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Vanillin is produced by the thermal decomposition of lignin, a chemical compound found in plant material such as flax.
Levels of vanillin in material such as linen fall over time. The fact that vanillin cannot be detected in the lignin on shroud fibres, Dead Sea scrolls linen and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old," Mr Rogers writes.
The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ's death, a new book claims. Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ. The analysis is published in a new book, "Il Mistero della Sindone" or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist.
The tests will revive the debate about the true origins of one of Christianity's most prized but mysterious relics and are likely to be hotly contested by sceptics.
Further to my post, "New experiments on Shroud show it's not medieval," about the Vatican Insider article on Shroud researcher Giulio Fanti, an engineering professor at the University of Padua, Italy. There has since been an explosion of news articles reporting on Fanti's findings.
Here are exerpts from some of them, with my comments bold:"Turin Shroud 'is not a medieval forgery'," Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2013, Nick Squires ...
He said the carbon-14 dating tests carried out in 1988 were "false" because of laboratory contamination. Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. If the Shroud had been forged by a 14th century or earlier artist, modern science would be able to explain how the Shroud image was formed, and modern artists would be able to replicate it.But modern science has been unable to explain, naturalistically, how the Shroud's image was formed, as Philip Ball, former physical science editor at Nature, admitted: "It's fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever.Not least, the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain deeply puzzling." (Ball, P., "Material witness: Shrouded in mystery," Nature Materials, Vol. 5, May, 2008, p.349) and modern artists have been unable to replicate it.But Riggi kept for himself, with unofficial approval by the then Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Ballestrero, but apparently without official approval by the Vatican, a "reserve sample" of fibres he trimmed from the Shroud : "Providing further fuel for the conspiracy theorists was the fact that the Turin microanalyst Giovanni Riggi, Gonella's friend and personal choice to perform the actual cutting of the Shroud samples in place of Mme Flury-Lemberg, seems to have had something of a hidden agenda.Instead of cutting off just the sample that was needed by the laboratories, he would cut off twice the amount, halve it, and divide only one of the halves into three for the laboratories, retaining the other.
The average of all three dates is 33 BC ±250 years." So all three tests yield a date range in which Jesus' death (either AD 30 or AD 33) , falls.