A compression scorch from a hot template ought theoretically to leave a tell-tale signature on linen…


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:


This is a quickie post today, since I have some chores to attend to. It’s a development of some ideas that have been forming since posting Part 3 of my response to Thibault Heimburger’s critique of the scorch hypothesis. There I was modelling the effect of different degrees of applied force between heated template and linen. The more force, the larger the imprint left on the threads of the linen. The lightest force would scorch only the most superficial threads of the weave, while increasing force would tend to affect those threads  parts of the same thread that are less superficial where they loop down into the weave.

Here’s a screen grab from that previous psoting:

Note that the focus was on extending the zone of scorching only in the thread labelled blue. The threads at right angles will now be considered, since they can become susceptible too if the pressure applied to the template – or resistance from underlay – is increased still further.

It’s a natural development to think that through in terms of the separate weft and warp threads, but since there is some controversy as to which is which in Shroud micrographs,  see immediately preceding post,  I am going to designate the two sets (mutually at right angles) simply as w1 and w2.

See labels in black for weft and warp threads, indicated as w1 and w2 without specifying which is which…

w2 is the thread that one sees in micrographs as passing over 3, then under 1, over 3, under 1 etc. w2 is the most superficial of the threads.

Note that the image intensity tends to be greater on the more superficial w2 threads than the “recessed” w1 – exactly what one expect from a contact scorch applied with light or moderate pressure that was insufficient to flatten/crush the weave.

Now let’s look at modelling the effect of light contact, one that scorches just the w2 threads, and then a greater impaction force that flattens the weave, making  contact with recessed w1 threads, causing some  additional light scorching of the latter while increasing the image intensity on the w2 threads.

Light pressure, resulting in light scorching of the more superficial w2 threads, with no scorching of the w1 threads.

High impact force, with more intense scorching of the w2 threads, and now with light scorching of the w1 threads as well. (Note: I have excluded consideration of secondary effects of superheated steam etc that were discussed in the previous posting)

I believe there is a means of testing the scorch hypothesis. It involves looking at as many photomicrographs of the Shroud image, comparing regions where the image intensity is large, e.g. the nose, chin, moustache etc, and comparing with parts where it is low, e.g. the peripheries of face, torso and limbs.

Prediction.  In regions where the image intensity is high (due to greatest impaction force in the template model) there will be appreciable scorching of both w1 and w2 threads. In the regions with a fainter image, only the more superficial w2 threads will be scorched.

I do not think that a radiation model could make a similar prediction. Indeed, after Raymond N.Rogers, I do not consider that any radiation model can account for the preferential location of image on the most superficial threads, as apparent in the micrograph above, far less a a progressive shift towards w1 threads as well in the regions of higher image intensity.

Here’s a model that can be tested without needing access to the  Shroud, merely access to the existing archive of photomicrographs (Mark Evans/STERA etc). But it does require access to the entire archive.

Are there any plans to release those archives soon, to allow researchers like myself to test their ideas?


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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10 Responses to A compression scorch from a hot template ought theoretically to leave a tell-tale signature on linen…

  1. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    Dan (on the other site) wrote: “Colin is not a shroudie. He is a shroudologist. ”

    Actually YOU are neither a shroudiie, nor a shroudologist (as the latter word implies Shroud body image and blood decals LOGIC):

    1/Your “Lirey badge neo-templar theory” is Mickey Mouse Templar archaeology and double entendre cryptology in other words “B******t”!
    2/ Your “leeches used as felt-tipped pens to mock wounds, blood rivulets etc theory” is Mickey Mouse ancient blood pattern analysis, in other words “B******t”!
    3/ “Your” scorch theory (based on the first two Mickey Mouse theories above) is half Mickey Mouse Shroud science in se i(as the body image relly des look like a scorch although not being one) in other words “half B******t” because of you VERY POOR descriptive knowlege of the Turin Sindon (you just could not even tell between the Sindon weft side and wrap side!).

    You are just an academic Mickey Mouse/ignoramus, I’mtelling you. Your PhD in Chemistry in not bullshitproof, Mr CB!

  2. colinsberry says:

    You are the vulnerable one re University degrees, MPH, especially as you claim a professorship, of which I can find no trace from the internet. My PhD on the other hand is easily traceable, which you could have established for yourself if you were the recognized academic you claim to be with a track record of published work in peer-reviewed journals.

    For your information, my 1976 PhD thesis from Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine is available for inspection at University College London..

    I can also supply links to some of my published work if requested.

  3. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    Just ask the French foreign minister and check the Facuty of Arts and College of Education of (former ) University of Riyadh personel register/role (if you have time to waste) as far as my professorship is concerned….Shall I send you copies of the originals ‘attestation’s both in French and Arabic attesting I was officially sent by the French Governent on a cultiural mission in Saudi Arabia as a Professor at the (former) University of Riyadh (now King Faysal University)? The fact is I was then a professor-searcher in French language and Civilization.

    NOW can you REALLY tell me EXACTLY what is your experience/expertise in Templar archaeology and cryptology to back up your “Lirey badge theory/claim”? What is EXACTLY your expertise/experience in (ancient) blood pattern analysis to back up your “leech theory:claim”?
    Methinks, your are a Shroud ignoramus, nothing else. Do you really think nobody on earth can OUTSMART YOU? Are you jealous?

    • colinsberry says:

      You’ll have to do better than that, MPH. University professors can become government employees, whether cultural attachés or not, but I have yet to hear of a Government employee being seconded to a University with an off-the-peg professorship conferred not by the University but by his Govt paymasters. It just doesn’t happen, either in the UK or France.

      But why waste time with you – someone who has failed to provide proof positive of his claims to a professorship, someone who when challenged expects me to contact “the French foreign minister”? What is relevant is that you have retaliated by sneering at my stated qualifications, some kind of tit-for-tat response, providing no evidence of having done any checks. When I then feel obliged to provide a link that confirms my doctorate you then have the confounded cheek to drag in the name of the respected hospital/medical school at which I earned my doctorate. My research and opinions today have nothing whatsoever to do with my alma mater. If you were the academic you claim to be, you would not need me to tell you that.

      I told you a while ago you were no longer welcome on this site. Kindly stay away from this site.
      Colin Berry MSc (University College London), PhD (RFHSM/UCL, University of London).

      • colinsberry says:

        Apologies to visitors for the intrusion from someone who has been told he’s not welcome here. I’ll wait till he’s said what he wants to say, leave it up for a few hours so he can’t claim he’s been denied free speech, then collect all his comments and put them as an addendum into one of his earlier ones, probably the most recent. That way he can’t clutter up the site with his needle-stuck-in-groove modus operandi. Thank goodness WordPress gives site-owners an Edit facility on unwelcome comments or contributors thereof. 😉

    • Max Patrick Hamon says:

      Correction: read King Saud University (instead of King Faisal Unversity) former University of Riyadh (I left Riyadh the year before the new university was built).

      • Max Patrick Hamon says:

        I was asked to stay one more year by Pr. Dr. Ali Jad but left (psychologically too hard to stay one more year. Two years were enough).

      • Max Patrick Hamon says:

        I lived off Shaar’a al-wasir not very far from the chop square…where on Fridays at noon….

  4. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    – As early as 1994, I sent a research paper to the CIELT (Centre International d’Etudes sur le Linceul de Turin) chairman, Daniel Raffard de Brienne in which I ALREADY told him of my Sindon image formation process theory. (I am CIELT member)
    – I am writing a book on Templar archeology (hopefully) to be released in 2014 (my deciphering of Chinon enigmatic enigmatic graffii) etc.

  5. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    Methinks your pseudo-scholarly pseudo-scientific “Medieval neo-Templar-leech-scorch theory” to account for the TS image formation process is a real disgrace for the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.

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