I was intending to go into Western Australia's State library tomorrow to see if I could download Fanti, et al.'s "Non-destructive dating of ancient flax textiles by means of vibrational spectroscopy" paper in the journal Vibrational Spectroscopy, as mentioned on Dan Porter's Shroud of Turin Blog.
In trying to work out how I would find it online at the library, I found the page "Vibrational Spectroscopy | Articles in Press | ScienceDirect.com"
About half-way down that table of contents page I found Fanti, et al.'s article, with a PDF download link.
I clicked on the link thinking it would pop-up a message saying I had to pay for the article. But much to my surprise it downloaded a PDF of the full text of the article:
The paper is about Fanti, et al.'s testing by FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infra-Red) spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy of the correlation between the age and spectral properties of ancient flax textiles:
Abstract The possibility to define a two-way relationship between age and a spectral property of ancient flax textiles has been investigated in the present paper employing both FT-IR and Raman analyses on selected samples dated from about 3250 B.C. to 2000 A.D.
Thirteen samples of ancient flax textiles were tested (NOT including any from the Shroud of Turin) and Fanti, et al. concluded that there was a positive correlation between the age of ancient flax textiles
[Above: Figure 3 at page 27 of Fanti, et al.'s article, which seems to show a strong, positive correlation between the age of ancient flax textiles and their spectral properties.]
and their spectral properties. Which made it possible "to make a rough dating of ancient flax textiles":
The resulting calibration curves give the possibility to make a rough dating of ancient flax textiles, but future calibration based on a greater number of samples, coupled with ad-hoc cleaning procedures, will significantly improve the accuracy of the method. This procedure should be capable to remove the pollutants, but not to damage the chemical characteristics of the flax fiber. Therefore, this non destructive method could be an alternative to others, such as the more accurate radiocarbon dating, that is in the narrower range of ±50 years or less, but that both requires destruction of textiles and has higher costs.
Once this new method of dating ancient flax (and presumably other) textiles is established, there could be no reasonable objection to the non-destructive dating of flax samples from the Shroud of Turin using vibrational spectroscopy.
Indeed, Fanti has already done that, and found that, according to "FT-IR testing", the Shroud is dated 300 BC ±400" (i.e. 700 BC-AD 100) and "200 BC ±500 after Raman testing" (i.e. 700 BC-AD 300):
"New scientific experiments carried out at the University of Padua have apparently confirmed that the Shroud Turin can be dated back to the 1st century AD. This makes its compatible with the tradition which claims that the cloth with the image of the crucified man imprinted on it is the very one Jesus’ body was wrapped in when he was taken off the cross. ... The new tests carried out in the University of Padua labs were carried out by a number of university professors from various Italian universities and agree that the Shroud dates back to the period when Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem. Final results show that the Shroud fibres examined produced the following dates, all of which are 95% certain and centuries away from the medieval dating obtained with Carbon-14 testing in 1988: the dates given to the Shroud after FT-IR testing, is 300 BC ±400, 200 BC ±500 after Raman testing and 400 AD ±400 after multi-parametric mechanical testing. The average of all three dates is 33 BC ±250 years." (Andrea Tornielli, "New experiments on Shroud show it’s not medieval," Vatican Insider, 26 March 2013).
This is consistent with the overwhelming prepponderance of the evidence, that the Shroud of Turin really is Jesus Christ's burial sheet, and is yet another nail in the coffin of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD. 1260-1390."
Stephen E. Jones