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:
My modus operandi now is to send comments to a Shroudie site that gets lots of visitors (mine does not) and then to post them here, usually after the event. I generally don’t post others’ comments – no disrespect intended – feeling that a link to that forum (Dan Porter’s shroudstory.com site) is sufficient.
What it does mean is that folk attracted by my choice of title may have to wade through a lot of preliminaries before they get to the meat. Again, sorry about that. I’m thinking of prefacing each of these postings with an abstract that summarises what’s new and hopefully interesting, maybe with a link to the key comment(s) for those in a hurry needing a quick snap shot and/or take-away message.
I also assemble these postings in instalments, rather than building up a huge draft ahead of hitting the Publish key. That gives those that are interested an indication that a new posting is under construction, that I have not been run over by a bus, or struck by a thunderbolt from On High.
More comments on the way:
< id=”comment-49741″>True, anoxie, but only up to a point. It was initially proposed as a diffusion model, but that immediately raised doubts re credibility, especially with ammonia or the lighter organic amines diffusing away too fast for there to be any real prospect of sharp imaging (even assuming there was enough reducing sugar present, recalling that degraded starch does not necessarily equate to sugar, depending on many factors). So correct me if I’m wrong, the model has since been refined to incorporate the idea of laminar flow, as distinct from random diffusion in all directions, and one needs laminar flow to get enough mass transfer anyway, aided perhaps by elevated temperature (though it’s hard to see how the temperature in a rock tomb, even with post-mortem changes, can ever be high enough to kick- start a Maillard reaction with a very steep temperature response curve (probably a reflection of unfavourable thermodynamics as well as kinetics).But there’s a more fundamental objection one can make to the diffusion model, whether aided or unaided by convection currents – it starts by assuming the very thing that is supposed to be under critical scrutiny, i.e. that there was a 1st century starch-coated cloth in contact with a real dead (and rapidly) decomposing body. Sorry – that’s not my idea of dispassionate science. It’s agenda-driven, which doesn’t necessarily make it wrong – just suspect, and thus deserving of the closest critical scrutiny – it being the reputation of science and scientists that is on the line, thanks to our sensation-seeking media, ready to emblazon the latest discoveries (including crackpot ideas) before they have been properly assessed and/or vetted by the scientific community.*************************************************************colinsberry
November 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm | #3
Do we need to discuss VP8? Are there grounds for thinking that it is any more valid as a 3D-enhancement tool than the free-downloadable ImageJ? What is the meaning of valid anyway, given that the best 3D-enhancements are still 2D, viewed on a page or screen, no matter which criteria are applied. The best 3D is simply 2D that deceives the eye, so there must inevitably be subjective factors at play in discussing the merits of one method against another, even if deploying additional tools like layered colour to compare “3D-ness” as in the paper you cite (which incidentally I found almost unintelligible in parts, despite being able to call on my wife’s language skills – and she too said she could extract little meaning from the final conclusions).
If we are to restrict ourselves to objective scientific as distinct from subjective aesthetic ones, then what we need is an agreed standard for assessing the 3D-ness of a 2D image. That could take the form, as I suggested earlier (and have previously experimented with) of starting with an agreed 3D object, converting to 2D images by different means, and then seeing which software programs do the best job of re-creating the “look” of the original. What we cannot do is take the Shroud image as our standard, since we don’t know how well it resembled the subject whose image was imprinted,
November 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm | #8
Reply | Quote
“We’re talking about a micron-thick image on a piece of linen created before photography exists — yet it has the exact same qualities of a modern pic-of-a-oic. Wow.”
But one gives an image on a light-sensitive silver-salt emulsion, relatively sophisticated 19th century technology, but needing a lens to produce a sharp inverted image, while the other needs only linen as a thermosensitive layer of fragile carbohydrate, susceptible to scorching, with no need for a converging lens. In other words, branding, as applied to cattle rumps. Wow 😉
November 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm | #10
I could do that David, once I’ve searched my own cobweb-festooned archive. Better still – do it for yourself. Get a piece of metal or brass that has some rounded contours to it – even a coin would do- or better still a medal or medallion (I used to know the difference). Heat it on a cooker ring until it scorches a test scrap of fabric. Then press against cloth, preferably linen or cotton to get a scorch. Take a photograph on your digital camera or phone. Then download ImageJ onto your laptop. I’ll tell you which keys to press, but it’s basically about entering into its 3D enhancement program.
See it with your own eyes. Thermal imprints from 3D or flattened semi-3D (bas relief) templates, aka cattle brands, respond magnificently to 3D programs – but so they should, since scorch intensity is in proportion to 3D relief. If it’s raised, it leaves a good imprint. If it’s lower down in the relief, less raised, it does not.
Yes, I could give links to my own postings, but it’s better that folks find these things out for themselves.Then they realize it’s not trickery – just a reading of image density as height above a base plane.
- November 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm | #11Reply | QuoteSpatial information does not depend on the image but on the mechanism.Light is not attenuated by distance (unless you consider an experiment like Jackson ´s), the contrast depends on the lightning.Pictures from ok except (maybe) the shroud, have no spatial information.
- anoxieNovember 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm | #13Reply | QuoteThis is an important point.There is no easy spatial information in a photograph because contrast of an image point depends on the amount of reflected light, from a point of the object, reaching the lens. This amount of reflected light mainly depends on the lightning, the properties of the object but not on the spatial configuration.
- Concerning the shroud VP 8 image is related to spatial information only if you think of an underlying mechanism linking closely distance and contrast.
Images have no memory as to their origins. Suspecting an image to have medieval or earlier origins confers no special characteristics to that image. So find the special characteristics first, and if you cannot explain them by knowledge gained from modern images, then and only then seek special features shown only in earlier images.
It’s important to get the order right – start with the hypothesis that the properties are understandable in terms of known science. Don’t start with the hypothesis that the properties are unknown to modern science. That is not a hypothesis, It is an a priori untested, unsupported supposition.
Science exists, indeed thrives on, the testing of a priori untested, unsupported suppositions. It’s the way it operates. Sounds negative, I know, and apologies for that, but no one has yet come up with a more effectivemodus operandi