Sudarium of Oviedo
The Sudarium of Oviedo, or Shroud of Oviedo, is a bloodstained piece of cloth measuring c. 84 x 53 cm, kept in the Cámara Santa of the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain. The Sudarium (Latin for sweat cloth) is claimed by some to be the cloth wrapped around the head of Jesus Christ after he died, as mentioned in the Gospel of John (20:6-7). The small chapel housing it was built specifically for the cloth by King Alfonso II of Asturias in AD 840; the Arca Santa is an elaborate reliquary chest with a Romanesque metal frontal for the storage of the Sudarium and other relics. The Sudarium is displayed to the public three times a year: Good Friday, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on 14 September, and its octave on 21 September.
Background and history
The Sudarium is severely soiled and crumpled, with dark flecks that are symmetrically arranged but form no image, unlike the markings on the Shroud of Turin. Such an object is not mentioned in accounts of the actual burial of Jesus Christ, but is mentioned as having been present in the empty tomb later (John 20:7).
According to believers in the authenticity of the relic, the Sudarium and the Shroud took different routes. There is no reference of the Sudarium for the first several hundred years after the Crucifixion of Jesus, until its mention in 570 in an account by Antoninus of Piacenza, who writes that the Sudarium is being cared for in a cave near the monastery of Saint Mark, in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
The Sudarium is presumed to have been taken from Palestine in 614, after the invasion of the Byzantine provinces by the Sassanid Persian King Khosrau II, was carried through northern Africa in 616 and arrived in Spain shortly thereafter.
The cloth has been dated to around 700CE by the radio carbon method. This suggests a considerably earlier date than for most estimates for the Shroud of Turin, the previous three radiocarbon tests for which suggest a date between 1260CE and 1390CE,. Conversely, this date is younger than that suggested by the most recent analysis of the Shroud, which dates it to between 300BCE and 400CE
Using infrared and ultraviolet photography and electron microscopy, research by the private Centro Español de Sindonología, (Spanish Centre for Sindonology) purported to show that that the Sudarium of Oviedo could have touched the same face as the Shroud of Turin, but at different stages after the death of the person. The researchers theorize that the Oviedo Cloth covered the face from the moment of death until replaced by the Turin Shroud. The researchers cite purported bloodstains on both cloths, identifying them as belonging to the same type, AB. No DNA testing, however, has been carried out on blood samples from either cloth. Pollen samples from both cloths share members of certain species – one example is the thorn bush Gundelia tournefortii, which is indigenous to the Mideast.
- Bible gateway John:20:6
- The Second International Conference on the Sudarium of Ovieto, April 2007, retrieved 16 Jun 2013.
- LiveScience. New Shroud of Turin Evidence: A Closer Look, retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Damon, P. E.; D. J. Donahue, B. H. Gore, A. L. Hatheway, A. J. T. Jull, T. W. Linick, P. J. Sercel, L. J. Toolin, C. R. Bronk, E. T. Hall, R. E. M. Hedges, R. Housley, I. A. Law, C. Perry, G. Bonani, S. Trumbore, W. Woelfli, J. C. Ambers, S. G. E. Bowman, M. N. Leese, M. S. Tite (1989-02). "Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin". Nature 337 (6208): 611–615. doi:10.1038/337611a0. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
- New testing dates Shroud of Turin to era of Christ
- Mark Guscin, The Oviedo Cloth. Cambridge: The Luttenworth Press, 1998. ISBN 07188-2985-9.
- Guscin, Mark (1 June 1998). The Oviedo Cloth. Lutterworth Press. ISBN 978-0718829858. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Bennett, Janice (January 2005). Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo, New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. Ignatius Press. ISBN 978-0-9705682-0-5. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Rogers, Raymond (2004). The Sudarium of Oviedo: A Study of Fiber Structures. Shroud.com. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Viewing information
- The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin
- The Sudarium of Oviedo and what it Suggests about the Shroud of Turin
- The Sudarium of Oviedo at Skeptical Spectacle
- Decoding the Past: Relics of the Passion, 2005 History Channel video documentary
- Comparative Study of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin, 1998, paper presented at the "III Congresso Internazionale di Studi Sulla Sindone" in Turin.*