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To confirm the feasibility of dating the shroud by these methods an intercomparison, involving four AMS and two small gas-counter radiocarbon laboratories and the dating of three known-age textile samples, was coordinated by the British Museum in 1983. The strip came from a single site on the main body of the shroud away from any patches or charred areas.

The results of this intercomparison are reported and discussed by Burleigh . Three samples, each ~50 mg in weight, were prepared from this strip.

1 - Department of Geosciences, 2 - Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA 3 - Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, UK 4 - Institut für Mittelenergiephysik, ETH-Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 5 - Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA 6 - Research Laboratory, British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich.

As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated.

The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval.

The Shroud of Turin , which many people believe was used to wrap Christ's body, bears detailed front and back images of a man who appears to have suffered whipping and crucifixion.

Following this intercomparison, a meeting was held in Turin in September-October 1986 at which seven radiocarbon laboratories (five AMS and two small gas-counter) recommended a protocol for dating the shroud. The samples were then taken to the adjacent Sala Capitolare where they were wrapped in aluminium foil and subsequently sealed inside numbered stainless-steel containers by the Archbishop of Turin and Dr Tite.

In October 1987, the offers from three AMS laboratories (Arizona, Oxford and Zurich) were selected by the Archbishop of Turin, Pontifical Custodian of the shroud, acting on instructions from the Holy See, owner of the shroud. Samples weighing 50 mg from two of the three controls were similarly packaged.

Two of the three samples were then bleached in Na OCL (2.5% at p H-3 for 30 min).The Zurich group first split each ultrasonically cleaned sample in half, with the treatment of the second set of samples being deferred until the radiocarbon measurements on the first set had been completed.The first set of samples was further subdivided into three portions.Testore of Department of Materials Science, Turin Polytechnic and G. If the samples had been unravelled or shredded rather than being given to the laboratories as whole pieces of cloth, then it would have been much more difficult, but not impossible, to distinguish the shroud sample from the controls.Vial of Musée des Tissues and Centre International d'Étude des Textiles Anciens in Lyon), Dr M. Tite of the British Museum, representatives of the three radiocarbon-dating laboratories (Professor P. (With unravelled or shredded samples, pretreatment cleaning would have been more difficult and wasteful.) Because the shroud had been exposed to a wide range of potential sources of contamination and because of the uniqueness of the samples available, it was decided to abandon blind-test procedures in the interests of effective sample pretreatment.

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Photography of the shroud by Secondo Pia in 1898 indicated that the image resembled a photographic 'negative' and represents the first modern study.