As for the possible Indian manufacture, it's just as likely that Indian DNA got onto the object during its 20th-century testing, he said.
To truly determine where the cloth was manufactured, the researchers would need to analyze the DNA from the flax seeds used to make the linen shroud, which was not done, he added.
The new study suffers from the same issues that made past studies of pollen on the shroud unreliable, said Renée Enevold, a geoscientist at the Moesgaard Museum in Denmark who has analyzed ancient pollen in the past.
By Brian Chilton| The Shroud of Turin is perhaps one of the most controversial artifacts of all-time.
Though the Catholic Church has never taken an official stance on the object's authenticity, tens of thousands flock to Turin, Italy, every year to get a glimpse of the object, believing that it wrapped the bruised and bleeding body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. 1204, the cloth was smuggled to safety in Athens, Greece, where it stayed until A. Centuries later, in the 1980s, radiocarbon dating, which measures the rate at which different isotopes of the carbon atoms decay, suggested the shroud was made between A. What's more, the Gospel of Matthew notes that "the earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open" after Jesus was crucified.
[Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus] According to legend, the shroud was secretly carried from Judea in A. 30 or 33, and was housed in Edessa, Turkey, and Constantinople (the name for Istanbul before the Ottomans took over) for centuries. So geologists have argued that an earthquake at Jesus' death could have released a burst of neutrons.
"So the proper thing to do is to maintain an open mind at the moment." However, using DNA analysis and more sophisticated scientific techniques could ultimately settle the question, Farey said.
For instance, geologists can now determine the origin of rock with incredible precision, by analyzing its ratio of isotopes of certain elements.