The Shroud of Turin (below) is a linen cloth 4.4m long by 1.1 wide. It has a geometrical pattern of burns and patches caused by a known fire in 1532. It bears an image of a naked man who, according to forensic pathologists, has endured a crucifixion. The image, though clearly perceptible to the eye, is revealed in much more clarity when reversed into the negative image below. It remains a total enigma. Its charted history begins in 1355 but no one knows its origins though there are potential links with a known ancient cloth of similar description and with an ancient provenance that disappeared from Constantinople 150 years earlier. It is a unique and multi-dimensional artefact in every sense. No one has been able to explain or reproduce the nano-metre thin discolouration of the surface fibres that forms the image.
David Rolfe with cameramen David Crute (L) and Mark Lewis (R) filming the Shroud in 2009 for the film "Material Evidence" for the BBC. This is the only time the Turin authorities have allowed the Shroud to be filmed removed from its bomb-proof case.
When, after much persuasion, the Church agreed to the carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin it was billed by the Media as Science v’s Religion. The world waited - some with baited breath. I had a close up view of what led up to the test and now understand what went wrong.
For more information and details about my four films on the subject including the BAFTA-winning The Silent Witness please contact me at the address below.