Shroud 2.0: A High-Tech Look at One of Christianity’s Most Important Artifacts | Smart News | Smithsonian

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Shroud 2.0: A High-Tech Look at One of Christianity’s Most Important Artifacts

The Shroud of Turin? There's an app for that

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A screenshot from the free version of Shroud 2.0

Easter is behind us yet again, but for tech-savvy Christians, honoring of the resurrection of Jesus may have been a little different this year. On Good Friday, says the New York Times, Haltadefinizione, a company that makes ultra-high resolution images, released Shroud 2.0: a hip, modern, high-tech look at one of the religion’s potentially most important artifacts, the Shroud of Turin.

The app provides (for a price) a detailed glimpse at the Shroud. To get their high-resolution photo, says Haltadefinizione, they captured 1649 photos of the cloth, “each of which represents the area of the size of a business card, creating a single image of 12 billion points stored in one file of 72 Gigabytes, equal to the contents of 16 DVDs.” (The free version of the app provides just a basic photo.)

According to some Christian believers, the Shroud was the cloth worn by Jesus when he was buried following crucifixion—his resurrected body rising from its folds. “The Vatican,” for its part, says USA Today, “has never claimed that the 14-foot linen cloth was, as some believers claim, used to cover Christ after he was taken from the cross 2,000 years ago.”

According to scientists, the Shroud was a fourteenth century work of art: “Many experts have stood by a 1988 carbon-14 dating of scraps of the cloth carried out by labs in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona that dated it from 1260 to 1390, which, of course, would rule out its used during the time of Christ.” New findings dating the cloth to the fourth or fifth century (published in a book, not a scientific publication) put the 1988 results in dispute, but obviously more work will be needed.

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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