Photography of the shroud by Secondo Pia in 1898 indicated that the image resembled a photographic 'negative' and represents the first modern study.
Subsequently the shroud was made available for scientific examination, first in 19 by a committee appointed by Cardinal Michele Pellegrino .
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These sometimes-unusual interpretations are no doubt an attempt to find meaning in the parable for the times and concerns of a changing audience.
As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated.To do this, one must understand the relationship between Jews and Samaritans.This is sometimes hinted at in modern interpretations of the parable but rarely fully grasped. Levine explains that they were not simply outcasts: They were the despised enemies of the Jews.Even for the first investigation, there was a possibility of using radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the linen from which the shroud was woven.The size of the sample then required, however, was ~500cm, which would clearly have resulted in an unacceptable amount of damage, and it was not until the development in the 1970s of small gas-counters and accelerator-mass-spectrometry techniques (AMS), requiring samples of only a few square centimetres, that radiocarbon dating of the shroud became a real possibility. The shroud was separated from the backing cloth along its bottom left-hand edge and a strip (~10 mm x 70 mm) was cut from just above the place where a sample was previously removed in 1973 for examination.