The 14-foot by 3-foot strip of linen bears a faint but haunting likeness of a naked man who shows all the marks of crucifixion described in the Bible, including strategically placed blood-like stains.It is now stored by the Roman Catholic Church in the cathedral at Turin, Italy.Gove and company also overcame the interference of a group of rival scientists who were certain of the shroud's authenticity.Finally the church relented, but it allowed tiny fragments of the shroud to be tested at only three institutions; much to Gove's chagrin, Rochester was not among them.As we saw above, the two selvedges running down the lengthwise borders of the Shroud prove beyond reasonable doubt that: 1) and the main body of the Shroud and the sidestrip were evidently cut lengthwise from a larger cloth and then joined to form a composite cloth which became the Shroud, with the combined dimensions of 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits (see also Dimensions #3); 2) the cloth that the Shroud and sidestrip were cut from had evidently been woven on a wide loom, which existed in the Roman Period but not in the Middle Ages; 3) the sophisticated weaving and tailoring of the Shroud points to it having been manufactured in a textile `factory‘ which are known from Roman period Egypt and Syria but not from the Middle Ages; and 4)the unusual stitching, binding and finishing of the selvedges is, like the stitching of the seam joining the sidestrip to the main body of the Shroud (see Sidestrip #5), known only from the first century Jewish fortress of Masada.The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus.Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory, thinks more testing is needed. This is because there are significant scientific and non-religious reasons to doubt the validity of the tests.
The book discusses the application of accelerator mass spectrometry to the carbon dating of the Turin Shroud using samples only a few square centimeters in area and weighing only a few tens of milligrams.The book offers readers the first behind-the- scenes peek into the very public wrangling over the shroud.Gove, now a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Rochester, was one of three researchers who in 1977 developed accelerator mass spectrometry for carbon dating, a technology that definitively disproved the authenticity of the Turin Shroud 11 years later. Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud, tells how he was soon swept into the all- encompassing debate over the shroud -- a relic that has mystified Christians ever since its first recorded appearance in 1353.Interest in the Turin Shroud continues to the present day even though it was finally carbon dated in 1988 and shown not to be of an age consistent with Christ's burial.Scientifically, the age of the shroud cloth is of little consequence, but to the general public, it is of considerable significance. Gove is a co-inventor of accelerator mass spectrometry and was responsible for its use in establishing whether the Turin Shroud could have been Christ's burial cloth. : Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud presents an eyewitness account of the events that culminated in the final determination of the age of the linen cloth of the Turin Shroud and some of the subsequent reactions to the results.