M and ms radiometric dating

Sepia-yellow in color, the apparent frontal and dorsal imprints of a man's body may be discerned on this 4.3 X 1.1-m linen cloth.

Scientific scrutiny of the Shroud image began in 1900 at the Sorbonne. Carleton Coon (quoted in Wilcox 193) describes the man as "of a physical type found in modern times among Sephardic Jews and noble Arabs." Curto (quoted in Sox 19, 131), however, describes the physiognomy as more Iranian than Semitic.

It has frozen an attitude of death while hanging by the arms; the rib cage is abnormally expanded, the large pectoral muscles are in an attitude of extreme inspiration (enlarged and drawn up toward the collarbone and arms), the lower abdomen is distended, and the epigastric hollow is drawn in sharply.

The protrusion of the femoral quadriceps and hip muscles is consistent with slow death by hanging, during which the victim must raise his body by exertion of the legs in order to exhale.

Clearly, every remote possibility of forgery, hoax, accident, or combination thereof must be examined before a firm archaeological/historical judgement on this artifact can be proffered.

Of the three interrelated areas of interest in this relic - authenticity, mechanism of image formation, and religious significance - we shall be concerned here mainly with the first.

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