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In October 1987, the offers from three AMS laboratories (Arizona, Oxford and Zurich) were selected by the Archbishop of Turin, Pontifical Custodian of the shroud, acting on instructions from the Holy See, owner of the shroud. Samples weighing 50 mg from two of the three controls were similarly packaged.At the same time, the British Museum was invited to help in the certification of the samples provided and in the statistical analysis of the results. The age of the shroud is obtained as AD 1260-1390, with at least 95% confidence. The three containers containing the shroud (to be referred to as sample 1) and two control samples (samples 2 and 3) were then handed to representatives of each of the three laboratories together with a sample of the third control (sample 4), which was in the form of threads.Subsequently the shroud was made available for scientific examination, first in 19 by a committee appointed by Cardinal Michele Pellegrino .Even for the first investigation, there was a possibility of using radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the linen from which the shroud was woven.Gonella (Department of Physics, Turin Polytechnic and the Archbishop's scientific adviser), two textile experts (Professor F. Because the distinctive three-to-one herringbone twill weave of the shroud could not be matched in the controls, however, it was possible for a laboratory to identify the shroud sample.Testore of Department of Materials Science, Turin Polytechnic and G. If the samples had been unravelled or shredded rather than being given to the laboratories as whole pieces of cloth, then it would have been much more difficult, but not impossible, to distinguish the shroud sample from the controls.The Shroud of Turin , which many people believe was used to wrap Christ's body, bears detailed front and back images of a man who appears to have suffered whipping and crucifixion.
But the three laboratories undertook not to compare results until after they had been transmitted to the British Museum.
Two were in the form of whole pieces of cloth (samples 2 and 3) and one was in the form of threads (sample 4). This corresponds to a calendar age, rounded to the nearest 5 years, of 110 cal BC - AD 75 cal at the 68 per cent confidence level (where cal denotes calibrated radiocarbon dates). Threads removed from the cope of St Louis d'Anjou which is held in a chapel in the Basilica of Saint-Maximin, Var, France.
On the basis of the stylistic details and the historical evidence the cope could be dated at ~ AD 1290 - 1310 (reign of King Phillipe IV).
The procedures for taking the samples and treating the results were discussed by representatives of the three chosen laboratories at a meeting at the British Museum in January 1988 and their recommendations = standard deviation) errors, of the Shroud of Turin and control samples, as supplied by the three laboratories (A, Arizona; O, Oxford; Z, Zurich) (See also Table 2.) The shroud is sample 1, and the three controls are samples 2-4. The sampling of the shroud took place in the Sacristy at Turin Cathedral on the morning of 21 April 1988. All these operations, except for the wrapping of the samples in foil and their placing in containers, were fully documented by video film and photography.
Among those present when the sample as cut from the shroud were Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (Archbishop of Turin), Professor L. The laboratories were not told which container held the shroud sample.
After these initial cleaning procedures, each laboratory split the samples for further treatment.