Today’s project – to produce a new chronological flow chart, proposing how a scorch image was ingeniously re-invented as a whole body “sweat imprint” (to suggest kinship with the Veil of Veronica).


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):


sbuzz oct 24, 14 flour 1


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:




EYop: existing flow chart - on laptop screen Below: plan for new flow chart - rough sketch only so far.

Top: existing flow chart – on laptop screen
Below: plan for new flow chart – rough sketch only so far.

The new one starts at the top of my scrawl, with the martyrdom of St.Lawrence by slow roasting, and ends with the Lirey Shroud Mk 2 (produced from the Machy Mould).  Unfortunately, it will be too long to go on a single screen, so will have to be divided into two overlapping halves, which meet at the midway point. The latter has been chosen as a critical point in time (mid 14th century)  where the Mk1 Shroud is hypothesized to be an intense scorch on newish linen of a metal effigy (bronze crucifix?)  chosen to approximate a  Knight Templar, maybe Jacques de Molay of or Geoffroi de Charney, slow-roasted in the manner of St.Lawrence.

The lower half will show that somewhat obvious scorch image being subtly re-processed to produce a fainter image on a darker background, so as to make it seem like a larger, whole body version of the Veil of Veronica, as  conceptualized  and promoted by  Lord of Lirey de Charny (de Charney’s nephew?)  and his wife with the aid of two Lirey pilgrim’s badges as an aged sweat imprint (to encourage perception of kinship, causal and spiritual,  with the crowd-drawing Veil of Veronica).

That midpoint could be said to be the reason why the Shroud has fooled and tantalised generations of scholars. Moi? I was never fooled, though wavered briefly in the late 70s when reading that Sunday Times supplement based on Rolfe’s “Silent Witness”. But I’ve always been tantalised, increasingly so when each new wacky hypothesis hits the headlines (laser beams, corona discharges, collapsing cloths, and more recently earthquakes and neutrons).

Call me deluded if you wish, but I think my two-step ‘scorch to super-suaire (sweat) imprint’ hypothesis may provide the answer as to why and how the TS came into existence, first to serve one purpose, a tribute to a dead Templar, and then cleverly  re-invented  in its Lirey years for another (an initially hinted-at image of the crucified Jesus).

I’ll add the two new images later, once I’ve finished all the new layout in MS Paint.

Update: Friday 22 Feb:  Here be the top half of the new flow sheet

Chronological flow sheet from AD 258 to AD 1350 approx with a degree of guesswork.

Click to enlarge: chronological flow sheet from AD 258 to AD 1350 approx with a degree of guesswork.

Update: Friday, 16:50. Here’s the second half. Job done.



Here’s an attempt to show the two halves side-by-side. Will it work? Will text be visible (after clicking on images)? Answer – NO. MS Paint has its limitations.




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.
This entry was posted in medieval forgery, Shroud of Turin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Today’s project – to produce a new chronological flow chart, proposing how a scorch image was ingeniously re-invented as a whole body “sweat imprint” (to suggest kinship with the Veil of Veronica).

  1. pelicancrest says:

    You may want to consider the possibility of contacting art historian Noah Charney about your work. There are many links on the Internet to articles about him/his publications. His father Dr. James Charney is a psychologist in New Haven, Conn. His mother Diane Joy Charney is a professor of French at Yale. Noah, born 1979, has his own webpage and a Wikipedia entry. There are also a number of internet links about his mother. Noah’s focus is on art crime, but I believe his areas of interest include forgeries. I recently bought Noah Charney’s book about The Ghent Altarpiece/Mystic Lamb.

    I find the Templar member Charney to be an interesting coincidence.

    Distant great-granddaughter of the Rev. Thomas Hooker, founder of Hartford, Conn.

    • colinsberry says:

      Hello again Pelican. The trouble is that it’s not art in the usual sense of the word. Any art would have been in the making of a template from which to produce a representation of a roasted Templar, and the artisan and his commissioner would have known that a scorch imprint (a light/dark reversed negative in modern terminology) did not have to be exact, which is why I consider that a bronze crucifix or similar might have been used. (It’s only through relatively modern photography, i.e. Secondo Pia’s 1898 light/dark reversed image that I suspect that a crucifix was used, knowing that a beard. long hair etc were features shared by both Jesus and de Molay. The latter was much older of course, but many have remarked that the TS image is of a man much older than a 33 year old. Might a separate bas relief have been used as template for the face, as suggested by Luigi Garlaschelli?

      As for the Lirey badge, there seems to be absolutely no attempt to portray a Christ-like figure. Itwas that which set me on the the route of thinking that the TS image was initially intended to represent someone other than Jesus, and if a scorch, to look around for anyone who was scorched in that era of French history. The de Charney/de Charny uncle/nephew relationship proposed by Noel Currer-Briggs was all the encouragement I needed to make the Templar connection, but that clearly was not the whole story. There would have been attempts to disguise that later (thus fooling generations of scholars who have assumed that the present TS image was formed in a single step). I say it was formed in two steps- an initial, rather unsubtle scorch, that was then doctored until it could be marketed as a sweat imprint – big brother to the Veil of Veronica. That’s why there’s that little inset face of Jesus on the Machy mould for Mk 2 Lirey badge, – to push a connection with the Veronica (thoughtfully labelled SUAIRE) which is not only “SHROUD” in French, but face-cloth too, for the absorbing/imprinting of sweat, SUEUR in French, a word v. similar to SUAIRE.

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