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But Meacham writes: A more recent [carbon] date [for the Shroud] of whatever magnitude would also fail to settle the matter in view of the many possibilities of exchange and contamination over the centuries (variations in ambient atmosphere, boiling in oil and water, exposure to smoke and fire, contact with other organic materials) and the still unknown conditions of image formation, which affected the very cellulose of the linen….
Stuckenrath (190) notes that the result [of carbon dating] is often more recent than expected and cites the wide divergence - from 1750 to 800 B. - of a series of 16 contemporaneous wood and charcoal samples…
The reweave hypothesis still seems to be the best explanation of the evidence, but now by a smaller margin.
We have to leave the door wide open to other possibilities.
In his book, Meacham discussed Ray Rogers' 2005 article that undermines the 1988 carbon dating results.
Further research since then has corroborated Rogers' findings. A study published in 2010 by Marco Riani, et al., for instance, found significant heterogeneity in the section of the Shroud tested in 1988.
Of these dates obtained, about 110 were considered credible, 30 were rejected as unreliable and 10 were problematic.
I mention this merely to inform the non-specialist that rogue dates are quite common in the general application of C-14 in archaeology.
Gove even jokingly compares the possibility that the carbon dating is wrong to the possibility that "the law of gravity is in error" (305).As an archaeologist, I had used C-14 dating many dozens of times on excavated samples, and found that it does generally but not always give accurate results. Rogue results were normally discarded without any follow-up research, when it was abundantly clear that something was amiss, whether it was due to contamination or "old wood" or residual material from an earlier phase or intrusive from a later one.Most other archaeologists and geologists that I know have the same view; a few are more skeptical of its reliability. Such rogue dates are common in archaeology and geology and they are usually not subjected to any further detailed study.As fate would have it, I had dealt with more rogue samples than most other archaeologists, and furthermore had been involved with several C-14 labs in investigating why some of these samples yielded results which simply could not be correct in terms of their real calendar date….It is important for anyone wishing to understand the normal archaeological use of C-14 to know that a single date or even a series of dates on a single object or feature is seldom if ever cited to answer important questions about the age of a culture or a site.