DNA Shroud of Turin

DNA Reveals World Origins of the Shroud of Turin

By Dianelos Georgoudis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Dianelos Georgoudis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Shroud of Turin was possibly created in India according to new DNA research.

The famed Shroud of Turin, which many believe is the cloth that Jesus Christ was wrapped in at the time of His burial, may have originated in India, according to experts.

DNA Reveals World Origins of the Shroud of Turin[/tweetthis]

A linen cloth measuring 4.4 meters in length and 1.1 meters across, it bears the imprint of a bearded man who suffered after being beaten, crowned with thorns and crucified. A 1988 study put the date of the Shroud as between 1260 and 1390 AD with 95% confidence, but this was debunked later when it was shown that such a modern date did not support the production technology used in the cloth or the fibers obtained directly from the main part of the Shroud in 1978. It later came to light that the testing was conducted on a patch attached to the main Shroud and not the Shroud itself. A 2005 study put the Shroud's age at between 1,300 to 3,000 years, which is consistent with the beliefs of Christians worldwide.

The latest study was conducted on dust particles that were vacuumed from the space between the Shroud of Turin and the Holland cloth that was attached to its reverse as a reinforcement by the Poor Clare Nuns in 1534. The DNA strands of several plant groups native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia and the Far East have been found. Some were present before the time of Christ, while some came into existence only after Christ. This does not prove anything, as the researchers themselves surmise that the Shroud came into contact with various climates and regions as it was transported from Palestine to Europe, where it now rests at the Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista or Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin. The Asian connection, however, implies a journey from or through there.

What is more interesting are the traces of human DNA. These too come from the above mentioned regions, and the latest study has found a DNA group that is typical to India. While it is possible that the Shroud came into contact with Indians or people of Indian ancestry in their veins, recent contamination seems unlikely taking into account DNA degradation factors. The connection between the Indian subcontinent and Europe was also not very strong, until Vasco da Gama rediscovered the sea route to India in 1498. Only after that did missionaries like St. Francis Xavier propagate the spread of Christianity in the region, although St. Thomas the Apostle had laid the foundations much earlier, shortly after the time of Christ.

These point to and hitherto unexplored explanation – that the Shroud was manufactured in India. The Shroud was also originally called Sindon, which seems to be a derivative of Sindien or Sindia, the name given to a local fabric.


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