Sunday Reader: Shroud 2.0 – An App for the Shroud of Turin

A screenshot from the free version of Shroud 2.0.

A screenshot from the free version of Shroud 2.0.

Shroud 2.0 is a high-tech app that gives the user a look at Christianity’s most important artifact.

Several years ago on Good Friday, according to a New York Times article, a company named Haltadefinizione that makes ultra-high resolution images, released Shroud 2.0. The app is a hip, modern, high-tech look at one of the religion’s potentially most important artifacts, the Shroud of Turin.

The app provides (for a price) a detailed glimpse at the Shroud. To get their high-resolution photo, says Haltadefinizione, they captured 1649 photos of the cloth, “each of which represents the area of the size of a business card, creating a single image of 12 billion points stored in one file of 72 Gigabytes, equal to the contents of 16 DVDs.” (The free version of the app provides just a basic photo.)

According to some Christian believers, the Shroud was the cloth worn by Jesus when he was buried following crucifixion—his resurrected body rising from its folds. “The Vatican,” for its part, says USA Today, “has never claimed that the 14-foot linen cloth was, as some believers claim, used to cover Christ after he was taken from the cross 2,000 years ago.”

According to scientists, the Shroud was a fourteenth century work of art: “Many experts have stood by a 1988 carbon-14 dating of scraps of the cloth carried out by labs in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona that dated it from 1260 to 1390, which, of course, would rule out its used during the time of Christ.” New findings dating the cloth to the fourth or fifth century (published in a book, not a scientific publication) put the 1988 results in dispute, but obviously more work will be needed.

To be fair, the patches that were tested were not as old as the main part of the shroud.  In fact the patches were actually repairs made to the shroud after being in a fire in the 1300s, so naturally they would test from that time period.

The 4m-long linen sheet was damaged in several fires since its existence was first recorded in France in 1357, including a church blaze in 1532.

It is said to have been restored by nuns who patched the holes and stitched the shroud to a reinforcing material known as the Holland cloth.



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