti, G. & Furlan, C., 2019, "Do gold particles from the Turin Shroud indicate its presence in the Middle East during the Byzantine Empire?: Abstract," Science Direct, 2 July. [return]

Posted: 5 November 2019. Updated: 24 February 2020.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cover: The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus! #1

The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!
© Stephen E. Jones

This is the cover page and part #1 of my new online book, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!"

I had become bogged down (yet again!) in fine details in my word-processed book of the same name, that I worried if I would live long enough to finish it (I turn 73 this week). So I am going to first write my book online, mostly `off the top of my head', with minimal references. As I did with my word-processed book, I will write this online book for about an hour almost every morning. So I will probably build up a backlog of posts of it. This book series will be my highest priority and to squeeze sections of it in, I may post two or more sections at a time. The Contents page, part #2, will be the book's main index.

[Next: Contents #2]

[Above (enlarge)[2]: The Shroud face negative in sepia, photographed by Giuseppe Enrie (1886-1961) in 1931.]

To be continued in part #2 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. Based on the online photograph at, "Shroud University - Exploring the Mystery Since 33 A.D.," Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc., Peachtree City, GA. [return]

Posted: 4 November 2019. Updated: 18 April 2021.