[LMB] OT: Turin test

phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Fri Sep 9 16:35:44 BST 2011

On Fri, Sep 09, 2011 at 07:23:44AM -0400, mtraber251 wrote:

> I have issues with some applications of carbon 14 testing, but it is
> a materials handling issue ...
> Look - when you are testing a textile that has both gone through a
> *major* fire, with commensurate damage, *and* spent centuries hung
> in buildings lit by flames, censored with incense, wafted through
> environments filled with tobacco smoke in various forms, and
> breathed upon by numerous handlers there *is* going to be
> *contamination* no matter how you look at it.
> I am not claiming that the Shroud of Turin is real, or not. I am
> just saying  that the test may have been screwed. I find that there
> is reasonable doubt as to the accuracy of that particular test.

If only the testers had thought of such contamination issues and done
cleaning of their sample.


"Because it was not known to what degree dirt, smoke or other
contaminants might affect the linen samples, all three laboratories
subdivided the samples, and subjected the pieces to several different
mechanical and chemical cleaning procedures.

All laboratories examined the textile samples microscopically to
identify and remove any foreign material.  The Oxford group cleaned the
samples using a vacuum pipette, followed by cleaning in petroleum ether
(40° C for 1 h) to remove lipids and candlewax, for example.  Zurich
precleaned the sample in an ultrasonic bath.  After these initial
cleaning procedures, each laboratory split the samples for further

Three different labs, each trying different cleaning treatments, and
also comparing against control samples of known dates.

Top Google hit for [carbon-dating shroud of turin], BTW.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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