Carbon 14 Dating

The mended corner of the Shroud of Turin was the cause of the carbon 14 dating failure

Carbon 14 dating in 1988 supposedly proved that the Shroud of Turin was medieval. But not everyone was convinced. An overwhelming amount of other data suggested that the Shroud was indeed much older, perhaps first century and from the environs of Jerusalem.

Many researchers who were not experts in radiocarbon dating attempted to explain why the carbon 14 dating was wrong. Several ideas were put forward. Some of these explanation gained traction in the media and with the public.

One hypothesis was that a serious fire in 1532 that nearly destroyed the Shroud had somehow changed the measurement age of the cloth. Another theory was that a bioplastic-polymer growing on the cloth contaminated the sample. These ideas were scientifically insupportable. Scientists, who were knowledgeable in radiocarbon dating, science dismissed these ideas as preposterous.

Photomicrograph of fibers from a warp segment of carbon-14 sample.  Chemically, it is unlike the rest of the Shroud.

In 2005 an article appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta, which demonstrated that the carbon 14 dating was flawed because the sample was invalid. It turns out that the corner from which the sample was taken for carbon dating had been mended. As a result, the sample included a significant amount of newer material.

Moreover, this article, by Raymond N. Rogers, a well-published chemist, and a Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, explained why the cloth was much older. It was at least twice as old as the radiocarbon date, and possibly 2000 years old.

Madder root dye and gum on fibers. This is clear
 evidence of careful mending intended to be imperceptible.

Chemical Differences

Carbon 14
The Rest
of the
Madder Root Dye Yes No
Alum Mordant Yes No
Plant Gum Complex with Dye Yes No
Cotton Fibers Yes No
Spliced Threads Yes No
Vanillin in Lignin Yes No

Cotton fibers coated with gum, something only
found in the carbon 14 sample area

Spliced thread in carbon 14 sample area


 Reference:   Sugar Coated Shroud of Turin and the Resurrection of Jesus