The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ

the shroud draws you in, doesn't let go, and reveals itself gradually

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What does it mean that the vanillin in the shroud is fully depleted?

This chart shows the age-related data about the depletion of vanillin from the lignin of the flax fibers. The nearly complete depletion at various ambient temperatures indicates that the Shroud is certainly much older than the carbon dating derived range of dates: 1260 to 1390.

We frequently see references to the fact that Raymond Rogers asserted that the cloth was between 1300 and 3000 years old. This is the basis for those numbers. We can see that if the average ambient storage temperatures of the cloth had been less than 73 °F, the cloth would be at least 2000 years old. How much older is impossible to know from this chemical analysis:
 

Average Storage Temperature Equating to Constant in Celsius Average Storage Temperature Equating to Constant in Fahrenheit Age Indicated by a conservative 95% loss of Vanillin
25 °C 77 °F 1319 Years
23 °C 73 °F 1845 Years
20 °C 68 °F 3095 Years
From the paper in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta:

A linen produced in A.D. 1260 would have retained about 37% of its vanillin in 1978. The Raes threads, the Holland cloth [shroud's backing cloth], and all other medieval linens gave the test for vanillin wherever lignin could be observed on growth nodes. The disappearance of all traces of vanillin from the lignin in the shroud indicates a much older age than the radiocarbon laboratories reported."

A medieval cloth, created between 1260 to 1390 would have retained about 40% of its vanillin. Clearly the Shroud of Turin is not medieval.

Chemically speaking, what is vaniilin?

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