According to a recent study published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, scientists claim that they have found traces of Byzantine coins on the famous Shroud of Turin, believed to be the linen cloth in which the dead body of Jesus Christ was wrapped.
Speaking at a conference in Canada recently, researchers from US universities and the University of Padua in Italy claimed that their study discovered elements of electron, gold, silver and copper on the linen cloth of the Holy Shroud.
When they examined coins from the Byzantine Empire dating back to the 1000s and 1100s, they astoundingly discovered the exact same amounts of these elements on the ancient coins as well.
According to the scientists’ remarks, there was a ”full correlation” between the metallic traces found on those particular coins and on the fabric of the Holy Shroud.
This has led the researchers to now hypothesize that Byzantine pilgrims rubbed their own coins on the cloth, to create what are considered ”second-degree relics,” which are widely common among Christians, who often touch and rub sacred objects.
It is still unclear whether the Shroud dates back to the times of Jesus or if it is a much later creation, possibly from the Middle Ages.
However, if the new discovery is true, then the linen cloth was already being venerated by Christians during the 11th century AD.
Written evidence uncovered thus far about this specific shroud dates only as far back as the 13th century, providing no written proof for those who believe it was the actual ”mandylion,” the shroud used to bury Jesus.
Some historians suggest that the Shroud belonged to Byzantine emperors and was venerated by Christians across the empire for centuries.
According to their theory, following the Latin siege of Constantinople in 1204, the Shroud was transferred first to Greece and then to Italy, where it has been kept until now, in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, in the city of Turin.