Posted: May 07, 2023 8:18 pm
by TopCat
So my ex-wife of almost 25 years, still a Christian after all these years (not unconnectedly), has brought to my attention a new dating technique that apparently makes it more credible for the Turin Shroud to be 20 centuries old rather than the medieval fake it's been thought to be for some decades based on radio carbon dating.

Wide Angle X-ray Scattering, WAXS, apparently looks at the crystalline structure of the cellulose in fibre samples, and allows measurement of the extent to which its structure has degraded over time.

From the abstract:

The degree of natural aging of the cellulose that constitutes the linen of the investigated sample, obtained by X-ray analysis, showed that the TS fabric is much older than the seven centuries proposed by the 1988 radiocarbon dating. The experimental results are compatible with the hypothesis that the TS is a 2000-year-old relic, as supposed by Christian tradition, under the condition that it was kept at suitable levels of average secular temperature—20.0–22.5 °C—and correlated relative humidity—75–55%—for 13 centuries of unknown history, in addition to the seven centuries of known history in Europe

I don't know anything about the journal, or the WAXS technique, or the credence, if any, that should be given to the assumptions about temperature that apparently are required to date the thing to the required period. I say 'required period' - it also has a whiff of fitting the assumptions to the desired outcome about it, but again I'm not sure evaluating the claims is within my pay grade.

Anyone know anything about the technique, as applied in this case?