Vatican     TESTS SAID TO LINK TURIN SHROUD TO ISRAEL, JORDAN
New scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin link the relic to the area of Israel or Jordan, a church committee said Monday.
   Experts and religious leaders met behind closed doors for four days this month to discuss the controversial shroud that bears the eerie image of a bearded, apparently crucified man, but which carbon testing in 1998 dated to between 1260 and 1390.
   "Regarding the problem of dating and origin, new data ... confirm the presence of botanical traces which are significant as geographical indicators pointing to the area of Israel or Jordan," the Shroud Millennium Committee said in a statement.
   The shroud is due to go on display in August as part of the Church's Holy Year celebrations.
   The committee said further research was needed to ascertain the history of the shroud before it reached Turin. Critics of the carbon tests say the tiny sample of cloth used for the dating was contaminated over the centuries.
   
Reuters
    7/3/00

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