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


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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One 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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