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Among those present when the sample as cut from the shroud were Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (Archbishop of Turin), Professor L. The laboratories were not told which container held the shroud sample.
Gonella (Department of Physics, Turin Polytechnic and the Archbishop's scientific adviser), two textile experts (Professor F. Because the distinctive three-to-one herringbone twill weave of the shroud could not be matched in the controls, however, it was possible for a laboratory to identify the shroud sample.
Following this intercomparison, a meeting was held in Turin in September-October 1986 at which seven radiocarbon laboratories (five AMS and two small gas-counter) recommended a protocol for dating the shroud. The samples were then taken to the adjacent Sala Capitolare where they were wrapped in aluminium foil and subsequently sealed inside numbered stainless-steel containers by the Archbishop of Turin and Dr Tite.
In October 1987, the offers from three AMS laboratories (Arizona, Oxford and Zurich) were selected by the Archbishop of Turin, Pontifical Custodian of the shroud, acting on instructions from the Holy See, owner of the shroud. Samples weighing 50 mg from two of the three controls were similarly packaged.
The Arizona group split each sample into four subsamples.
One pair of subsamples from each textile was treated with dilute HCL, dilute Na OH and again in acid, with rinsing in between (method a).
But the three laboratories undertook not to compare results until after they had been transmitted to the British Museum.
Also, at two laboratories (Oxford and Zurich), after combustion to gas, the samples were recoded so that the staff making the measurements did not know the identity of the samples. On the basis of the Islamic embroidered pattern and Christian ink inscription, this linen could be dated to the eleventh to twelfth centuries AD. Linen from the collection of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, associated with an early second century AD mummy of Cleopatra from Thebes (EA6707).