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Over the centuries, a large piece of linen popularly known as the Shroud of Turin has been the subject of fierce debate as to when it was created and what could cause what appears to be the image of a man on the cloth.
Many believe it was the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth and that his resurrection caused the image to become imprinted on the material.
An intensive study by the Investigation Team of the Spanish Centre for Sindonology concludes that the staining on the Sudarium was made in several different body positions, and they created artificial heads to attempt to replicate that stains on the cloth.
It was then carried to Spain by way of Northern Africa.
It eventually found permanent housing in the northern Spanish town of Oviedo.
The first mention of its existence occurred in 570CE when the enigmatic sixth-century pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza claimed the cloth was housed in a monastery near Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was apparently not a safe place for the relic, and it was taken from that city in the 610s just ahead of the invading Persian armies.
Much less known, but still quite puzzling, is a related and smaller piece of cloth now known as the Sudarium of Oviedo.
There is actually a biblical basis for this belief: in chapter 20 of the Gospel of John it explicitly says that there was a cloth, separate from the burial shroud, that was used to wrap around Jesus’ head.As with the Shroud, the Sudarium of Oviedo has a colorful history and has its believers and its skeptics.It is also purported that the position of the stains on the cloth shows that the person whose head it covered died in an upright position.The all-important carbon-dating test estimated the Sudarium to be from the 7th century, but immediately after this result the scientist who performed the tests called them imprecise and stated that further tests were needed to arrive at a definitive dating.Unlike the Shroud, there is no “photographic image” of a human head on the cloth, but some believers have stated that the bloodstains on the Sudarium match up to apparent wounds on the head of the image on the Shroud.
Using a method called Polarized Image Overlay Technique, scientists have matched more than 100 bloodstain locations on the Sudarium with identical bloodstain sources on the Shroud.