Research radiocarbon dating and the shroud of turin
When he read Benford and Marino’s paper he was skeptical of their conclusions, but soon changed his mind.
Having acquired Shroud material both adjacent to the C-14 site and threads from the sample area, he was surprised to find “colored encrustations (or coatings) on their surfaces” that were present nowhere in the main body of the cloth.
In a 2002 paper they answered their critics with evidence from other knowledgeable authorities (Benford and Marino, 2002a).
In a second paper in 2002, they discussed the expertise of 16th century European weavers and the motives of the Shroud’s owners, the rich Savoy family (and future kings of Italy), for making “Invisible Repairs” to textiles like the Shroud (Benford and Marino, 2000b). Flury-Lemberg continued to insist that such reweaving did not exist and that the patch would be recognizable on the reverse side, Benford and Marino produced a fourth paper.
Because this seam ran diagonally through the C-14 sample, each lab received either more or less of the patch and original Shroud textile, explaining the labs’ divergent dates and Chi Square test failure.
As the C-14 sample appeared to represent 60% of new material (patch) and 40% of original Shroud, Benford and Marino learned from the firm Beta Analytic (the world’s largest C-14 dating service) that such a ratio would produce a date very similar to the 1988 results (Marino and Benford, 2000:7).
He also wonders whether ancient weaving wouldn’t produce the changes in weave pattern and thread size to be seen in the C-14 sample.
Nevertheless, he finds Rogers’ chemical work supporting the Benford-Marino theory to be very strong (Meacham, 208).
However, those who had followed closely Shroud research in the 20th century realized there were too many reasons from science, history, art history and medicine to accept those results at face value.
Joe Marino was an agnostic working as a government clerk in 1977 when he read of the work being done by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) scientists.
“It changed my life,” he admitted, and “brought me back to the Scriptures and prayer” (, and is an example of how an informed, persistent layman can make a major contribution.
In his new book, , he concludes: “...reweaving is the scenario best supported by the data” to explain the 1988 test results (Meacham, 207).
He and Rogers used it as part of a request made to Shroud custodian Cardinal Poletto for a new C-14 test. Meacham agrees (in this instance) with Flury-Lemberg that any patched area ought to have been identified by trained textile specialists.
Skeptical as many were of the 1988 C-14 results, Marino and co-researcher M. From pictures of the C-14 samples they found differences in thread size and weave patterns.