Was the Shroud image imprinted from a medieval life-size version of a crucifix?

Here’s a photograph from my kitchen laboratory, just a day ago,  added to the end of the last posting:

crucifix and scorch on linen

Through responding to questions on Dan Porter’s site, some ideas expressed long ago about the possible provenance of the Shroud image from a life-size crucifixion bronze effigy or similar have re-surfaced.   See comments under this Feb 25 2012 posting.

First,  here are the two comments that jogged the memory:

November 19, 2013 at 10:25 am | #34

Hello Matthias

I hesitate to mention it, but there’s that iconic late 12th century Codex that we are forever hearing about on this site as evidence that the Shroud was around pre-14th century.

http://greatshroudofturinfaq.com/History/Greek-Byzantine/Pray-Codex/pray3.html

It shows the crucified Jesus laid out naked, with hands crossed to protect modesty. So if that was permitted in 2D art, then why not 3D as well? Admittedly there are fewer uses for a horizontal statue in that mode and specific biblical setting, than the classic nailed on cross posture, but it’s not impossible. Indeed, if it had outraged sensibilities, might someone not have hit on the idea for using it as a template for a back-to-2D thermal imprint?

November 20, 2013 at 7:03 am | #35

PS: How many folks here are aware of the presence of the so-called sedillis marks on each of the buttocks (symmetrical sets of 3 marks each forming a triangle)?

http://www.sindonology.org/papers/bloodMarksButts.shtml

Mario Latendresse interprets them as an additional torture device of Roman crucifixion, and Yannick Clement, mentioned at the end of the above link, thinks they may be burns marks, not blood.

I think they are where mounting bolts (sawn off to flush stubs) or maybe open bolt holes for a life-size crucifix existed and which imaged onto the dorsal view as a scorch. They were subsequently disguised as blood marks.

I’m presently revisiting some older ideas I expressed many moons ago that the Shroud was made from a crucifixion bronze from which the arms were removed and re-positioned. There was probably a loin cloth to be disposed of too, but that could help resolve some oddities re the figure on the Lirey badge, especially that curious coiled belt, which Wilson interpreted as blood from the lance wound, gathered on the underside of the back, and which I previously thought could be a chain used to secure a victim.

November 19, 2013 at 10:25 am | #34

Hello Matthias

Good day Matthias. Here’s one for you to (shortly) sleep on there in Oz.

I’m now returning to the idea that the image was imprinted from a life-size crucifixion bronze, and yes, it would have had a loin cloth, but the artistically-rumpled up parts that identify it immediately as a tied-off cloth could easily have been filed off. What’s interesting me at the moment, especially thinking about the Shroud’s peculiar hands and fingers is the possibility that arms may have been sawn off and re-positioned to create the horizontal entombment posture with crossed hands.  My little brass crucifix, bought a year ago in France, is providing lots of clues as to what needed to be done to re-model a crucifixion statue as a post-crucifixion template for the tomb scene.

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:18 am | #41

    I’ll give some thought to that, Matthias, and no doubt ‘anonymous; will be along soon to remind us of the evidence of the blood that excludes all possibilities bar authenticity.

    As a boring old science bod, I deal in boring old hypotheses that are testable, at least in principle (and practice too if Pope Francis were to permit a second week of investigation)

    I say those sedillis of Mario Latendresse (see earlier) arrived first, as unwanted details of body image off a template, i.e. bolt fixture markings, and were subsequently disguised as blood.

    OK, so here’s the prediction: if one gets 5 grades of sticky tape with increasing stickiness, and applies each in turn to the same sedillis mark, the blood will come off first; revealing the scorch image underneath. (In fact, I would make the same prediction for all the blood stains on the Shroud, but that can wait).

    Midriff region - dorsal side scorch image

    Observe an image of the circumference of the bolt hole on the dorsal side of my brass crucifix ( a centimetre of so from the centre of the top edge).  It is this image – a circle with an empty centre –  that would be seen after stripping off disguising blood. If instead of a bolt hole,  it had been the stub of a sawn-off  bolt, then the image seen would be a circle with a filled-in centre.

    Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm | #37

    Quote: “They were subsequently disguised as blood marks.”

    Even if I completely disagree with your hypothesis concerning these marks, I want to say that they are not at all “disguised” as blood marks. They are scorches in fact. Look at the Shroud scope, around the area where those marks are and you’ll see other scorches looking pretty much the same color and intensity. Look at this area for example and compare the color and intensity of these obvious scorches with the marks Latendresse interpreted as blood: http://www.dshroud.com/shroudScope/shroudScope.shtml?zl=11&image=4&lon=17358&lat=1948

    Remember that these marks that were described as blood by Latendresse where described as “probable scorches” by Miller and Pellicori in their analysis of the UV fluorescence photos of the Shroud…

    Here's the photo of those markings from the latendresse/Schwortz archive, to which I have given macimum contrast. Now thern are they really water or serum rings around the blood, and what about the different colour intensities in the centres?  maybe we need to hold fire before making hard and fast statements as to what those rings represent.

    Here’s the photo of those markings from the Latendresse/Schwortz archive, to which I have given maximum contrast. Now then, are they really water or serum rings around the blood, and what about the different colour intensities in the centres? Maybe we need to hold fire before making hard and fast statements as to what those rings represent.

November 20, 2013 at 8:48 am | #42

I now find that the topic of Mario’s sedillis* was covered by Dan on Jan 29, 2012, provoking a lively debate as to whether the marks were scorches or blood.

http://shroudstory.com/2012/01/29/quote-for-today-by-mario-latendresse/

I say they were both, acquired in that order.

* Am not sure that the italics are necessary, but I’m using them for now since it’s not a word in common usage in English, and refers in this context to a little known feature of certain crucifixion practice (not mentioned in the biblical account needless to say). I’m also assuming, rightly or wrongly, that the same word serves for both singular and plural (sorry, my Latin’s a bit rusty).

November 20, 2013 at 11:21 am | #44

You make some interesting points. As regards manpower and secrecy, the Shroud is believed is said by authenticists to have been in the protection of the Templars prior to its first display in the mid 1350s. They were, as we know, a highly secretive order so would have had little difficulty in keeping their possession of the relic known only to themselves. By the same token they surely had the ability to fabricate it too, and keep that a secret (and money and manpower would have been no problem, at least prior to their liquidation by Philip the (Un) Fair). So Templar involvement could be said to cut both ways where the debate between authenticity and medieval fabrication is concerned.

As for the nuts and bolts, I frankly don’t know enough about medieval bronzes to know if they were solid or hollow, but am inclined to think they were the first. That would make them an enormous weight. My own brass crucifix from the French street market is less than 15 cm from head to foot, but weighs a whopping 300grams!

If I place it against a wall, the only points of contact are the hands and, guess what – the buttocks? If one tried to secure by the feet there would be an unsightly gap, and the bolts would have to be angled if doubling as crucifixion nails. Frankly I doubt whether 4 3 or 4 crucifixion nails, through hands and feet, could have safely doubled as securing bolts to a wall, even indoors. My crucifix has a long threaded bolt into the middle of the back, but a better, neater solution for a full size effigy would surely be the buttocks, especially as they are flush against the wall, making for an invisible attachment if viewed from the side.

I’m fairly certain that the torso at least would have been modelled on a statue rather than bas relief (and have always considered the head to have a bas-relief mask-like  appearance what with that token vertical hair, the sharp cut-off at both sides of face, being unconvinced by the bleaching/banding arguments). It’s the feet that are the give-away. No bas relief would have made the feet so problematical from an imprinting point of view. There is scarcely any imprinting of frontal feet, at least none recognizable as feet with toes, and it’s not difficult to see why if imprinting from a statue with the feet almost at right angles to the legs and torso.

Enough for now. I’ll give some thought to your other points.

******************************

  1. Hugh Farey
    November 18, 2013 at 5:24 am | #1

    Thanks very much, Dan, Thibault, and Barrie!

  2. Charles Freeman
    November 18, 2013 at 5:58 am | #2

    Great one to start with as it shows, what Gilbert Raes spotted, that the threads of the Shroud vary considerably in thickness. That should give the weaving experts something to talk about because it says something about the quality of the cloth compared to others where there has been a deliberate attempt to achieve consistency. One for the textile experts to enlighten us on.

  3. November 18, 2013 at 10:36 am | #5

    What these long-awaited close-up pictures show is the subtlety of the Shroud image fibres, inasmuch as they are a faint yellow, mainly on the most superficial parts of the weave, but with some encroachment into the interstices via the oblique “diving down” threads.

    I had previously thought this subtlety was difficult to explain in a simple contact scorch scenario, i.e. by pressing a hot metal template vertically into linen that is spread over a layer of sand or similar. I now realize that was the wrong model, because it did not permit close-enough imprinting, if relying purely on contact between substrate and linen under applied pressure (too much “tenting”). Something more “tactile ” was needed, and if using a hot metal template, a means of detecting heat (and minimizing over-scorching) by finger-tips alone.

    I now believe I know how it was done, to produce a very faint image, with pale yellow fibres, as per these welcome pictures, mainly but not exclusively on the more superficial crowns.

    Basically what it required was a reversal of the geometry I had been using previously, now laying a hot metal template down onto a hard surface. placing COTTON fabric on top initially, then covering with a double layer of damp cloth, and pressing/moulding around the contours of the template with one’s finger tips. As soon as there is excessive heat detected, one has two options. One is to fold the damp cloth to get a double thickness, and go on moulding to take more heat out of the template until satisfied it will not excessively scorch more expensive linen (though fortunately linen is actually harder to scorch than cotton). When the hot template has passed the finger tip test one takes away the cotton, replaces with linen and repeats the procedure, moulding fabric to contours with finger tips, monitoring temperature. One can lift a corner if need be to check on progress.

    Finally, one draws back the linen, and if the result is like the ones I obtained this morning ones sees a VERY FAINT image of one’s template with no reverse side penetration or scorching. It’s in fact difficult to see the image except at a distance (ring any bells?) and under a x10 hand lens there is no obvious localisation of discoloration to the crown threads as might be expected from scorching off an over-hot template. There are subtleties, which I shan’t try to explain now, but ones that might well impact on 3D imaging, giving an odd quality.

    The take- away message is this: don’t get too hung up on the science (and I’m as guilty of that as anyone). Think technology – of doing things in slightly different ways to achieve slightly different more subtle end-results, while all the time imagining oneself to be a medieval artisan or similar..

    I’ll try and put together a posting in the next day or two of the new results. Warning: one or two oft-cited mantras might be hurt in the making of that post..

      • November 18, 2013 at 10:58 am | #7

        But there was great artistic genius in medieval times, John – like magnificent cathedrals with highly detailed and life-like interior and exterior representations of people, the crucified Jesus included..

        There would have been life-size statues in bronze and similar that could have been used to get imprints via “tactile” moulding of linen to contours (and I can show you permanent semi-3D replicas one can obtain by that method, given the way that fabric responds to heating and stretching and contour memory-imprinting to form a kind of shell-like mask.

        As for the face, I consider (following Luigi Garlaschelli) that a separate more shallow bas relief was used. But we “pseudo-skeptics” do not imagine for a moment that anything we say will make the slightest impression on minds that are already made up… ;-).

  4. November 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm | #13

    Colin, if you are successful in reproducing a copy of the Shroud using your method that would indeed be a groundbreaking achievement — again it would not disprove or prove authenticity but merely establish that a medieval artisan could have made the image with the available technology. But that technology is actually so simple that could we not then say that it could have been made by someone from the 10th century, 5 century, 1st century, or even prior to that?

    Why stop at the medieval era for our mystery artisan?

  5. November 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm | #19

    Hello again David

    No matter ‘how well things go’, I could never claim to have been “successful in reproducing a copy of the Shroud”. The best I could hope to do was produce a reasonable facsimile, one that satisfied me and a fellow I talk to down at the pub..

    Groundbreaking achievement? Again, I hardly think so, since there would always be those who would say that one or other characteristic had still not been reproduced.

    If I could just stop my regular newspaper (the Daily Telegraph) printing headlines that say “Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ’s authentic burial robe”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8966422/Italian-study-claims-Turin-Shroud-is-Christs-authentic-burial-robe.html

    or the Independent’s: “Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-say-turin-shroud-is-supernatural-6279512.html

    then I’d be content.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’m fussy about claims made in the name of science, especially those that involve any kind of magic. Science is complicated enough as it is, especially quantum mechanics or the mechanisms of abiogenesis and evolutionary change, or memory imprinting in the brain,or Big Bangs and singularities, parallel universes etc without having to acquiesce to officially-prescribed magic (wishful thinking or a means of mind-control as often as not).

    I have no problem with the Christian narrative, and a great deal of respect for the Christian ethic. Being outsmarted by a 14th century blacksmith (or 13th, 12th, 11th etc ) is something else. If he’s looking down on us now, he must be laughing his socks off (or long johns, knitted hose whatever)….

    • November 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm | #20

      Keep up the good fight, sir. We can all do with a bit more reason and lot less superstition.

      BTW, our long-gone artisan will be in good company perhaps with those pirates that built the Oak Island treasure pit.

  6. November 19, 2013 at 3:26 am | #29

    One wonders how many folk seeing a collection of image threads and fibres for the first time – say Fig.4.2 dense image (foot) – would have immediately declared: “Oh, how peculiar, there are just two kinds of fibre – with and without colour – and those with colour all have the same intensity of colour.”

    Am I the only one here to think that if you took a random sample of 100 people off the street, showed them that photo, and asked what they thought was unusual about the fibres,
    the number saying there was a strict either/or classification at the fibre level would be essentially zero?

    In fact, even when knowing what one is supposed to be looking for – the so-called “half tone” effect – it would be well nigh impossible to arrive at that conclusion without teasing out threads to show fibres separate from each other, and even then one would have to be on one’s guard against refraction artefacts that make light microscopy of individual linen fibres fraught with hazard, says he having prematurely cried “eureka” not so long ago re linen nodes. Let’s not dwell on that 😦 What price the alleged “half-tone” effect?

  7. November 19, 2013 at 4:12 am | #30

    Anonymous :
    I’ll say it again and again and again: The Shroud must be consider in his totality, which include all the blood and serum stains… Unfortunately, all those that I know who pretend over the years to have been able to reproduce the Shroud or to have come close to succeed have all neglected to try to replicate also the blood and serum stains in a way that they could fool the medical and forensic experts. And sorry for all those who still think the Shroud can be the work of a forger, but I think we’ll all be happy in Paradise when someone will succeed to replicate all the different blood and serum stains that are visible on the Shroud with a high level of credibility… This is normal because to do so, you need a scourged and crucified corpse with a majority of bloodstains on it that have been able to clot. Hard to find, don’t you think?

    See my previous comment re the futility of trying to debate with someone who yo-yos between naturalistic and miraculous narratives (image and bloodstains respectively) and more generally between objective/subjective analysis (Mode 1/Mode2).

  8. Matthias
    November 19, 2013 at 10:04 am | #31

    Colin, I’m not sure if I buy the idea that the shroud may have been created from an existing statue….let me start with one major problem:we would expect to see the modesty protecting cloth on the shroud image, which is nearly universally depicted in paintings and as far as I am aware universallly depicted in statues

    • November 19, 2013 at 10:25 am | #34

      Hello Matthias

      I hesitate to mention it, but there’s that iconic late 12th century Codex that we are forever hearing about on this site as evidence that the Shroud was around pre-14th century.

      http://greatshroudofturinfaq.com/History/Greek-Byzantine/Pray-Codex/pray3.html

      It shows the crucified Jesus laid out naked, with hands crossed to protect modesty. So if that was permitted in 2D art, then why not 3D as well? Admittedly there are fewer uses for a horiizontal statue in that mode and specific biblical setting, than the classic nailed on cross posture, but it’s not impossible. Indeed, if it had outraged sensibilities, might someone not have hit on the idea for using it as a template for a back-to-2D thermal imprint?

      • November 20, 2013 at 7:03 am | #35

        PS: How many folks here are aware of the presence of the so-called sedillis marks on each of the buttocks (symmetrical sets of 3 marks each forming a triangle)?

        http://www.sindonology.org/papers/bloodMarksButts.shtml

        Mario Latendresse interprets them as an additional torture device of Roman crucifixion, and Yannick Clement, mentioned at the end of the above link, thinks they may be burns marks, not blood.

        I think they are where mounting bolts(sawn off to flush stubs) or maybe open bolt holes for a lifesize crucifix existed and which imaged onto the dorsal view as a scorch. They were subsequently disguised as blood marks.

        I’m presently revisiting some older ideas I expressed many moons ago that the Shroud was made from a crucifixion bronze from which the arms were removed and re-positioned. There was probably a loin cloth to be disposed of too, but that could help resolve some oddities re the figure on the Lirey badge, especially that curious coiled belt, which Wilson interpreted as blood from the lance wound, gathered on the underside of the back, and which I previously thought could be a chain used to secure a victim.

      • Matthias
        November 20, 2013 at 7:40 am | #36

        But the pray codex was not an object for public display. the image is buried in a clerical text, so its a different context

      • Anonymous
        November 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm | #37

        Quote: “They were subsequently disguised as blood marks.”

        Even if I completely disagree with your hypothesis concerning these marks, I want to say that they are not at all “disguised” as blood marks. They are scorches in fact. Look at the Shroud scope, around the area where those marks are and you’ll see other scorches looking pretty much the same color and intensity. Look at this area for example and compare the color and intensity of these obvious scorches with the marks Latendresse interpreted as blood: http://www.dshroud.com/shroudScope/shroudScope.shtml?zl=11&image=4&lon=17358&lat=1948

        Remember that these marks that were described as blood by Latendresse where described as “probable scorches” by Miller and Pellicori in their analysis of the UV fluorescence photos of the Shroud…

  9. November 20, 2013 at 8:05 am | #40

    Matthias :
    well in a recent trip to Spain I probably saw more than 50 statues of Christ from the 1300s – 1500s, and every one had a loin cloth. And in pouring through numerous texts on Christian art history I’ve never seen a statue without loin cloth.
    Yes, I’ve seen a few (a lot? that is an exaggeration) baptism pictures of a naked Christ, partly disguised as you say, but that is beside the point.
    I reiterate my point that the lack of loin cloth on the Shroud image suggest that it is unlikely that the image was created from an existing statue. Maybe a remote chance it was created from a custom made one.

    Good day Matthias. Here’s one for you to (shortly) sleep on there in Oz.

    I’m now returning to the idea that the image was imprinted from a life-size crucifixion bronze, and yes, it would have had a loin cloth, but the artistically-rumpled up parts that identify it immediately as a tied-off cloth could easily have been filed off. What;s interesting me at the moment, especially thinking about the Shroud’s peculiar hands and fingers is the possibility that arms may have been sawn off and re-positioned to create the horizontal entombment posture with crossed hands, My little brass crucifix, bought a year ago in France, is providing lots of clues as to what needed to be done to re-model a crucifixion statue as a post-crucifixion template for the tomb scene.

  10. Matthias
    November 20, 2013 at 8:09 am | #41

    Colin
    I still have a number of “problems” with the non-authentic arguments…here’s one top of mind – the blood stains on the feet, particularly the right foot with the stain appearing to trickle or smudge well off to the side of the foot: makes little sense to me as a non-authentic man made creation
    Thoughts?
    PS can’t wait for the Ashes

    • November 20, 2013 at 8:18 am | #42

      I’ll give some thought to that, Matthias, and no doubt ‘anonymous; will be along soon to remind us of the evidence of the blood that excludes all possibilities bar authenticity.

      As a boring old science bod, I deal in boring old hypotheses that are testable, at least in principle (and practice too if Pope Francis were to permit a second week of investigation)

      I say those sedillis of Mario Latendresse (see earlier) arrived first, as unwanted details of body image off a template, i.e. bolt fixture markings, and were subsequently disguised as blood.

      OK, so here’s the prediction: if one gets 5 grades of sticky tape with increasing stickiness, and applies each in turn to the same sedillismark, the blood will come off first; revealing the scorch image underneath. (In fact, I would make the same prediction for all the blood stains on the Shroud, but that can wait).

  11. November 20, 2013 at 8:48 am | #43

    I now find that the topic of Mario’s sedillis* was covered by Dan on Jan 29, 2012, provoking a lively debate as to whether the marks were scorches or blood.

    http://shroudstory.com/2012/01/29/quote-for-today-by-mario-latendresse/

    I say they were both, acquired in that order.

    * Am not sure that the italics are necessary, but I’m using them for now since it’s not a word in common usage in English, and refers in this context to a little known feature of certain crucifixion practice (not mentioned in the biblical account needless to say). I’m also assuming, rightly or wrongly, that the same word serves for both singular and plural (sorry, my Latin’s a bit rusty).

  12. November 20, 2013 at 9:56 am | #44

    colinsberry :
    PS: How many folks here are aware of the presence of the so-called sedillis marks on each of the buttocks (symmetrical sets of 3 marks each forming a triangle)?
    http://www.sindonology.org/papers/bloodMarksButts.shtml
    Mario Latendresse interprets them as an additional torture device of Roman crucifixion, and Yannick Clement, mentioned at the end of the above link, thinks they may be burns marks, not blood.
    I think they are where mounting bolts(sawn off to flush stubs) or maybe open bolt holes for a lifesize crucifix existed and which imaged onto the dorsal view as a scorch. They were subsequently disguised as blood marks.
    I’m presently revisiting some older ideas I expressed many moons ago that the Shroud was made from a crucifixion bronze from which the arms were removed and re-positioned. There was probably a loin cloth to be disposed of too, but that could help resolve some oddities re the figure on the Lirey badge, especially that curious coiled belt, which Wilson interpreted as blood from the lance wound, gathered on the underside of the back, and which I previously thought could be a chain used to secure a victim.

    You’re off on another interesting angle. I have to say the sedellis theory does make sense as Mario posits. It was a known addition to crucifixion crosses. So it’s a logical presumption. Your full size reconfigured statue theory has some challenges.

    I’m not sure most of the crosses I’ve seen have the buttocks secured/bolted on the cross, it’s usually the hands and feet – just like the real victim experienced. Also this is becoming a bit of a major medieval team-project. You need the scorch expert, the benefactor, some men to help with carrying the heavy statue, the blacksmith — and not any horse-shoe banger — this would need to be someone so expert with working metal that he could remove the arms and reattach them without leaving so much as a seam on the image. He would have needed a team of workers because while a small crucifix heats easily and even enough on a stove, how do you get that even heating with a large corpus that would have had to have been heated in a foundry? Where did they get the statue? For your theory they are using an existing one — while certainly not uncommon to find, most statues remained in churches.

    I’ll help you out here. Maybe the crucifix survived a fire in its host church. It was taken to a foundry (for repair or storage) covered with a sheet. The soot on the cross left an imprint on the sheet, which someone discovered. This gave them the inspiration (heat + linen equals image) to create the fake relic, and since this cross was out of commission anyway it made for the perfect model to use – since no one would be missing it. Any major church fires in that time period and locale?

    However, with any conspiracy (and this would have been a conspiracy if one was trying to make a fake relic) the more people involved the more chance the secret is blown. One artisan, working alone, might have taken the secret process to his grave — but a whole team? No one tried to use the same technique to create other relics? No pilgrims noticed that the Shroud image reminded them of a cross that once adorned that burnt church in the next town?

    Why switch to this new theory when the one you had before (powdered body with bas relief head) was less cumbersome?

    It’s a great thought experiment.

    • November 20, 2013 at 11:21 am | #45

      You make some interesting points. As regards manpower and secrecy, the Shroud is believed is said by authenticists to have been in the protection of the Templars prior to its first display in the mid 1350s. They were, as we know, a highly secretive order so would have had little difficulty in keeping their possession of the relic known only to themselves. By the same token they surely had the ability to fabricate it too, and keep that a secret (and money and manpower would have been no problem, at least prior to their liquidation by Philip the (Un) Fair). So Templar involvement could be said to cut both ways where the debate between authenticity and medieval fabrication is concerned.

      As for the nuts and bolts, I frankly don’t know enough about medieval bronzes to know if they were solid or hollow, but am inclined to think they were the first. That would make them an enormous weight. My own brass crucifix from the French street market is less than 15 cm from head to foot, but weighs a whopping 300grams!

      If I place it against a wall, the only points of contact are the hands and, guess what – the buttocks? If one tried to secure by the feet there would be an unsightly gap, and the bolts would have to be angled if doubling as crucifixion nails. Frankly I doubt whether 4 crucifixion nails, through hands and feet, could have safely doubled as securing bolts to a wall, even indoors. My crucifix has a long threaded bolt into the middle of the back, but a better, neater solution for a full size effigy would surely be the buttocks, especially as they are flush against the wall, making for an invisible attachment if viewed from the side.

      I’m fairly certain that the torso at least would have been modelled on a statue rather than bas relief (and have always considered the head to have a bas-relief mask-like appearance what with that token vertical hair, the sharp cut-off at both sides of face, being unconvinced by the bleaching/banding arguments). It’s the feet that are the give-away. No bas relief would have made the feet so problematical from an imprinting point of view. There is scarcely any imprinting of frontal feet, at least none recognizable as feet with toes, and it’s not difficult to see why if imprinting from a statue with the feet almost at right angles to the legs and torso.

      Enough for now. I’ll give some thought to your other points.

      • Thibault HEIMBURGER
        November 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm | #46

        I am disappointed.
        I provided the pictures and what ?
        So many “comments” without any kind of connection to the subject !

        There are so many questions without answer. More later, if necessary.
        And I don’t see any kind of interesting discussion.
        Please look at the pdf and give me/us your comments and most importantly your ideas/questions..

        Colin wrote: “I now believe I know how it was done, to produce a very faint image, with pale yellow fibres, as per these welcome pictures, mainly but not exclusively on the more superficial crowns.”
        This is a testable claim.

        Colin, I have seen you experiment on your blog.
        Interesting.
        You asked me to provide high resolution microphotos.
        Now, you have them.
        I would like to see your high resolution microphotos to compare them with the ME photos.

  13. November 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm | #47

    Anonymous :
    Quote: “They were subsequently disguised as blood marks.”
    Even if I completely disagree with your hypothesis concerning these marks, I want to say that they are not at all “disguised” as blood marks. They are scorches in fact. Look at the Shroud scope, around the area where those marks are and you’ll see other scorches looking pretty much the same color and intensity. Look at this area for example and compare the color and intensity of these obvious scorches with the marks Latendresse interpreted as blood: http://www.dshroud.com/shroudScope/shroudScope.shtml?zl=11&image=4&lon=17358&lat=1948
    Remember that these marks that were described as blood by Latendresse where described as “probable scorches” by Miller and Pellicori in their analysis of the UV fluorescence photos of the Shroud…

    Distinguishing blood from scorch by colour alone is not a straightforward matter, as this picture will show, if it transfers.

    The problem is the heterogeneity that can exist within a single blood area, at least under maximum contrast settings. “Blood” can appear as both a plum colour and a superimposed red-brown. New(er) blood? Old(er) blood?

    One needs chemical tests, obviously, like iron, haemochrome and other degraded haemoglobins, porphyrins etc (and dare I say mineral salts) to make a positive identification of blood.

Max contrast (-7,100,15 in MS Photeditor)

Max contrast (-7,100,15 in MS Photeditor)

November 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm | #52

I wasn’t going to start the microscopy for a few days, Thibault, but you asked, so here’s the first using my revised technique (linen on top of heated template, damp cloth on top of linen, gentle manual pressure).

For Thibault Heimburger (quickie look at my new scorch technique onto linen at lowest mag)

For Thibault Heimburger
(quickie look at my new scorch technique onto linen at lowest mag)

Let me say first of all that the procedure produces very faint scorches, dare I say Shroud-like, so faint that one can scarcely see them at all under a hand lens. Here’s a picture I have just taken at x40, the lowest magnification on my USB microscope.

https://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/2013_11_20_22_16_43_100.jpg?w=640&h=480

I’d say the threads and fibres were a pale yellow, with no obvious “patchiness” or restriction to crowns of threads only, but these are early days.

Update Thursday 21 Nov: the above x40 photomicrograph, obtained with a degree of alacrity last night in response to a request from Thibault Heimburger MD, has now been displayed on Dan Porter’s shroudstory.com site , inviting comments, none yet at the time of posting this update.

  • anoxie
    November 21, 2013 at 4:12 am | #53

    What is the temperature of your “hot” template ?
    Could you quantify the pressure ?

November 21, 2013 at 4:56 am | #54

anoxie :
What is the temperature of your “hot” template ?
Could you quantify the pressure ?

Good morning anoxie.

I place my template on a halogen ring turned up to its maximum value (incandescent red) and leave it there for at least 5 minutes until a small swab of fabric, touched against its top surface instantly chars to a toasted colour.

I had not thought seriously about measuring temperature precisely, making no secret of working in a kitchen But you have just given me an idea. If I drop my heated 320g template into a known volume of water, and measure the temperature rise, then knowing the specific heat capacity of brass (approx) it should be possible to work out its temperature.

I could give you ballpark estimates of course, based on the fact that the template is not hot enough to affect cellulose appreciably, the scorch presumably being a chemical dehydration of the more reactive hemicellulose constituents.

There’s a useful paper that gives the pyrolysis temperature of hemicellulose as 220
– 315 degrees C compared with 315 to 400 degrees C for cellulose.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001623610600490X

Pressure? Apply fingers lightly based on the fact that the overlay gets hot quite quickly. Sorry I can’t be more precise, but this is less about science now, more about hands-on technology…

Opportunist question put to Hugh Farey, who has just now placed a comment on the latest (unrelated) posting on shroudstory.com:

November 21, 2013 at 7:44 am | #5

On a different matter Hugh, might I ask your assistance? You are the one with the uv lamp. Could you try out faint scorching in my new geometry- linen and damp overlay on top of heated template. Is there still that taboo fluorescence? (Hunch – the geometry allows easier escape of low-boiling fluorescent species via steam distillation).

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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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2 Responses to Was the Shroud image imprinted from a medieval life-size version of a crucifix?

  1. Why is the top of the head on the SOT conected front and back but not on the other one?

  2. colinsberry says:

    If you mean the gap between the top of the template head, and the top of the scorch imprint in my photo, there’s a simple explanation. I made no attempt to economize on fabric. In other words, there was a generous amount of linen above the head before folding it back over the template. That is the situation with the real TS of course, where there is a gap between the frontal and dorsal heads, with no imaging of the top of the head. I hope that answers your question.

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