Noted Israeli botanist Avinoam Danin passed away on December 12, 2015, at the age of 76. At the time of his death, he was Associate Professor Emeritus of Botany at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Danin’s specialty was the vegetation of Israel, Sinai and Jordan, and throughout his career, he discovered dozens of new plant species and subspecies in the region.a He maintained a popular website with his son, Barak, called Flora of Israel Online, which offered comprehensive information on the plant life in Israel and surrounding areas.
In his work, Danin analyzed the flora of historic structures and artifacts such as Trajan’s column in Rome, Jerusalem’s Ottoman city walls, the Scottish Church (St. Andrews Hospice) in Jerusalem and, most famously, the Shroud of Turin.
The controversial Shroud of Turin, purported to be Jesus’ burial shroud, is a 14-by-3.5-foot linen cloth that depicts front and back images of a man who appears to have been crucified. Radiocarbon testing conducted on the shroud dates it to the 13th–14th centuries. The shroud has been regarded as a relic, a forgery and even a work of art.