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:
Here is a screen grab from a fairly recent (2008) review by Faccini, Fanti et al.(pdf), the first two of whom I have strongly criticized previously for making extraordinary unsupported claims re scourge marks on the Shroud. (I’ve since been told by Giulio on The Other Site to address any complaints to the Journal editor, but being a public domain WYSIWYG retired science bod/blogger – as distinct from olde-worlde wielder of the pen and adhesive postage stamps I have declined to do so)
Here’s a close-up of the circled area:
They then go on to say that the blood has flowed in rivulets downwards from the wound (fitting the idea that the Man in the Shroud had been vertical at the time the non-wound was inflicted – you know, like, er, um, being nailed to a cross?).
Here are Shroud Scope images of the same blood area. The first is on plain vanilla Shroud Scope default settings.
The second enhanced version has merely had adjustments made to contrast and brightness to get better colour-differentiation)
1. There is no spear wound. Circle it in yellow if you wish, Prof. Fanti et al but the spear WOUND is entirely a figment of your imagination.
2. There is nothing to suggest that the blood below the circled area had got where it is by flowing downwards, whether in rivulets or less poetic dribbles. The idea of gravitational flow is also a figment of your imaginations, Prof Fanti et al, as is so much of what you publish.
What we do see on the Shroud Scope images are three distinct colour zones, only two of which can be confidently identified. The first is a thinnish plum-coloured stain that we can call “blood”. The second are yellowish-grey areas which are body image. But there is a third – a red-brown colour – that is superimposed on blood in some places –but not all. I was referring just recently to similar red-brown patches coincident with plum-coloured blood when discussing bloodstains on the forearm.
So what is responsible for the mysterious red-brown stains? (late ed: I am ignoring the 1532 scorch here – which I omitted to mention initially)
I have two working hypotheses at present, both of which are linked to my original, somewhat daring (indeed, some might say outlandish) ‘medicinal leech’ theory. The first is that the leech digesta deposited a variety of substances on the Shroud, only one of which was red blood pigment, the latter in progressive stages of digestion (intact RBC -> haemolysed RBC -> free haemoglobin -> partially to completely digested globin component -> free haem -> iron and free porphyrin). The other(s) could be leech digestive juices, including symbiotic bacteria, anticoagulants etc that congregated into the same or separate areas from the red blood pigments, and which look “red-brown” instead of plum-coloured.
The other hypothesis is that the leech digesta deposit uniformly on the cloth initially , and then the soluble red or plum-coloured pigments (undigested haemoglobin, porphyrins etc) bled through into the linen. The leech digesta initially dried and set solid to form a kind of hard red-brown skin, or dare one say scab, that could be mistaken for aged blood (which it was, in a sense). With time (decades, centuries) the scab flaked off in some places but not others, exposing the underlying water-soluble plum-coloured blood pigments that have migrated into the weave of the cloth.
So which hypothesis do I prefer? Answer: the second. Why? Because if you look carefully you will see an irregularity in the weave of the linen with a hang-up of red-brown pigment.
That suggests that maybe the entire stain was red-brown initially, from which the rigid skin then gradually flaked off in places, but tending to get retained in the open box-shaped cavities of the irregular weave.
Note I am careful to differentiate between fact and hypothesis. The two should always be kept in watertight compartments. Maybe if Prof Fanti were a marine engineer he would better understand the need for ‘watertight compartments’. From where I am standing (just a retired science bod) the ship on which he sails, and of which he is arguably the Captain, is looking more and more like the Titanic, due to certain non watertight compartments
Takeaway message: there is no spear wound visible on the the Shroud of Turin. Blood certainly, though not necessarily 100% human blood, and in my opinion, probably painted-on blood, the latter probably from an engorged medicinal leech. But spear WOUND? NO! Personally speaking, I consider it totally unscientific to make claims that are not supported by data or other hard evidence, at least in science. I cannot speak for mechanical engineering….