Tel Aviv, May 30 : Scientists have expressed hope that a 6,000-year-old shroud uncovered in the Judean Desert in 1993 could help solve the age old mystery of the Shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with cruxification.
It is believed by many to be a cloth worn by Jesus of Nazarteh at the time of his burial, two days prior to his alleged resurrection.
A 1998 radiocarbon test dated the cloth from some time between 1260 and 1390 CE, ruling out any connection with Jesus.
But, other studies suggested that the radiocarbon test was flawed and that the shroud was anywhere from 1,300 to 3,000 years old. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have said that pollen and plant images on it put its origins in Jerusalem sometime before the eighth century.
Despite numerous tests carried out over the years, the Shroud of Turin, which was first documented in 1357 in Lirey, France, has remained a puzzle as debate continues over whether it is a major Christian find, a fascinating example of medieval folk art, or a fraud.
The discovery of a 6,000 year old shroud in the Judean Desert in 1993, which is 7 meters by 2 m., have fuelled speculations among scientists that it would help solve the mystery of the Turin Shroud.
The new shroud was found by Israeli archeologists at the entrance to what has been dubbed the Cave of the Warrior, during a search for additional Dead Sea Scrolls near Wadi el-Makkukah.
Instead of finding biblical scrolls, the archeologists stumbled on the 6,000-year-old tomb of a nobleman whose body was wrapped in an elaborate linen shroud.
A long flint blade, wooden bowls, sandals of thick leather, and bows accompanied the skeleton.
The shroud, like the Shroud of Turin, had signs of blood on it, likely from a wound suffered by the bandaged warrior.
The idea to use the older shroud to learn more about the famous one came to Olga Negnevitsky, a conservator at the Israel Museum.
"If we reexamine the Jericho shroud with all the latest modern technology, then maybe we will find out more information that will help solve the secrets of the Shroud of Turin," said Negnevitsky.
Scholars believe the Jericho Shroud will lead to a more accurate estimate of the latter shroud's age, as well as other information.
"This is another source that could shed light on the mystery of the Shroud of Turin," said Prof. Amos Notea of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.