Late addition (July 2019)
Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”, correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.
That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.
(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.
Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)?
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.
Face shown (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image. I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.
No, NOT a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it, the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.
How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless!
Welcome to modern day sindonology.
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.
Start of original posting:
Quotation from Raymond Rogers’ 2004 (written one year before his demise):
(Sorry, bad link: I’ve mislaid the correct one and will try to find it ASAP -since I too need it).
“Where darker bands of yarn intersect image areas, the image is darker. Where lighter bands intersect an image area, the image appears lighter. This proves that the image color is not a result of reactions in the cellulose of the linen. Some impurities on the surface of the different batches of yarn produced the image color. This observation is extremely important when tests are being made on image-formation hypotheses. If image color is not simply a result of color formation in the cellulose of the linen fibers, image formation must be a much more complex process than we originally thought.”
My response: We see an image by the light that it reflects, but the latter depends not only on the light absorbing/reflecting properties of the image itself (obviously) but, less obviously, on what is underneath the image. That is especially the case where the image is exceedingly thin and superficial. If the underlay were, say, pure matt black, absorbing all light that passed through the image layer and fell on it, then less light can be reflected/scattered back to illuminate the image layer from underneath, and the image will tend to look darker than it would be in the absence of the underlay.
Conversely, if the underlay were pure white linen, with a propensity to reflect/scatter white light, then there would be additional illumination from underneath, and the image layer would look brighter.
It follows that an image on darker-coloured weave will tend to look darker than one on lighter-coloured weave., due to differences in illumination from BELOW.
These considerations render null and void the claim of Raymond Rogers (RIP) that the image is not imprinted on the fibre itself, but in a superficial impurity coating. The effect he describes, and failed properly to interpret, tells one NOTHING whatsoever about where the image is located, except that is somewhat superficial.
“This proves that the image color is not a result of reactions in the cellulose of the linen.”? Nope, it proves nothing…
There is other evidence too that the assumption by Rogers that the image is in an impurity layer (largely based it seems on the writings of Pliny), formed by a Maillard reaction between supposed reducing sugars in the impurities and volatile amines from post mortem decay (cadaverine, putrescine etc) is ruled out by Rogers’ own observation in the same paper that the Shroud’s image-bearing areas are not enriched in nitrogen. (All amines contain nitrogen, the amine group being -NH2)
The next topic to be mulled over on this blog will be high definition close-up views of the Shroud. This is a topic I have wanted to address for some time, but learned only yesterday of a magnificent resource called Shroud Scope, the work of Mario Latendresse and his colleagues in Montreal. Here, as a foretaste of what is to come, is a Shroud Scope view of the ‘reversed 3’ “bloodstain” on the forehead.
As my caption states: can that really be a bloodstain? Indeed, can any number of the so-called “bloodstains” really be bloodstains? Why should blood be imaged EXACTLY THE SAME in principle as other imaged areas of the body, with the image confined largely to the ribs of the weave? Blood is a liquid, albeit a viscous one , but should not some blood at least have penetrated into the furrows between the threads. There is no evidence of penetration. That suggests to me that what we see above, and in other bloodstains too (not necessarily all), if blood, is blood that for some reason has been “cooked” or “singed” onto the crowns of fibres. But that is contrary to received wisdom, which is that the blood has never been heated – an opinion expressed by Ray Rogers, subject of my two previous posts – which he cited (somewhat tetchily I thought) as evidence that the Shroud image could not possibly be a scorch.
As far as I am concerned, everything we have been told about the Shroud image by those STURP researchers is now open to question. Even the oft-quoted “discovery” that the blood preceded the image must be re-examined. It is on that latter finding that we are told that the Shroud could not be a forgery – how would a forger know exactly where to apply blood if the image was applied later.
There used to be TV series in Britain called “Take Nobody’s Word For it”. It was screened during Maggie Thatcher’s term of office. How do I know? Because they took the cameras into Maggie’s little kitchen at No.10 Downing Street, and we saw that chemistry graduate-turned lawyer-turned politician- finally PM demonstrate that starch could be washed out of flour dough to leave rubbery gluten protein.
I not only recall the programme and its unexpected star turn. I recall the series title. TAKE NOBODY’S WORD FOR IT.
Here’s a comment that I have left on the shroudofturin.wordpress site:
What a superb resource. I wish I’d known about Shroud Scope 6 months ago, instead of 16 hours!
There is at least one glitch that needs pointing out. The overlay that delineates major bloodstains on the face in close-up does not correspond with the bloodstains, notably that reversed 3 aka epsilon on the forehead (at least on my Firefox browser).
But it’s the profound question mark that these HD close-up images places over so much received wisdom that interests this science bod with far too much time on his hands. Like why are the so-called bloodstains virtually indistinguishable from other image areas, inasmuch as the imprint is largely confined to the crowns of the weave, with virtually none in the intervening furrows. OK, so blood is viscous, but one would have expected at least some to penetrate between parallel threads? Or is it only singed or otherwise denatured blood that is imaged, which would contradict Rogers’ claim (which I have always regarded as highly dubious) namely that the bloodstains show no evidence of heat-damage (based on a curious, some might say idiosyncratic measure of hydroxyproline context). (The meat industry uses HP content as a test for heated meat, i.e. muscle tissue, which is rich in HP mainly on account of its connective content, but there is virtually no HP in blood, the little that is present being a degradation product of collagen and other connective tissue proteins).
I now find myself wondering about the key claim that the blood was transferred to the fabric before the image. How reliable is the evidence on which that view is founded? I see from an oft-cited 2004 Rogers paper that he bases his blood-first view on a simple spot test in which he applied proteolytic enzymes to the blood stains, and found that removing the stain revealed/uncovered/exposed no image under the stain. That does not strike me as conclusive evidence for anything, certainly not for a major claim re the bloodstains. I shall obviously have to dig deeper, but if in the meantime anyone knows of better evidence than a single spot test with protein-digesting enzyme, then I’d be grateful for a link. Thanks.
“Blood is a liquid, albeit a viscous one , but should not some blood at least have penetrated into the furrows between the threads. There is no evidence of penetration”.
Do you have pictures of the reverse (non image) side of the sheet ?
“Why should blood be imaged EXACTLY THE SAME in principle as other imaged areas of the body, with the image confined largely to the ribs of the weave?”
Do you have Mark Evans 1978 macro photos ? If yes you’ll see that blood residues are mainly found in the furrows. More generally all the properties of the blood stains at this level (as well at microscopic level) are the exact opposite of the image-only properties.
“I now find myself wondering about the key claim that the blood was transferred to the fabric before the image. How reliable is the evidence on which that view is founded? I see from an oft-cited 2004 Rogers paper that he bases his blood-first view on a simple spot test in which he applied proteolytic enzymes to the blood stains, and found that removing the stain revealed/uncovered/exposed no image under the stain. That does not strike me as conclusive evidence for anything, certainly not for a major claim re the bloodstains. I shall obviously have to dig deeper, but if in the meantime anyone knows of better evidence than a single spot test with protein-digesting enzyme, then I’d be grateful for a link. Thanks.”
And the same test applied to image-only fibers did not change at all the yellow color.
Incidentally, another important difference between blood and image …
This test was performed by Adler and Heller under the microscope and not only on coated fibers but also on red globs, orange globs, and golden yellow coating from the golden yellow fibrils (serum).
” Withing a half hour this [proteolytic] solution completely dissolved the non-birefringent red particulate fibril coatings, leaving no particulate residues; This further indicates that these particulates are blood and not Fe2O3 impregnated protein binder”.
They added “Interestingly, fibrils freed of their coatings using this technique closely resemble the NON IMAGE fibrils when viewed under phase-contrast”.
No conclusion ? Really ? Do you have another explanation ?
Shroud Scope is certainly a wonderful tool. But not at all for the kind of studies you are doing.
Did you ever read the peer-reviewed STURP papers ?
As for your “scorch” hypothesis which has been studied in depth by many researchers (including numerous experiments) many decades ago and finally dismissed.
Just one of them (among many others) : the medulla of the image fibers is clear while the medulla of the lightly scorched fibers on the Shroud is colored.
Please, purchase a good microscope and test your hypothesis.
Being like a scorch is not the same as being a scorch.
Hello Thibault. It is kind of you to visit my humble blog – although I’d have been happier if some of your comments were rather less caustic in tone. My only interest is in the science, as you will see if you were to spare a moment to visit my science buzz site.
i have decided to address your points on a new posting, but as I say there, it will take some time to do justice to them all, so you may need to check back at daily intervals to see any new instalments.
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