It was first displayed at Lirey in France in the 1350s and subsequently passed into the hands of the Dukes of Savoy.
After many journeys the shroud was finally brought to Turin in 1578 where, in 1694, it was placed in the royal chapel of Turin Cathedral in a specially designed shrine.
The scientists base the idea on research into piezonuclear fission reactions which occur when brittle rock is crushed under enormous pressure.
Neutron radiation is usually generated by nuclear fusion or fission, and may be produced by nuclear reactors or particle accelerators.
Photography of the shroud by Secondo Pia in 1898 indicated that the image resembled a photographic 'negative' and represents the first modern study.
Subsequently the shroud was made available for scientific examination, first in 19 by a committee appointed by Cardinal Michele Pellegrino .
Fire damage He says he was originally dubious of untested claims that the 1988 sample was taken from a re-weave."We believe it is possible that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud's linen fibres, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating," said Professor Alberto Carpinteri, from the Politecnico di Torino.The Shroud has attracted widespread interest ever since Secondo Pia took the first photograph of it in 1898 which showed details which could not be seen by the naked eye.The Pope provided the introduction for a TV appearance of the cloth on Holy Saturday.New research claims that the cloth does in fact date from the era of Christ, disputing other tests dating it to the Middle Ages.