A garment called the Sudarium of Orviedo in Spain has been revered for centuries as the cloth used to cover the face of Jesus after he died on the cross. It’s mentioned in the Gospel of John

“Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”

Gospel of John, Ch. 20, vs. 6-7

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Bloodstains are present on both the Shroud and the Sudarium. The blood on both these cloths has been shown to be human with type A and B antigens, indicating an AB blood group. This is a rare group found in only 3% of the world’s population.

There are bloodstains on the Shroud produced by wounds in the neck and the forehead and similar bloodstains can be found on the Sudarium. Some of these align exactly and according to forensic scientists, these cloths must have been used on the same body.

There is clearly compelling evidence that links the Shroud with the Sudarium. The fact that they share the same, rare AB bloodgroup would in itself be an unlikely coincidence and the matching bloodstains confirm that they must have wrapped the same body. An analysis of limestone dust found on both the Shroud and the Sudarium shows it to have originated from the same type of limestone, a type which can be found in Jerusalem.

There is an unbroken historical record that traces the Sudarium back to the year 614 AD when it was taken from Jerusalem. It is also mentioned in 570 AD by Antoninus of Piacenza, who wrote that it was located near Jerusalem, and by a Greek poet named Nonnos of Panopolis writing around 400 AD. Consequently, there is strong evidence that it dates from before the fifth century. The bloodstains on the Sudarium must have been left on the cloth before that date and so the same must be true of the matching bloodstains found on the Shroud. The Shroud must therefore be at least 900 years older than the radiocarbon date.

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