Postscript (correction: ‘prescript‘) added July 2019:
You have arrived at a 2014 posting. That was the year in which this investigator finally abandoned the notion of the body image being made by direct scorch off a heated metal template (despite many attractions, like negative image, 3D response etc. But hear later: orchestral DA DA! Yup, still there with the revised technology! DA DA! ).
In its place came two stage image production.
Stage 1: sprinkle white wheaten flour or suchlike vertically onto human subject from head to foot, front and rear (ideally with initial smear of oil to act as weak adhesive). Shake off excess flour, then cover the lightly coated subject with wet linen. Press down VERTICALLY and firmly (thus avoiding sides of subject). Then (and here’s the key step):
Stage 2: suspend the linen horizontally over glowing charcoal embers and roast gently until the desired degree of coloration, thus ‘developing’ the flour imprint, so as to simulate a sweat-generated body image that has become yellowed with centuries of ageing.
The novel two-stage “flour-imprinting’ technology was unveiled initially on my generalist “sciencebuzz” site. (Warning: one has to search assiduously to find it, and it still uses a metal template, albeit unheated, as distinct from human anatomy):
So it’s still thermal development of sorts, but with a key difference. One can take imprints off human anatomy (dead or alive!).
A final wash of the roasted flour imprint with soap and water yields a straw-coloured nebulous image, i.e. with fuzzy, poorly defined edges. It’s still a negative (tone-reversed) image that responds to 3D-rendering software, notably the splendid freely-downloadable ImageJ. (Ring any bells? Better still, orchestral accompaniment – see , correction HEAR earlier – DA DA!))
This 2014 “prescript” replaces the one used for my earlier 2012/2013 postings, deploying abandoned ‘direct scorch’ technology.
Thank you for your patience and forbearance. Here’s where the original posting started:
Original posting starts here:
Now up to 1563 comments, most of them off-topic.
Progress update: here’s the new tweaked version of my flow chart.
Note the addition of red text in the Mk 2 Lirey badge box, the grounds for which (previously enigmatic face of Jesus on Machy mould for Lirey Badge Mk2 being the subject of the postings immediately preceding this one).
Back to the posting:
Response to my comment, 7:42 London, UK time:
There is an alternative kind of ‘shroudie’, one who eschews the sensationalism and pseudoscience, and in the case of this retired scientist is patiently exploring alternatives ones that might explain how that length of linen with its scorch-like image appeared in medieval France when it did.
I’ve been at it for some two years, but only recently, after experimentation with different types of heat scorch (contact, radiation) have the pieces of the jigsaw begun to assemble into some kind of pattern.
Briefly, here'[s the current working hypothesis: Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar and his closest associates, e.g. Geoffroi de Charney, were all slow-roasted on the same day in Paris 1314. The method of execution closely mirrored that of the martyred St. Lawrence, for which there is much very Shroud like devotional artwork showing a naked or near-naked man forced down onto a grid iron. The surviving Templars wanted to create a tribute or memorial, and having an existing penchant for images on cloth (see Barbara Frale’s finding in the Vatican secret archive) decided to scorch a double front and back image onto linen, as if a ‘hot Templar’ had been wrapped in a shroud. But what to use as a hot template? Here’s where the ambiguity began – they chose a recycled bronze of the crucified Christ, i.e. a life-sized crucifix, which was heated and then had linen pressed against it, with damp overlay, to leave a faint, superficial NEGATIVE image. Maybe they thought that no one would be able to say, looking at a light/dark reversed negative:”Hey that’s Jesus”. Or maybe they wanted folk to make a connection with Jesus, or maybe St.Lawrence.
A few decades later, that shroud is now in the hands of the Lord of Lirey, one Geoffroi de Charny, probably de Charney’s nephew (see above) and the possibilities were quickly spotted and realized for morphing the scorched-on image with that of the crucified Jesus. The rest as they say is history. More? Just ask.
Update: Tuesday pm. That flow chart needs another box or two. Any extra box or two would be inserted between (1) the Shroud image being imprinted as a heat scorch – a tribute to a roasted-alive Templar (suffering the same fate as St. Lawrence) and…
(2) the promotion of the Shroud as a “suaire”, ie. imprint derived from bodily perspiration (sweat).
So how (or might) a scorch become a sweat imprint? Was that the problem that faced those who were seeking extra mileage from the Mark 1 shroud?
All kinds of interesting possibilities come to mind (like a clever and subtle rebranding exercise). Pure speculation? Maybe, but an attempt is being made to accommodate hypothesis within known historical facts (especially tangible objects like badges and moulds for the making thereof) that would otherwise be difficult to rationalize. Methinks another post is coming on.