Shroud Scope 3: Now let’s take a closer look at the wrist – the one with the bloodstain and, supposedly, an underlying nail wound.



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:



Low magnification view of the crossed hands of the Man on the Shroud before and after added photo enhancement.  Note the bloodstain on the right wrist – supposedly the site of a nail wound.

A higher-magnification view of that marking on the wrist

Is it my imagination, or is there one stain (plum coloured) overlaid on another – the latter more the more typical sepia colour of the Shroud image generally, i.e. of body anatomy as distinct from shed blood…  Is there a wound under the stain(s)?

Here is the wrist at maximum contrast. Where is the wound? Is it that faint circular area with the darker centre between the  ‘jaws of the crocodile’? Nope, not terribly convincing as wounds go, but let’s withhold judgement and investigate further.

Might image inversion (light/dark reversal) reveal more detail? Let’s try inverting the above image first.

Is there any new detail that we missed in the Shroud ‘pseudo-negatives’?

Maybe it’s worth taking a look at the much older (1933) Enrie pictures that are also available with Shroud Scope.

Enrie image, his own positive photographic image (silver emulsion)

Same Enrie image but after reversal back to a pseudo-negative. No obvious wrist wound beneath the blood, though granted the latter is too dense in this silver-salt imagery to have much hope of penetrating underneath.

Maybe 3D imaging might reveal a nail wound underneath all that “blood”. Time to re-activate my ImageJ software:

The “bloodstains” have responded well, perhaps too well to 3D enhancement – which simply plots pixel density on a new vertical z axis – but still no sign of a penetration wound.

Maybe there’s a nail wound lurking round the back. That’s easy enough to investigate. I will rotate the image, while keeping the same settings:

Oh dear. Still no nail wound. Now what are we going to do?

Conclusion thus far  (which I am ready to modify in the light of new information):  there is no nail wound that I  can see under the “blood stain” of that wrist on the Man in the Shroud.  If there is no wound, then it is highly questionable whether that is real blood, or at any rate blood that issued from a wound. And I have to say that there is an impression (I shall not put it any stronger than that) that the plum coloured “blood” that seems to overlay older sepia-coloured “blood”(?) makes one wonder if there has not been some touching-up over the centuries.  So claims that there is “real blood” on the Shroud, based on tests for haemoglobin, porphyrins, albumin, blood group testing etc have to be regarded with considerable scepticism since we do not know the age of the “blood” that is being tested.

This post is a work in progress, as  I am following some comments threads on other sites.  I shall be adding further pictures during the day as and when there are lulls in the conversation so to speak.

Postscript:  Here’s an image you will not have seen before (with the blue masking to delineate it from surrounding visual clutter):

Separating signal from visual noise – the real burial shroud in the Hungarian Pray Codex, not to be confused with the sarcophagus lid on which it rests, with stylised bloodstains, but without those famous “poker holes” or that “herringbone weave pattern”

It’s the Shroud as shown on that Pray Codex, aka Hungarian Pray Manuscript. You can read all about it on my other Shroud site (the one I keep for addressing the trivia of Shroudology).




About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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1 Response to Shroud Scope 3: Now let’s take a closer look at the wrist – the one with the bloodstain and, supposedly, an underlying nail wound.

  1. ROB SKOGS says:

    you sir are absolutley correct, the standard manner of crucifixion was to tie the person to the cross
    with ropes, the nails were added to the palms of the hands to keep him from being able to hold himself up to insure he would die quickly as it was jewish custom that he should die before sunset.

    this is the way it has been taught in every christian church i ever attended. if there seems to be a discrepency to the shroud maybe others should not doubt the validity of scripture and seek out the why’s for the descrepency.

    the bloodstain at the wrist is prominent but if you look closely there are also brown spots in the center of the palm that are no doubt bloodstains they are faint but they are there.

    the stain at the wrist could have come from laying one hand over the other and then they were switched during preperation for burial. or maybe as a result of coagulation at the site of the ropes holding him to the cross in any case to just jump up and say scipture is inaccurate is to deny eyewitness acounts.

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