Radiocarbon dating shroud
"So the proper thing to do is to maintain an open mind at the moment." However, using DNA analysis and more sophisticated scientific techniques could ultimately settle the question, Farey said.
For instance, geologists can now determine the origin of rock with incredible precision, by analyzing its ratio of isotopes of certain elements.
The new study suffers from the same issues that made past studies of pollen on the shroud unreliable, said Renée Enevold, a geoscientist at the Moesgaard Museum in Denmark who has analyzed ancient pollen in the past.
"The plant DNA could be from many sources, and there is no way of finding the right source," Enevold told Live Science in an email.
In contrast, there are so many unknowns when it comes to describing how dust settled onto the shroud.
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and Science Now.We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time."Also, the sub-genus level of taxon that has been reached is not near enough to the species level that is needed to determine the area of origin for each plant." The researchers also mistakenly relied on an interpretative method that is used to analyze thousands of grains of pollen in a lake, she said.In that environment, the conditions that led to the deposition of pollen — rain and wind, for instance — are known.