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Is that another example of medieval herringbone linen?

January 28, 2015 8 comments

imageHat tip to Stephen Jones for finding this image


Yesterday, Stephen Jones published a photographic copy of possibly the only known example of a three over one herringbone twill weave from the mediaeval era. It is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (ref. no. 8615-1863).  It has been discussed in this blog but never shown that I can remember.

Stephen writes in his blog:

. . . medieval herringbone twill linen cloths are exceedingly rare, and in fact there is only one known example of a medieval herringbone twill linen weave: a fourteenth century, block-painted linen fragment with a 3:1 chevron (herringbone) twill weave, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Further evidence of the extreme rarity of medieval linen with a Shroud-like herringbone twill weave, was the fact that the British Museum’s Dr. Michael Tite was unable to find any medieval linen with a weave that resembled the Shroud, to use as control samples for the 1988 radiocarbon dating. . . .

BUT:  To my way of thinking about history, only one known example does not necessarily mean rare. In fact, I’ve always thought only one known example implied other unknown examples.

The above image is stored in Stephen’s blog (I have stretched it a bit). Based on a citation to a site called the V&A Spelunker, I was able to trace down the image directly from the V&A museum’s online catalog. You can obtain that same image by clicking on the thumbnail image to the right.

The next step was to chase down the V&A image using Google’s powerful image searching facilities.  This brought me to a site by Maxim Sokokov in Russian.  Google translates it thus:

Medieval Heel XII-XV centuries.
Silk fabrics with pattern vytkanym were so expensive that for everyday use or church decoration often use cheaper analogue – linen fabric with printed motifs in the same style. The European Centre for the production of such textiles were Italy and Germany. Therefore, the majority of tissues in museum collections, which are difficult to attribute, and usually signed: "Italy (Germany?)." "Take a plank of walnut, pear or other very solid wood the size of a brick … pictures on this tablet should be painted and cut (in depth) of thick rope. On the tablets should be shown all kinds of pattern that you want, leaves or animals, but to do so they were drawn and cut so that the boards of all four parties were well suited to each other and in general formed a complete and coupled drawing … " From Cennino Cennini treatise "The book about the art or Treatise on Painting", approx. 1400.

On that website I spotted something. Or maybe it is just I think I see.  Is that another example of medieval herringbone twill linen? Three over one? Maybe just two over one! You decide. CLICK HERE. More thoughts?

image

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New Paper on the Shroud of Arquata

January 24, 2015 14 comments

not produced by apparent drawings or painting

used sophisticated optical and spectroscopic non-invasive technologies

imageA new paper, in Italian but translatable, STUDIO MULTIDISCIPLINARE DELLA SINDONE DI ARQUATA DEL TRONTO “EXTRACTUM AB ORIGINALI” (MULTIDISCIPLINARY STUDY OF THE SHROUD OF ARQUATA EXTRACTUM AB ORIGINALI) has been published. 

The paper by P. Di Lazzaro, M. Guarneri, D. Murra, V. Spizzichino, M. Missori, V. Piraccini, A. Mencattini and A. Danielis is available at:

Academia   &   ENEA’s Open Archives.

An English version is in the works. In the meantime:

1)  There is an English abstract:

In this report we summarize the main results of the first in-depth measurement of the Shroud of Arquata, a 1:1 copy of the Shroud of Turin which dates back to 1653. The most peculiar feature of the Shroud of Arquata is the front and back human footprint which is not produced by apparent drawings or painting as in the other copies of the Shroud. In the frame of an agreement between the City of Arquata, the Technical Unit Application of Radiation of the ENEA Centre of Frascati and the Institute of Complex Systems of CNR, we used sophisticated optical and spectroscopic non-invasive technologies, suitable to the study of Cultural Heritage.

The elaboration of experimental results allowed to obtain scientific data apt to suggest the possible origins of the double image, of the stains simulating blood and of the false patches embedded on the Shroud of Arquata.

In addition, the experimental data allowed to develop a plan for the proper long-term conservation of the Shroud of Arquata.

2) and you can translate the paper into English with Bing or Google translation tools by converting it to an editable Word (doc or docx) file and then pasting the text into the translation tool. Here, for example, are three translated paragraphs from the Introduction:

During the restoration of the church of S. Francesco at Borgo di Arquata del Tronto , in the province of Ascoli Piceno , in 1980 is found a double urn of gilded wood , hidden in the niche of an altar . Inside there is a large sheet folded and a scroll. On the sheet is visible footprint front and back of a human body , and the center is the word ‘ EXTRACTVM AB ORIGINAL ‘ (extract from the original, which is sanctified by direct contact with the real relic ) .

It is a copy in 1: 1 scale of the Shroud of Turin , the most valuable and controversial relic of Christendom [ 1 ] . Copying Arquata accurately reproduces the image and stains on the Shroud of Turin : in addition to the double human footprint are noticed reddish spots in the side , feet and head , the drawings that recall the patches corresponding to burns inflicted to the Shroud Turin by fire in 1532 , and even water stains .

However , there is one important difference between the Shroud of Arquata and the other 50 copies of the Turin Shroud survived to our times [ 2 ] : at first glance , the impression you do not recognize human brush strokes , nor drawings , nor anatomy of the face and body . Conversely , the origin of painting and art of the other copies of the Shroud is evident even at a superficial analysis [ 2 , 3 ] .

The Shroud on Ancestry.com

January 20, 2015 2 comments

my tree `took off’ as it began to intersect other Ancestry.com trees
of 14th century and earlier French nobility

imageStephen Jones has embarked on an interesting project to build a "de Charny family tree" on Ancestry.com.

The reason I chose Marguerite de Charny as the Home Person is that she was the last private person to own the Shroud, having given it to the House of Savoy in 1453 when she was aged about 60, widowed and childless. In my Tree Overview I wrote:

"My attempt to trace the owners of the Shroud of Turin, from its disappearance in the sack of Constantinople in 1204, to Marguerite de Charny (c. 1390-1460) who transferred the Shroud to the House of Savoy in 1453."

It is a public tree but (as far as I am aware) only those who have an active Ancestry.com account can access it. I started the tree based on the family trees and information in the books of genealogist, and Shroud pro-authenticist, Noel Currer-Briggs (1919-2004). But after that my tree `took off’ as it began to intersect other Ancestry.com trees of 14th century and earlier French nobility.

Stephen would like to hear from other “Shroudies” with Ancestry.com accounts who would like to help. 

Categories: History Tags:

A number of marks falling all over the surface of the body

January 18, 2015 11 comments

Fascinating, informative paper. Great illustrations. I learned a lot.

clip_image001With recent references in this blog to the illustrations in the Holkham Bible it seems appropriate to now consider the paper, The Hypotheses About the Roman Flagrum: Some Clarifications, presented by Flavia Manservigi (pictured) and coauthored by Enrico Morini (available at shroud.com and at academia.edu as of two days ago):

On the imprint of the long Sheet are also clearly visible a number of marks, falling all over the surface of the body, from the shoulders to the lower extremities of the legs: scholars interpreted those signs like the result of a terrible scourging, which was inflicted on the Man of the Shroud before crucifixion. The marks of flogging and crucifixion, like the great part of the wound marks visible on the cloth, strengthened the hypothesis of the identification of the Man of the Shroud with Jesus of Nazareth: the tortures suffered by the Man of the Shroud can be totally assimilated to the ones that, according to the Gospels, were inflicted on Jesus.

imageFascinating, informative paper. Great illustrations. I learned a lot.

BTW:  I probably should have mentioned this paper sooner. Already archived at shroud.com, it was just uploaded to academia.edu two days ago, which sent its page ranking soaring in Google. That grabbed my attention. This supports my theory that it makes sense to archive papers at both shroud.com and academia.edu and elsewhere (no, don’t ask). 

There are still other papers to explore from the St. Louis conference. Please by patient.

Categories: History, St Louis 2014 Tags:

History Explained?

January 13, 2015 1 comment

imageStephen Jones, having abandoned for a while his unfinished conspiracy theory that the carbon dating was wrong in 1988 because of computer hackers, is now sermonizing shroud history. He writes:

. . . Geoffroy then mounted a surprise night raid upon the castle of his betrayer, Aimery of Pavia, and took him back to his base at St Omer[36] where Geoffroy had all the military powers of the king[37]. There Geoffroy tortured and then decapitated his betrayer, cut his body into quarters, and hung them on the town gates[38]. Medieval military justice no doubt, but flagrant disobedience of the New Testament command for a Christian to love his enemies (Mt 5:43-44; Lk 6:27, 35) and not to take revenge but leaving that to God (Rom 12:19). For that disobedience, did Geoffroy later pay a heavy price? . . .

Then later on the page he answers his own question with just enough of a question mark ending to maintain a fragile shred of objectivity:

. . . Just as Moses was not allowed by God to live to enter the Promised land, because of his disobedience (Dt 32:48-52; Num 20:11-13; 27:14), did God not allow Geoffroy I to live to see the Shroud exhibited beyond 1356, because of his disobedience in taking brutal personal revenge on Aimery of Pavia (see above)? . . .

It’s too bad because Stephen does excellent research.

Categories: History Tags:

Six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist?

January 10, 2015 9 comments

Just in time for Easter and the 2015 Shroud Exposition

John the Baptist is an artifact?

imageIf, like half the world, you have been watching CNN during the last couple of days, you may have seen a frequent ad for an upcoming series of shows starting in March.  The ad, in a quick succession of screens says:  Faith, Fact, Forgery and Finding Jesus March 2015.

Google produces little information except a nearly empty page from Carmel Communications saying:

Finding Jesus: Faith, FACTS, Forgery, a CNN relics series – coming to television on March 1, 2015; a 6- week series.

More information coming soon!

Amazon tells us about a soon to be released book called, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels by David Gibson (Author), Michael McKinley (Author). It will be available sometime around February 24th in Hardcover, Kindle, Audio CD and Downloadable Audio. The description reads:

As featured in the 6-part CNN SERIES "Finding Jesus"FINDING JESUS explores six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist, that give us the most direct evidence about the life and world of Jesus. The book and attendant CNN series provide a dramatic way to retell "the greatest story ever told" while introducing a broad audience to the history, the latest controversies, and newest forensic science involved in sorting out facts from the fiction of would-be forgers and deceivers. The book and the show draw on experts from all over the world. Beyond the faithful, the book will also appeal to the skeptical and to curious readers of history and archaeology, while it takes viewers of the primetime TV series deeper into the story.

I blogged about this last April writing then:

BREAKING: Jon Creamer of Televisual Media UK tells us about an upcoming six-part series on Jesus:

Nutopia is to make a ‘forensic’ drama doc about the life of Jesus in a six-part commission for CNN called Jesus Code.

Jesus Code will look at “forensics, biblical archaeology and forgery, exploring their connection to the real life of Jesus by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.”

The show will use drama reconstruction and interviews with scholars to re-examine six objects connected to the Biblical Jesus.

Executive Producer, Ben Goold (The Story of US, Mankind, The British) said “These are compelling and astonishing stories of relics such as the Turin Shroud and the True Cross that not only capture the imagination, but also offer real revelations about one of the most important figures in human history.”

Jesus Code will be produced by Nutopia in association with Paperny Entertainment. Filming will start in October in Europe, the US, North Africa and Middle East.  Executive Producers are Ben Goold for Nutopia and Lynne Kirby for Paperny Entertainment and it will be distributed internationally by DRG.

Jesus Code forms part of CNN’s new documentary strand in the ET 9pm primetime line-up.

Rodney Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution gives the story a bit more punch with a bit less detail as part of a story on 9 p.m. time slot that Larry King occupied for a quarter century and Piers Morgan attempted to fill. The story is mostly about the big guns CNN is bringing into the hour:Mike Rowe (‘formerly of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs’), Lisa Ling (formerly of “Our America with Lisa Ling”) and John Walsh (formerly of Fox’s ‘America’s Most Wanted”). And the icing on the cake:

Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.

Let’s see, six relics?  (1) Shroud of Turin, (2) True Cross, (3) Holy Grail ???, (4) Veronica’s Veil ???, (5) Seamless Garment ???, (6) ???.

Can you guess what the other three artifacts will be?

Categories: Books, History, Video Tags: ,

We also have the Shroud of Turin

January 7, 2015 12 comments

as proof that Jesus existed?

imageMaybe this explains why Crossan is sometimes not so popular with his fellow academics:

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.

And this is the point of the article, Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’ appearing in Heritage Daily:

From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.

These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.

We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.

    And what should appear but a reader comment:

. . . We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.

And a response to the comment, of course:

. . . The shroud of Turin is confidently dated 1260 to 1390 AD. It’s not the only shroud attributed to Jesus’ resurrection and it can’t even convincingly be said to be that of Jesus.

There is nowhere near enough valid evidence to convince a court of law of it’s authenticity. In the first place, there’s no body, the forensic evidence shows otherwise, it’s history smacks of fakery, and it’s not unique. It would be thrown out as frivolous.

It never works to invoke the Turin Shroud to try to convince a skeptic until you can first prove the shroud is authentic, not just claim it is.

BTW:  In 2002, Crossan said in a Beliefnet Forum:

My best understanding is that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval relic-forgery. I wonder whether it was done from a crucified dead body or from a crucified living body. That is the rather horrible question once you accept it as a forgery.

Categories: History Tags:
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