Flow chart summarising a novel hypothesis for how the Shroud of Turin came into existence (and fooled generations of scholars)

Click on any part of the two images to enlarge. (Click twice for double enlargement).  The second image is a continuation of the first to the modern day.

( a stand-alone 500 word summary has also been added to the end which visitors should feel free to quote)

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

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500 word summary: a new hypothesis to account for the otherwise perplexing Shroud of Turin (Marks 1, 2 and 3)

 No, it’s not an image of the crucified Jesus, and it’s 14th, not 1st century. Take away the (afterthought) bloodstains and it’s an image that could have been made by heating a bronze crucifix of Jesus, suitably modified (arms re-positioned etc), and overlaying with linen and damp cloth to obtain a thermal imprint (“scorch”). The latter is a negative thermograph (NOT photograph) , is highly superficial  and responds well to 3D-imaging, having been imprinted from  a 3D template.

So who was the image meant to represent? Probably a Knight Templar, probably Jacques de Molay or Geoffroi de Charney, and probably scorched on a linen shroud to symbolize artistically the cruel manner of execution, reminiscent of, and perhaps inspired by, that of the martyred St.Lawrence of Rome, who was slow-roasted over hot coals (AD 258).

The Mark 1  image was no doubt easily recognizable as a contact scorch, but when it came into the hands of Geoffroi de Charny, said to have been the nephew of the executed De Charney, at a time when the Veil (-cum-face-wipe-) of Veronica was attracting hordes of pilgrims, he and/or his wife Jeanne de Vergy were quick to realize its possibilities. By subjecting the Mk 1 shroud to the kind of treatments listed later by Antoine de Lalaing – heating, multiple laundering, even boiling in oil – the scorch image became fainter, and the background became artificially aged. The end-result, Shroud Mk2, was then promoted as if were the ‘big brother’ of the Veronica – not just a facial imprint left by sweat on the road to Calvary, but a whole body imprint (still “sweat” left behind on the burial shroud  a day or two later.

All that was needed to obtain today’s Mark 3 shroud was apply blood in all the biblically-correct places.

Note that it is not the Mark 1 or even, arguably, the  Mark 2 shrouds that were forgeries – just the bloodied Mark 3. It is only the linen that has been radiocarbon dated (1260-1390) the midpoint coinciding with the Lirey period of ownership, the Shroud’s first documented recording. The bloodstains have NEVER  been carbon-dated, and could have come later, perhaps through incremental additions (each new one being hailed as a “miracle”?).

Evidence?  It rests mainly on modelling experiments with hot metal templates, on  close examination of the Lirey badge and Machy mould, on comparisons with other religious icons and/or revered martyrs (notably the Veronica and St.Lawrence), and especially by those words attributed to  Antoine de Lalaing re “boiling in oil” etc. These different dovetailing approaches have been the subject of some 200 postings over two years by this blogger/retired biomedical scientist. Links to the crucial ones will follow.

Why has the TS fooled (or merely intrigued) generations of scholars? Because it was first MADE (by scorching) , then partially UNMADE,  so to speak i.e. by artificial ageing and other rough treatment, designed to make the image look more like a 1st. century Veronica-style  “sweat” imprint.

Update: That’s just a preliminary summary that will need some fine-tuning. One notable omission that will need attention is failure to mention the importance accorded on this site, first expressed almost a year ago*, to the word “SUAIRE” on the Machy mould, beneath the Veronica-like face. It was the realization that while SUAIRE has come to be used as the term for shroud, it was also used in 14th century French for “face cloth” as well, as in “Suaire d’Oviedo”, and there are even references in the French literature to “Suaire de Veronique” as an alternative to Voile de Veronique. It was the the “suaire” ambiguity that triggered a chain of thought leading to the idea of the Mark 1 shroud image being deliberately attenuated by Lalaing’s treatments to make the image more Veronica-like (not, as some folk might imagine, any tacit admission on my part that the primary scorch must of necessity have been too prominent. The latter need not have been the case if the optimum scorch technology had been deployed – see my blog banner – but just because this experimentalist blogger found how to avoid excessively intense scorching with the LOTTO technique (Linen On Top, Then Overlay) does not mean that a 14th century artisan producing the Mark 1 shroud would have known and chosen same protocol, or even have been minded to if the intention were merely to represent a bold image of a barbecued Templar that WAS recognizably a heat scorch.

* From a posting here on Feb 28, 2013.

“In this case,  representation of a face cloth, aka sudarium (Latin) or suaire (Fr) was the ‘form-work’ so to speak.  And very clever form work it was as well. The pilgrim would see the face above the label SUAIRE, and think of the Biblical face cloth, separate from the burial shroud, the one that was reputed to carry some kind of pre-imprinting – in sweat or blood- of the face of Christ prior to entombment. He would then make a link between that and the man on the badge (“that must be Jesus too”) and then the face of the Man on the Shroud (“that too is Jesus”). The simple expedient of adding that extra image, correctly labelled as SUAIRE, sets in progress the chain of thought, the desired connections by those hidden persuaders up in the castle, and such is the power of suggestion, to which all of us  are prone, that what surely has to be  greatest marketing coup of all time was achieved (the Shroud subsequently changing hands in exchange for a Savoy-owned castle – or was it two?) And the evidence is all there, on one fragment of engraved rock, only unearthed some 2 years ago in a field near Lirey. Who knows what else might turn up in the future, given the predilection of the medieval French to throw pilgrim badges into rivers, and moulds for the making thereof into farmers’ fields?”

It’s clear, looking back, that on seeing “SUAIRE” I was thinking of the separate small cloth in the tomb, referred to in the Bible, not the Veil of Veronica whose existence lacks biblical support. But a blind spot at that time for the Veronica, and refusal to get side-tracked over blood issues where the tomb “suaire” is concerned ( as in “Suaire d’Oviedo’) deserves only this footnote, the important point being the curious ambiguity that has developed in French where the term “suaire” is concerned. While not a historian or etymologist, I would suggest that the original derivation of “suaire” was from  “sueur” (Eng. “sweat”) in old French, not from “burial shroud” except as the Latin “sudarium” which is also derived from the Latin for “sweat” (possibly through the influence of the early Church coining its own ambiguous vocabulary).

 

Here’s some documentary evidence that as late as 1614, the “doctored” , i.e. attenuated Shroud image was ‘correctly’ perceived as representing primarily a “sweat” imprint.

It’s taken from the recent book by Vittorio Guerrera entitled “The Shroud of Turin: A Case for  Authenticity”

Some of the other saintly personages who made pilgrimages to the Shroud were St. Francis de Sales in 1613 and St. Jane Frances de Chantal in 1639. In writing to his mother in 1614, Francis de Sales recalls his pilgrimage to Turin:

Annecy, 4 May 1614

Whilst waiting to see you, my very dear Mother, my soul greets yours with a thousand greetings. May God fill your whole soul with the life and death of His Son Our Lord! At about this time, a year ago, I was in Turin, and, while pointing out the Holy Shroud among such a great crowd of people, a few drops of sweat fell from my face on to this Holy Shroud itself. Whereupon, our heart made this wish: May it please You, Saviour of my life, to mingle my unworthy sweat with Yours, and let my blood, my life, my affections merge with the merits of Your sacred sweat! My very dear Mother, the Prince Cardinal was
somewhat annoyed that my sweat dripped onto the Holy Shroud of my Saviour; but it came to my heart to tell him that Our Lord was not so delicate, and that He only shed His sweat and His blood for them to be mingled with ours, in order to give us the price of eternal life. And so, may our sighs be joined with His, so that they may ascend in an odour of sweetness before the Eternal Father.

But what am I going to recall? I saw that when my brothers were ill in their childhood, my mother would make them sleep in a shirt of my father’s, saying that the sweat of fathers was salutary for children. Oh, may our heart sleep, on this holy day, in the Shroud of our divine Father, wrapped in His sweat and in His blood; and there may it be, as if at the very death of this divine Saviour, buried in the sepulchre, with a constant resolution to remain always dead to itself until it rises again to eternal glory. We are buried, says the Apostle, with Jesus Christ in death here below, so that we may no more live according to the old life, but according to the new. Amen.

Francis, Bishop of Geneva
The 4th of May 1614

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I see that the roving eye of David Goulet has spotted this posting, and flagged it up across the way:

David Goulet commented on Part 3 is up: Did Stephen Jones make the case?.

in response to Dan:

Read Were the radiocarbon laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (3). Did Stephen Jones make the case? He didn’t intend to: So it would not be surprising if the atheistic Soviet regime of the 1980s would see it as a legitimate target to discredit the Shroud, and through that Christianity, by one its agents hacking […]

The C-14 date range actually poses a problem, imo, for the forgery theory. Why would a forger go to the trouble to make something look 1st century but use ‘fresh’ linen? Wouldn’t you try and obtain older linen?

Colin, if you’re following this, I can see why you have suggested the image was first your Templar, then later revised to be Christ. This hypothesis would explain why the linen was fresh but then needed to be artificially aged to look ancient.

And before John and Yanonymous pipe in about the absurdity of that hypothesis, I’m not promoting it here. I’m merely pointing out how it is at least consistent in dealing with the problem of a forger brilliant enough to make something look so 1st century, yet failing to make it on older linen.

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Thanks. Well spotted David.  I’ll copy this to my comments as well, with a brief reply, but will not be entering into detailed discussion on the Porter site, for reasons discussed previously.

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Update: have just discovered one of my earlier posts from July 2012 that most of the key elements  in this posting were made in connection with the 1516 Lier smaller-scale copy of the Shroud on canvas. Reference was made there to Lalaing and his list of alleged ‘trials’, and the ‘softening’ effect they would have had on the first-formed image, if the latter had been a scorch.

https://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/faking-it-part-3-why-do-early-copies-of-the-shroud-show-so-little-evidence-of-the-in-your-face-blood-stains-we-see-today-some-wont-like-the-answer/

What goes around comes around…

Update: And there’s still bags more reading to be done, as this screen grab shows, entering (shroud turin sweat) into a search engine:

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The Shroud of Turin in fewer words

It began innocently enough as a French Templar cri de coeur. (Having one’s leaders slow-roasted over hot coals in public in the manner of St.Lawrence was  guaranteed to produce collective post-traumatic stress, a sense of loss – of an entire knightly order-  and the ‘need to mourn’).

But that exceptional image, scorched onto linen, one of a naked man who had clearly endured agony (probably heat-imprinted  from a heated crucifix) was too good an opportunity to miss, at a time when others, not far away,  were attracting pilgrims in their hundreds, probably thousands,  with their grateful cash contributions. So why not morph that super-ambiguous Templar/St.Lawrence/Christ image into a fully-fledged “Sudarium of Lirey” , a  whole-body version of the “Veil of Veronica”, by subtle doctoring of the image characteristics.  Read hyped 14th century mass media-speak for “the genuine burial shroud of Jesus”.  The bloodstains came later (“now brought to you with added authenticity”). Thus the putative ‘Sudarium of Lirey’ became, by degrees, the Shroud of Turin.

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Update: time methinks to spruce up the ‘tagline’ on this blog.

 Old:   The Shroud image could easily be mistaken for a contact scorch – highest point on weave, non- directionality, ‘negative character’, hugely more photogenic after tone-reversal and 3D-enhancement. HOW CAN IT NOT BE  A SCORCH?

New: Maybe it began with that slow-roasting of Templar VIPs over hot coals in 1314, and the appearance of a grim memorial – a scorch image of a ‘barbecued’ man on linen. Then someone had a bright idea. Why not doctor the image – and change the narrative?

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

One Response to Flow chart summarising a novel hypothesis for how the Shroud of Turin came into existence (and fooled generations of scholars)

  1. colinsberry says:

    I see that the roving eye of David Goulet has spotted this posting, and flagged it up across the way:

    The C-14 date range actually poses a problem, imo, for the forgery theory. Why would a forger go to the trouble to make something look 1st century but use ‘fresh’ linen? Wouldn’t you try and obtain older linen?

    Colin, if you’re following this, I can see why you have suggested the image was first your Templar, then later revised to be Christ. This hypothesis would explain why the linen was fresh but then needed to be artificially aged to look ancient.

    And before John and Yanonymous pipe in about the absurdity of that hypothesis, I’m not promoting it here. I’m merely pointing out how it is at least consistent in dealing with the problem of a forger brilliant enough to make something look so 1st century, yet failing to make it on older linen.

    If the linen were subjected to all those treatments listed by Antoine de Lalaing, whether for the reasons he gave, or as I believe to artificially age, then there’s another problem for the authenticity-promoters. What about the bloodstains if there from the start? They would end up substantially degraded. Yet Rogers claimed the blood showed no signs of having been heated (leaving aside the questionable nature of his improvised ‘hydroxyproline’ test). Methinks we are seeing negative evidence for the absence of blood on the Mk1 or even Mk2 shroud. Had it been present, would any sensible Shroud custodians have launched into otherwise bizarre tests with boiling oil, for whatever reason?

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