Excerpt: Shroud Dating May Have Been Inaccurate - BBC Interviews Radiocarbon Expert
NOVARA, Italy, February 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The techniques used in 1988 by three separate teams of scientists to date the Shroud of Turin to the middle ages, may have been inconclusive, a radiocarbon dating expert at Oxford University has told the BBC.
According to the Church official in charge of the Shroud, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, director of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator, whose specialty is the use of radiocarbon dating in archaeological research, told the BBC that radiocarbon dating techniques have developed since 1988, and that the Shroud's long history of travel, exposure to the elements and handling could have skewed the results . . .
. . . In 2005 a second analysis indicated that the cloth sample used by the 1988 teams had been taken from a part of the Shroud that was not part of the original cloth.
The interview with Dr. Ramsey will be broadcast by the BBC on Easter Saturday.
The following email to L'italoEuropeo from the Oxford University press office was published on L'italoEuropeo's website:
Professor Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit has been working with a team from Performance Films Ltd making a film about the Shroud of Turin for the BBC. The film will examine the evidence for the authenticity of the Shroud. The film will also mark the 20th Anniversary of the original carbon dating completed by Zurich and Arizona laboratories as well as Oxford. All three labs gave a mediaeval date for the Shroud.
Another contributor to the film, while not doubting the validity of original radiocarbon measurements, has developed a new hypothesis, based on information not available twenty years ago, that he believes may explain why the mediaeval date for the Shroud is in error.
Professor Ramsey said: "I am always willing to consider any serious suggestions of why the dating might not be correct and to do further tests to investigate such suggestions. In this sense, I keep an open mind - as I would about any scientific investigation. However, my strong intuition, based on my experience in this field, is that the new hypothesis will not challenge the accuracy of the original radiocarbon dating exercise".
Experiments are being conducted to test the hypothesis and will be discussed in the film which is planned for transmission on BBC2 at 9:00pm on March 22nd.
See the next posting in this blog for more information.