(BUZZFEED) — The Shroud of Turin, long considered by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus, has inconsistent bloodstain patterns that suggest it is a fake, a new forensic investigation has found.
Held in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, the shroud bears an image of a crucified man. It has been analyzed for decades, to some controversy, with radiocarbon dating determining its origin to be between 1260 and 1390. It is regarded by the Vatican as an icon, rather than a genuine religious relic. More than 2 million people came to see the shroud during a three-month display in 2015, including Pope Francis.
The bloodstain pattern investigation reported on Tuesday by the Journal of Forensic Sciences is the first such analysis of the cloth, looking at its purported blood splatters and their alignment to each other in a kind of crime scene analysis. The researchers concluded that the linen appears patched with bloodstains from a standing model, not a crucified man or facedown corpse, adding to evidence that the shroud is a medieval fraud.