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:
One does not have to be acquainted with “Shroudology” for very long to pick up the received ‘doctrines’ (I hesitate to call it received wisdom). Prominent among those doctrines is the mantra that the Shroud image can’t possibly be a thermal imprint (“scorch”) from a hot template. Why not? Because the 1532 burn holes with their scorched margins fluoresce under uv light – a red colour we are told – whereas the Shroud image is ‘non-fluorescent’. What’s more, the entire fabric of the Shroud shows a weak fluorescence that is quenched in the regions where there is body image. Ipso facto, the Shroud’s body image cannot be a thermal imprint. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
Some of you may be familiar with physics-trained Hugh Farey, who has been doing experiments recently with scorching of linen, and use of an ultraviolet lamp to check changes in fluorescence that may or may not accompany scorching from hot metal.
Yesterday he kindly sent me photographs of some of his current experiments. In the next day or two I will display his photographs here, together with his accompanying comments. Any thoughts of my own regarding Hugh’s findings will appear as comments, provoked or unprovoked by others’ observations and conclusions.
From Hugh: “I’m sorry if the experiments look as if they were done on a bit of old floorcloth! The stripy patterns, particularly on the visible light photographs, are due to moire interference which is sometimes inevitable when compressing a photo for the web. The cloth is actually an ordinary 1/1 weave. Perhaps I should also say that all the photos were taken without flash, but the UV ones were exposure-enhanced to the maximum allowed in iPhoto.”
Second instalment: Thur 20 Dec
Sorry, Hugh – your picture transforms to ripples when I upload and insert. Don’t ask me why.
This was me playing around, Hugh, to show that an image was there, even at 130 degrees C, which could be made visible with extra contrast(see faint yellow- brown) But there’s the same ripple effect. Is it due to having sent a portfolio via email (image compression ?). Maybe try sending one of them single retaining as many of the original’s pixels?
Now that’s what I call a (bas relief) template. French physicians please note!
I’m sorry if the experiments look as if they were done on a bit of old floorcloth! The stripy patterns, particularly on the visible light photographs, are due to moire interference which is sometimes inevitable when compressing a photo for the web. The cloth is actually an ordinary 1/1 weave. Perhaps I should also say that all the photos were taken without flash, but the UV ones were exposure-enhanced to the maximum allowed in iPhoto.
The pictures look perfectly OK to me, Hugh. No one expects ‘hot from the presses’ research to look like polished works of art. Be that as it may, I have added your comment to the tail end of the posting.
In just over a week, it will be the anniversary of my first posting on the Shroud, Hugh. I’m preparing a post to mark the occasion, which will list my various epiphany moments, if that is not too grand a term.
What would you say have been your own epiphany moments since starting your experiments? I’d be interested to know, as no doubt will others, how your views on the ‘fluorescence question’ (especially) and other key issues and points of contention have been influenced by your recent ‘hands on’ approach.
Well, I started experimenting in about 1978, so there have been a few, but I think the single thing that started me off again after a long pause – and made me use the shroud as an inspiration for children – was Guerreschi’s and Salcito’s discovery that the water stains didn’t match the burn holes; so obvious that a child could have noticed, and yet unobserved for so long even on the ‘most studied artifact in history’ as it’s sometimes called. It just made me want to question everything, and try to notice something of my own that nobody else has spotted!
Latest news – I soaked a piece of linen in soapy starch and hung it to dry on a bush, then dropped it over a bas relief over which I’d poured a weak ammonia solution, roughly a la Rogers. For a start the contact places just absorbed the liquid into big round splodges (I think Roger’s only used vapour), and for a second there was absolutely no change in colour when the cloth dried out. But here’s the killer, on warming the cloth gently afterwards, it did go slightly brown – AND FLUORESCED JUST LIKE A SCORCH! Ho ho ho, how I laughed…
I tried emailing Thibault with the address you gave me but I don’t think it can have worked, so if you’re reading this Thibault, mine is hughfarey (at) hotmail (dot) com.
And finally. Quite by accident I labelled a piece of linen with a different pen today, and guess what – pink fluorescence all round the edges! On the off chance that maybe the pink on the shroud was actually formed by an organic solvent rather than heat, I tried a few I had in the lab, with no success, and even set fire to a piece of pine and then smothered it with cloth, hoping the resin might make it fluoresce pink. No joy yet, but I’ve a few things still to try. Maybe the nuns tried gluing the scorched fabric together before they patched it?
There’s a wealth of fascinating comment there, Hugh, and much food for thought. I’m especially intrigued by your ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking as regards the pink fluorescence of the 1532 burn marks, and the possibility that it might be due to something other than the scorching per se, like an attempted repair.
Are you familiar with the peculiar literature on the Belgian Lier copy of the Shroud as regards the “poker holes”? There is some ambiguity there re what was perceived by the copyist, i.e. burn holes or blood stains? Were the burns an attempt to obliterate some unwanted blood stains? Might the same be true of the 1532 burn holes?
Here’s one I did earlier with a link to the Belgian paper.
Heat-degraded blood -> porphyrin – > pink fluorescence?
PS I have checked and rechecked my email inbox and outbox. The address I gave you was exactly as given to me, so there must be a bug somewhere.
Gosh. I find The Van Haelst article extraordinarily difficult to read. However, this quote is interesting: “The burn marks of 1532, caused by a CLOSED fire, with a lack of oxygen, [which we now dispute – HF] reflect a dark REDDISH colour.” I wonder if this is in turn from Pellicori’s paper, or was he at the 1978 investigation? I ask because a dark reddish colour is in fact what you see if a cloth does not fluoresce at all, and is caused by the dark red visible light that is inevitably part of an ultra-violet lightbulb, however well shielded. Maybe the whole pink fluorescence thing is a myth?
“Maybe the whole pink fluorescence thing is a myth”.
May I quote you on that? (After all, what’s one more myth among so many?)
Here’s the beginnings of another quotable quote, one which I made up just 30 seconds ago: “Shroudology – enshrouded in myth… ” OK, so it needs a bit more adding to it. Give me time, give me time…
Well, it may be all explained in Pellicori and Miller 1981. Thibault, where art thou at this time?
I am back. Sorry, I had too much work to look at my emails.
I now have seen yours.
I’ll send you the paper right now.
I see that Dan Porter has highlighted this post of ‘yours’ on shroudstory.com, Hugh, and a Good Thing too. However, I’ll be travelling for the next few days with only occasional internet access, so won’t be around to read comments, far less to respond to them promptly. Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you, Colin
Thanks Adrie. Belated Season’s Greetings and a Happy (and Insightful) New Year both to you and to my handful of regulars.
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