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

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.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.The Arizona group split each sample into four subsamples.

One pair of subsamples from each textile was treated with dilute HCL, dilute Na OH and again in acid, with rinsing in between (method a).

The three control samples, the approximate ages of which were made known to the laboratories, are listed below. T/32) from a tomb excavated at Qasr Ibrîm in Nubia by Professor J. This linen was dated in the British Museum Research Laboratory using liquid scintillation counting, giving a radiocarbon age of 2,010 ± 80 yr BP (BM-2558).

Two were in the form of whole pieces of cloth (samples 2 and 3) and one was in the form of threads (sample 4). This corresponds to a calendar age, rounded to the nearest 5 years, of 110 cal BC - AD 75 cal at the 68 per cent confidence level (where cal denotes calibrated radiocarbon dates). Threads removed from the cope of St Louis d'Anjou which is held in a chapel in the Basilica of Saint-Maximin, Var, France.

One-third received no further treatment, one-third was submitted to a weak treatment with 0.5% HCL (room temperature), 0.25% Na OH (room temperature) and again in acid, with rinsing in between.

The final third was given a strong treatment, using the same procedure except that hot (80° C) 5% HCL and 2.5% Na OH were used.

But the three laboratories undertook not to compare results until after they had been transmitted to the British Museum.