"We cannot say anything more on its origin." The new findings don't rule out either the notion that the long strip of linen is a medieval forgery or that it's the true burial shroud of Jesus Christ, the researchers said. 1390, lending credence to the notion that it was an elaborate fake created in the Middle Ages.
Long-standing debate On its face, the Shroud of Turin is an unassuming piece of twill cloth that bears traces of blood and a darkened imprint of a man's body. However, the Catholic Church only officially recorded its existence in A. 1353, when it showed up in a tiny church in Lirey, France. (Isotopes are forms of an element with a different number of neutrons.) But critics argued that the researchers used patched-up portions of the cloth to date the samples, which could have been much younger than the rest of the garment.
Still, the strongest genetic signals seemed to come from areas in and around the Middle East and the Caucasus — not far from where Jesus was buried, and consistent with the early folklore surrounding the object.
To truly determine where the cloth was manufactured, the researchers would need to analyze the DNA from the flax seeds used to make the linen shroud, which was not done, he added.
"So the proper thing to do is to maintain an open mind at the moment." However, using DNA analysis and more sophisticated scientific techniques could ultimately settle the question, Farey said.