Jerusalem (CNN) -- Researchers said Wednesday for the first time they have found what they believe to be pieces of a burial shroud from the time of Jesus.
The find is of importance because tests on the shroud and the body it wrapped revealed the earliest proven case of leprosy in the Old City of Jerusalem.
And in addition, the weave of the shroud raises fresh doubts about the Shroud of Turin, which many people believe was used to wrap the body of Jesus.
According to researchers involved in the excavation and subsequent testing, the recently discovered shroud lends more credible evidence that the Shroud of Turin does not date to Roman times when Jesus died but from a later period.
"This is the first time that we have a shroud from the time of Jesus," said Shimon Gibson, the excavation director.
The discovery of leprosy was found in DNA samples taken from the skeletal remains and is the earliest proven case of the disease, according to Hebrew University professor Mark Spigelman.