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:
Yup, I’ve been expressing bewilderment for months now as to why STURP’s Ray Rogers (left) thought there was hydroxyproline in human blood.
He cited the presence of hydroxyproline as crucial evidence against the Shroud blood ever having been heated, using that to dismiss any idea that the body image was a thermal imprint (scorch) – since that would have driven off the hydroxyproline.
Ray Rogers was a chemist, more specifically a thermochemist working on explosives. This retired biochemist-turned science -blogger was at a loss to understand him, given that hydroxyproline is a constituent of connective tissue, notably collagen, and that there is scarcely any worth speaking of in blood (except for a tiny amount from degraded collagen going back to the liver to be broken down).
Well, I think I can now retrace the events that led Rogers to go barking up the wrong tree. It came from re-reading Thibault Heimburger’s 2008 review of STURP research, where I came across the following:
” At least one of the blood samples (the “Zina thread” from the image heel) showed a strong peak for hydroxyproline at low temperature. This amino-acid is present in animal proteins including blood proteins or collagen.”
In other words, Rogers put some Shroud blood into his pyrolysis mass spectrometer, saw a sharp peak at a particular value, looked it up in the tables to find the only physiological metabolite known to have that precise mass was hydroxyproline (probably 4-hydroxyproline). Rogers then ASSUMED that hydroxyproline was a regular constituent of human blood. Had he consulted with biochemists, physiologists etc he would probably have been quickly disabused of that idea. Instead he must then have picked up on the use by the meat industry of hydroxyproline as a marker for meat that has not been heated and assumed he could use it as a marker for (un)heated blood. But as I say there’s simply not enough in blood – real uncontaminarted blood that is – for that to be possible.
Fast forward and we see Rogers deploy his HP argument against the idea that the body image on the Shroud could have been caused by scorching.
“ If the image were a scorch or any part of the Shroud had been heated enough to make significant changes in the rates of decomposition of any of its components, we would see changes in the structure of the flax fibers and blood. The blood still evolves hydroxyproline on mild heating, and the cellulose crystals are largely undistorted”.
Yes, the blood was giving off hydroxyproline alright, but it was not coming from human blood. Where was it coming from then? If we knew the answer to that we might have a better idea as to whether that really was human blood pure and simple on the Shroud – or mixed in with something else – of animal origin…
Well, I’ll now let you into a secret, dear reader. I think Ray Rogers realized his error in 2004, just one year before his sad demise from cancer, when he wrote the following:
“Incidentally, the pyrolysis/ms spectra of samples from apparent blood spots showed hydroxyproline peaks at mass 131, a pyrolysis product of animal proteins”
Note the words “apparent” and “animal” (my italics). That’s all. There were no other mentions of HP. Know what I think? Rogers was quietly flagging up that there was a substance of animal origin in those apparent blood spots, but didn’t want to go into any more detail, maybe because he realized that the blood on the Shroud was not entirely human blood. That would really have rained on the STURP parade would it not, recalling what it wrote in its executive summary in 1981:
“We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man.”
But that view can only have been based on the bloodstains, since the body image per se shows no (unequivocal) evidence of wounds. If the blood is not real human blood, or is accompanied by animal-derived products, then what price the STURP claim that the Shroud image is that of a “scourged crucified man”?
So where did the hydroxyproline come from? Those who have been following my recent postings will know that I am more and more enamoured of the idea (my own!) that the blood on the Shroud came from medicinal leeches fed on human blood.
The practical advantages of using leech digesta to fake human blood (Christ’s blood!) are numerous, especially as it keeps for months inside leeches in their state of postprandial torpor without any risk of clotting or putrefaction (thanks to the leech’s powerful anticoagulant and to their specialized digestive gut bacteria) . Blood – easily “paintable” blood- is always there on tap when needed. Just hoik another leech out of the water tank…
Hydroxyproline? Connective tissue? So where does that fit in? Look up “medicinal leech” in wiki, and one of the first things you will see is that leeches are choc-a-bloc full of connective tissue. It’s what gives them their rigidity.
So all one has to suppose is that harvesting of leeches for the purposes of “look-alike blood”, with a somewhat aged look, as indeed it would have after weeks or months of digestion inside the leech gut, needed nothing more than maceration (mashing them up) – connective tissue an’ all- so that what was applied to linen had loads of hydroxyproline, waiting for 20th century chemists to discover and misinterpret. Ah, but we 21st century biochemists are not fooled quite so easily, even if we are at an age when we qualify for a free bus pass and medical prescriptions.
Comments welcome – but I only answer them on this site, which insists on a modicum of courtesy. The kind of toxic comments that we see addressed to this retired science bod on other sites (like being called “hysterical” a day or two ago, simply for challenging the “blood first” dogma, or an “empty vessel” elsewhere) will simply not be tolerated.