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:
22:15: I should have said “last comment relating to topics of my own choosing” (19:4o), but I still keep an eye on comments appearing elsewhere, and respond to them here if or when the spirit moves me.
Here’s one from TOS that has me totally baffled:
“For me the protease test is reliable.
To the contrary, the test proposed by CB on his blog is meaningless because he does take into account the fact that the blood did seep into the cloth.
Surface tests only can answer to the question: ” Which came first. the image or the blood”.I think we have the answer. Where is the problem ?”
Linen is not a sponge, full of interconnecting cavities. It is bundles of closely packed fibres, each of those mainly secondary cell wall, that comprise threads, and those threads are woven together to create a weave with interstices (basically ‘holes’). So it’s a reasonable guess that when one mops up blood with linen, the blood enters those interstices, and can then reappear on the opposite side. The ‘formed elements’ of blood, notably red cells etc, do not penetrate to any great extent between the fibres within each thread (though I stand to be corrected on that, if someone can show microscopic evidence). Any penetration would be by inconspicuous straw-coloured plasma (or serum in other scenarios involving clotted or semi-clotted blood that need not concern us here).
So it’s not at all clear to me what point is being made by “seep into cloth” if blood stays mainly on the surface of threads. One is still asking what arrived arrived first on the surface of threads – blood or image. The first place to look is at threads that are at or close to the surface of the weave. I suppose one could go probing the interstices, where there is trapped blood, but there would be little or no image in those interstices, so as I say, I am totally at a loss to understand the logic in the above quotation.
“Surface tests only can answer to the question: ” Which came first. the image or the blood”. But that is precisely the question that is being addressed! Am I missing something here?
“Where is the problem ?” We have a problem alright. Someone seems to have completely lost the plot (and not for the first time I might add).
19:40: Last comment today – one that will explain the title.
Read today’s postings, especially the one that quotes Alan Foster on the BSTS site, where he refers to the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge – my preferred description – by a different name. It’s not one I’ve encountered before today, but its resonance with ideas expressed on this blog these last few days was obvious and immediate. The alternative name?
The Amulet of Lirey
The meaning of amulet? This is the first that appeared when googled:
An amulet, similar to a talisman, can be any object but its most important characteristic is its alleged power to protect its owner from danger or harm.
Those following this blog will know that the Lirey badge might be regarded as an amulet – but one that fulfilled a dual protection role.
The obvious one was the protection that pilgrims might hope for on their return journey back from the obscure village of Lirey. You know, robbers, wolves, bad food etc etc.
But it served another more covert protection role in 1357 of thereabouts when newly-widowed Jeanne de Vergy decided to honour her husband’s will, and put a certain
burial shroud sheet of linen on public display bearing a curious double image, but with her husband’s stipulation it should not be in his lifetime(???).
Jeanne had two lines of defence in the event of the local Bishop charging her with peddling a false ‘graven image’. First, she could claim that her husband had kept its origins to himself, taking that secret with him to the grave.
Secondly, she would invite the Bishop to take a closer look at the commemorative badge, modelled on the shroud in her possession. What makes the bishop think that it is an image of Christ on display? Look at the man with the short hair, the absence of an obvious beard. Does that look like an image of Christ, dear Bishop? Look more closely and you will see nothing that says the man was crucified – no wounds, no representations of blood (no, that’s a chain across the waist, not blood). In fact, it is not an image of crucifixion at all, dear Bishop, but of burning at the stake, Correction – slow roasting. Does that ring any bells with you – like fairly recent history – a mere 43 years or so ago -you know, the justice meted out by our dear King to those oh-so-sinister Knights Templar – Jacques de Molay, Geoffroi de Charney (not to be confused with my dear beloved husband, Geoffroi de Charny). Oh, and look at the reverse side of our pilgrim’s badge dear Bishop, and tell me what you see. Clue: it was not for barbecuing chicken drumsticks, sausages or shish kebab… Oh, and in case you were wondering, that image on my husband’s shroud almost certainly is a scorch. My husband did start to explain it to me before that final stroke but never finished his sentence. More wine, Bishop. It’s our best you know…. Now about that splendid appeal of yours – raising money for the poor. Dear Geoffroi insisted on leaving you something in his will…
16:00 Here’s yet another likely spy clue on the Lirey badge/amulet/medallion that hints it was not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill pilgrim’s souvenir. This amulet was designed to protect the owner of the Shroud in its critical first few years (or decades) or public showing, and it did so by a combination of clever ambiguity and playing to people’s perceived needs – to have something tangible to sustain faith in the Christian story relating to the death and subsequent Resurrection of Jesus Christ. But one cannot simply produce a sheet of linen with an interesting image, and straight away claim it is the genuine Shroud. We are talking about a period in French history when it did not pay to attract the wrong kind of attention from Church or State, then working largely in harmony. Think what had happened to the supposedly powerful Templars less than half a century earlier. So let’s take a look at the latest spy clue I’ve discovered, the field being left wide open to us amateur historians, given that the pilgrim’s badge would seem to be a no-go area for reasons that are not difficult to guess it (it being seen as problematical to Shroud-authenticity promoters, as indeed it is, or should be).
Let’s begin with a passage from Alan Foster from January last year in the BSTS Journal, No.75, who reported on a visit to the Cluny Museum (where the Lirey badge is still inexplicably “in storage” (not on display). Focus on what he has to say about the careful attention to detail in the first highlighted passage, then what he has to say about a ‘mistake’ with crossed-over feet.
Let’s see. How many anomalies does that make now? Un-Christ-like figure, chain across waist extending left and right of waist (“blood belt”), another “chain” across the feet that looks remarkably like a flicker of flame, an empty tomb represented by a sarcophagus that might instead be a plinth with a grill, a reverse side showing what looks remarkably like a grill for barbecuing, knees that look like flesh has burned off revealing exposed bone, over-long fingers that also look bony, shoulders, thighs, shins etc that look as if they are encased in knightly armour, and … do I need to continue?
14:47: this comment has just appeared on TOS:
09:45: Oh dear, this has just appeared on TOS, and there I was hoping beyond hope that it was nothing I had said that might have got under His Holiness’s intellectual carapace. Who knows on which laptop screen (or Pope-mobile iPhone) one’s scurrilous views finally appear?
It was announced this morning that Pope Benedict XVI, as one of his last acts as Pontiff, has authorized a television only exhibition of the Shroud of Turin on March 30, 2013 (Holy Saturday) directly from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where the cloth is permanently stored.
One has only to google (pope icon blood) to see how obscure bloggers are able at the stroke of a few keys to insert their iconoclastic ideas into cyberspace. (I write this only half in jest).
Who knows who might have switched to reading blogs when tiring of 140 character soundbites on their Twitter accounts. 😉
And as if losing one’s signet ring to the silver hammer, and one’s bespoke red shoes weren’t enough, now we learn that the poor man is to suffer the ultimate stripping of rank and privilege – to be divested of that Twitter account too..
08:18: Anyone care to guess what this is? (Thank you ImageJ for allowing an oblique view of something normally viewed ‘square on’).
10:17: Hugh Farey thinks it’s a flattened bat, the insect-chasing nocturnal variety (though he describes it in posher language that I couldn’t hope to emulate – see comments).
Let’s raise the viewing angle a bit:
Can you see what it is yet?
Maybe this will help?
Click to ENLARGE
Take a close look at the pattern. What does it show? Is it a purely decorative motif, or does it represent something that may(might) have (had) a utilitarian function, especially if laid flat, instead of mounted vertically. I’ll add my overlay later, and tell folk (again) and hope to elicit some helpful response. (This blogger is always open to alternative interpretations – except from those who use other people’s blogs as hobby horses for their own obsessions).
Here’s a higher definition picture of – guess what?
Yes, it’s the reverse side of what has been called an ‘amulet’ – my preferred description, at least for today, in view of what is to follow re its intended dual protective functions.
Observe the curious interrupted trellis pattern. Here it is with an overlay (no attempt has been made to reproduce the exact pattern of the trellis – merely to convey an impression).
So why that curious pattern? I’m no art historian, but have to say I don’t regard it as has having any particular artistic merit. Why the interruptions in the diamond trellis? Why the thick pole-like objects?
Given everything I’ve said previously about the amulet of Lirey, based then on having only the front view, I have to say that I could not have wished for better confirmation of those ideas from seeing the reverse side – shown on Mario Latendresse’s sindonology.org site (Shroud Scope) which I only noticed a week ago. I had said some 10 months ago that the man on the pilgrim’s badge/amulet was NOT the crucified Jesus, but someone else, probably a Knight Templar, possibly Jacques de Molay, who was being roasted/barbecued at the stake, since that is how the last Grand Master and his companions met their end on a Seine island in Paris in 1314. I even ventured that what had previously been described as an ’empty tomb’ on the badge (more like a box-shaped sarcophagus) was ambiguous, and that a pattern could be construed as a grid – for grilling purposes. Look now on the reverse side, and what do we see? Something that looks suspiciously like a grill, laid horizontally on those 3 poles, leaving space for glowing embers, probably wood charcoal, and even providing walkways for those whose grim job it was to regulate the temperature of those emplacements on which were stood (or possibly knelt) the luckless victims, secured with a chain around the midriff, possibly the feet too. Those chains , shown on the Lirey badge, aka Cluny Medal, are interpreted different by Ian Wilson and others as stylized blood flows from a spear wound in the side. Maybe, maybe not, but I am beginning to think that when you look at the amulet/badge through a fresh set of eyes, taking nothing on trust, discarding a lot of unscientific baggage, then my roasting narrative, linked to events in 1314, is every bit as valid, if not more so, than the idea that is Christ depicted on that memento – a more un-Christ figure being hard to imagine. What’s more, my narrative explains at one fell swoop why the image of the Man on the Shroud looks for all intents and purposes like a heat scorch. That’s because It WAS a heat scorch- intended as a grim metaphor! But why go to the trouble of producing a badge that makes little or no attempt to portray a typically Christ-like image, given the exquisite detail shown elsewhere? I shall be back later, under a new time stamp, to address that crucial issue again (my initial ideas having so far attracted no relevant comments – here or elsewhere- except for the usual sniping from the usual suspects ).