Given that the cloth was publicly displayed for centuries, it's not surprising that so many people touched it, Farey added.
She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.
The Shroud of Turin is a world-famous piece of cloth alleged to have been the burial garment of Jesus Christ. In this analysis, it should be kept in mind that the story of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and other Christian texts is demonstrably fictional, created in order to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion.
"Also, the sub-genus level of taxon that has been reached is not near enough to the species level that is needed to determine the area of origin for each plant." The researchers also mistakenly relied on an interpretative method that is used to analyze thousands of grains of pollen in a lake, she said.
In that environment, the conditions that led to the deposition of pollen — rain and wind, for instance — are known.
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.
"The plant DNA could be from many sources, and there is no way of finding the right source," Enevold told Live Science in an email.
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.
The team also sequenced the human mitochondrial DNA (DNA passed from mother to child) found in dust from the shroud.