Radiocarbon dating inaccurate
Clearly, authenticity should be judged on criteria no more and no less stringent than those applied in the usual identification of ancient city sites, royal tombs, manuscripts, etc. Amidst burn marks, patches, water stains, and creases, the frontal and dorsal images of a male body may be discerned, with apparent blood flows at the wrists, right side (in the positive), head, and feet. Enrie, 1933; © 1935, 1963 by the Holy Shroud Guild.
Scientific scrutiny of the Shroud image began in 1900 at the Sorbonne. Carleton Coon (quoted in Wilcox 193) describes the man as "of a physical type found in modern times among Sephardic Jews and noble Arabs." Curto (quoted in Sox 19, 131), however, describes the physiognomy as more Iranian than Semitic.
Remarkably, its negative image was found to be an altogether more lifelike portrait of the body and, especially, of the face.
From the rather grotesque and murky facial imprint visible on the cloth, reversal of light and dark revealed a harmonious and properly proportioned visage.
The fact that it is a religious relic associated with supernatural claims is of no consequence here; certainly there is no justification for employing different or stricter criteria than for any other important artifact, except perhaps in according greater consideration to the possibility of forgery.
Considerations of the Shroud have frequently been marred by an intense desire to believe and an imprecise use of data among the overzealous and by an insistence on impossible standards of proof among the skeptics.
Appearing as it did in an age of unparalleled relic-mongering and forgery and, if genuine, lacking documentation of its whereabouts for 1,300 years, the Shroud would certainly have long ago been consigned to the ranks of spurious relics (along with several other shrouds with similar claims) were it not for the extraordinary image it bears.Sepia-yellow in color, the apparent frontal and dorsal imprints of a man's body may be discerned on this 4.3 X 1.1-m linen cloth.Stains of a slightly darker carmine or rust color, with the appearance of blood, are seen in areas consistent with the biblical account of the scourging and crucifixion of Christ.The image lacks the sharp outline and vivid color of a painting and is described as "melting away" as the viewer approaches the cloth.Yet the consensus of skeptical opinion up to the 1930s (with a few surviving remnants today) was that the image was indeed a medieval painting of Jesus which had through time taken on the appearance of a truly ancient relic.