The origins of the shroud and its images are the subject of intense debate among theologians, historians and other researchers.
Diverse arguments have been made in scientific and popular publications claiming to prove that the cloth is the authentic burial shroud of Jesus, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis.
There are some burn holes and scorched areas down both sides of the linen, caused by contact with molten silver during the fire that burned through it in places while it was folded.
The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth.
The history of the shroud from the 15th century is well recorded.
In 1453 Margaret de Charny deeded the Shroud to the House of Savoy. Since the 17th century the shroud has been displayed (e.g.
Critics point out that it may not be a shroud at all, but rather a rectangular tombstone, as seen on other sacred images.
However the presence of the Turin Shroud in Lirey, France, is only undoubtedly attested in 1390 when Bishop Pierre d'Arcis wrote a memorandum to Antipope Clement VII, stating that the shroud was a forgery and that the artist had confessed.
In 1988, three radiocarbon dating tests dated a corner piece of the shroud from the Middle Ages, between the years 12, which is consistent with the shroud's first known exhibition in France in 1357.