A 14-foot-long stretch of cloth mysteriously imprinted with a faint, brownish image of a naked man and wounds that mirror those of a crucifixion has inspired decades of debate over whether it could be Jesus’ burial shroud.
The Shroud of Turin is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, and has an extensive history since the mid 1300s when it was first put on display. Its authenticity has not been endorsed nor rejected by the Catholic Church, but scientific study of it has evolved into an entire discipline known as sindonology (presentation of the Shroud of Turin with high definition photographs and detailed descriptions).
By 1988 the team of researchers claimed the shroud can be dated to between 1260 and 1390, this conclusion was based on the results of a radiocarbon test, however this statement has been questioned by both shroud believers and other scientists. Now, a coin expert using 3D projection images taken in 1976 claims that bulges on the eyes of the Man of the Shroud look like coins from the reign of Tiberius Caesar, putting them at around the year 29 A.D.
Numismatist Agostino Sferrazza made this revelation in an interview on RCF Liège, a radio station in Belgium. He’s been studying the 3D images created by computer scientist Nello Balossino at the Turin Faculty of Sciences and believes, as do many others, that there appears to be a bulge on the eye. After eliminating all other possibilities, many experts say this could only be coins placed over the eyes of the deceased after death. Further enhancement of the images shows a lituus (Roman staff) on one and a cup on the other.
According to Sferrazza barely legible letters YKAI could be associated with part of the Greek “TIBERIOY KAICAPOC” which means Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D. Detailed expertise and supporting historical records made scientists to suggest the coin is dated back to 29 A.D.
Is it possible that the shroud also could be dated to the same period of time? Or may be whoever put the image on the shroud (which has still not been explained and is still only available for study via photographs) was smart enough to include coins from the appropriate time period? Unfortunately, absolute scientific proof would require a more destructive analysis of the piece of cloth and the threads with the image on them. As with religious icons in virtually all religions, the chances of that happening are pretty slim.
Even after carrying so many researches, people failed to reveal the exact date and origin of the shroud due to lack of proofs and this made the mysterious object stay unknown till date.