imageMax-Patrick Hamon writes:

Please find attached a 6 page illustrated extract from my 2011 Totun research paper on the Turin Shroud coin-on-eyes issue by way of reply to Yannick Clément’s December 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm | #28 post

"Max, Max, Max… Can I remind you of one FACT concerning Barrie’s negative opinion about the whole question of the possible coins over the eyes ? He cleverly based his judgment on the profesionnal opinion express by Don Lynn at the beginning of the 1980s who was the true imagery expert of STURP (he worked on many important project for the NASA) and who analyzed the question in deep. Lynn was categorical about the FACT that it was scientifically impossible that so tiny coins letters could get imprinted on the kind of coarse threads of the Shroud in such a way that they could be readable… That’s the definitive argument that convinced Barrie that the whole coin thing is scientifically untenable. Barrie’s opinion is truly based on a real imagery expert and I hope you’ll finally realize that.".

The TRUE fact is Schwortz & Lynn’s opinion IS TOTALLY BIASED & MISLEADING as it is contradicted by metrologcal, optical and experimental FACTS: tiny partial ancient blood decals of 15 mm high letters in average CAN have been recorded on a 3:1 twill weave linen. as blood image resolution limit is ten times higher than that of the body image.

For the sake of GOOD archaeology and fairness of debate, thank you therefore for publishing in your blog this illustrated paper extract by way of reply to Yannick Clément.

It follows here:




AS A PRELIMINARY APPROACH, we shall use here a set of rhetorical questions to probe the optical and numismatic potential of the linen clothe in connection with the coin-on-eyes issue. Hopefully, the real quality of both arch sceptics’ and arch advocates’ main opinions and reasoning will emerge in the following and help the reader to judge for himself on more solid and objective grounds.

1/Are there any buttonlike protrusions over the eyes?


Figure 1 Somewhat rounded suspected areas on 1978 Tamburelli’s 3D reconstruction

From 3D reconstructions of a close up of the Shroud face, three eminent forensic medical examiners [namely Pr. Buckling, Pr. Baima-Bollone and Pr. Zugibe]1 and four computer science experts (among whom a 3D image analyst) [namely Mottern, Halarick, Pr. Tamburelli and Pr. Balossino]2 confirmed the finding, by the American physicist John Jackson3, of flat somewhat rounded foreign solid object imprints on the eye areas. Unless one can demonstrate the eight researchers’ intersubjectivity, this is a rather well established optical and “extra-anatomical” fact.

Actually the whole problem the Shroud researchers were facing was to correctly identify the said object imprints. In 1978, the late American theologian, Francis Filas, submitted a photographic enlargement (a third generation reversed photonegative copy) of the right eye area to the American professional numismatist and Greek classical coin expert, Michael Marx4.

clip_image004.clip_image006 clip_image008 Figure 2 Right eye area photonegatives flanking Pilate coin obverse side photograph taken under raking light

The latter could then identify the possible reading of “UCAI” – between 9.30 and 11.30 o’clock – as a fragment of the full Greek legend TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC, ″of Tiberius Caesar″, that appears on the obverse side of a small Roman colonial bronze coin 15.5-16mm in diameter minted under the authority of the prefect of the province of Judea, Pontius Pilate (26-36 CE).

Between 29-32CE, two small bronze coin types, a “dilepton” and a “lepton” featuring a “lituus” (short curved wand used by Roman priests to foretell the future) and a simpulum” (libation bail with angular shaft and handle) on their respective obverse side, were actually minted under the authority of Pontius Pilate. Both coin types bear the Greek legend TIBЄPIOY KAICAPOC, ″ [coins] of Tiberius Caesar ″.


Figure 3 Augur’s wand/Laurel wreath & Libation bail/Three ears of barley types

In the 80’s of the past century, some Shroud researchers who were neither professional numismatists, nor archaeological image analysts or cryptanalysts or even familiar with late ancient Greek alphabets, claimed to have found half a dozen lituus dilepta (Greek plural of dilepton) showing a rounded U (without a tail) substituted for an upsilon (Y) and a lunate sigma (C) for a kappa (K) by a die maker confusing his Latin and Greek in the legend TIBЄPIOY KAICAPOC.

2/ Are misspellings such as TIBЄPIOU CAICAPOC or TIBЄPIOY CAICAPOC really to be found on extant Pilate coins?

In actual numismatic fact, the claimed misspellings cannot be observed on any extant Pilate coins. They are only due to misreading inscription fragments on much worn out coins. This is pretty obvious from the following figure presenting the three alleged “best specimens”.


Figure 4 Misspelling or misreading specimens?

In spite of my deep respect for Filas’, Whanger’s and Moroni’s pioneering work5, their “coin legend misspelling theory” shall therefore be dismissed here as totally erroneous.

Actually the reading of the “UCAI”-like fragmentary tiny inscription on the right eye area from authentic (first generation) reversed orthochromatic film or slide copies of the Shroud face and 3D image enlargements can be specifically associated with the same reading “UCAI” embedded within the inscription KAICAPOC on tens of existing Pilate coins minted in the 16th, 17th and 18th regnal year of Tiberius. This is a spy numismatic detail. Here are a few examples:


Figure 5 Possible reading of “UCAI” on both 3D enhanced right eye area and extant Pilate coins

In the hypothesis the impression on the right eye area would have been left by an ancient coin 2/3 the size of an average fingerprint:

3/Would not the Turin Shroud’s three up, one down twill-weave linen fabric have been far too coarse to resolve the average 1.5mm high letters on such a small coin?

The Shroud thread count is 38 lengthwise (warp) threads of 0.14mm in average diameter and 26 widthwise (weft) threads of 0.25mm in average diameter woven into a measured one-centimeter square of the shroud fabric6.

The 0.5cm Shroud body image resolution limit should not be mistaken for the 0.5mm Shroud blood imprint resolution limit that is also the visual resolution limit. Now – and contrary to the body image – it should be here emphasized that the intriguing faint and very tiny faint brown letter-grouping-like patterns on the right eye area do appear photographically positive like the blood stains on the linen cloth. If we apply the Occam razor principle (i.e. if we try to give the simplest explanation to account for sharply defined appearance of the very tiny impressions), in the light of a funeral custom, it might well be the kind of incomplete decal or tell-tale sign a coin manipulated with blood-stained fingertips and placed over the right eyelid of the deceased is expected to leave on the internal upper side of a shroud soaked with a watery solution and pressed to the face. This has been demonstrated by experiments [Rodante’s and Moroni’s]7 (see figure 6) and just bypasses the theoretical objection that the threads would be too large to show this type of faint brown tiny letters on the Shroud face image.”


Figure 6 Colour photopositive (a) and reversed photonegative (b) of experimental blood decal of a Pilate coin ilate coin’s;5mm) eriuson.a dozen of Pilate coins? 1.5mm high inscription fragment on a non-stretched 3:1 twill-weave linen fabric soaked with a watery solution and black & white reversed photonegative of the Shroud right eye area (c)

Therefore metrologically, optically and experimentally speaking, nothing at all precludes a 1.5mm high letter resolution blood decal to have been left on the facial image by a Pilate coin 16mm± 0.5mm in average diameter.

4/ Can the reading of “UCAI” on the Shroud be a “mere figure in clouds” due to the photographic procedure, the computer processing or the variegations on the linen cloth?

If we take a glance at digitized 2D reversed photographic enlargements of the right eye area from 1931 Giuseppe Enrie’s, 1978 Vernon Miller’s and 2002 Gian Carlo Durante’s photo-negative of the Shroud face, the same letter-grouping-like shapes can be detected (though as if a little bit out of focus on both Miller’s and Durante’s compared to Enrie’s). This means it is not an artefact of a certain photographic procedure as it can be depicted by photographs shot in different techniques whether orthochromatic, traditional silver and extensive digital.


Figure 7 Photographic enlargement comparison of the right eye area from Shroud face reversed photonegatives

The letter images are not apparent on 1978 Schwortz’s and 1997 Durante’s Shroud face photograph just because of the use of two different lighting techniques. In 1978, Schwortz lit the Shroud from the front so as to minimize weave appearance to invisibility thus causing some already faint bloodstain patterns nearly standing out on the Shroud fabric to technically disappear from the photographs. In 1997, the “UCAI” sequence orientation happened to be nearly aligned with the incoming light direction thus causing a form of obfuscation from illumination to occur.

As far as 2D to 3D conversion by digital processing is concerned in terms of reduction in the weave pattern and increased sharpness of image, it must be noted that no additional graphic data can be found in a resulting 3D image from an authentic (first generation) orthochromatic film or slide copy, had not the graphic information been integral to the original 2D image8.


Figure 8 Digitized reversed photographic enlargement of the right eye area from: (a) authentic orthochromatic film copy; (b) Tamburelli’s digitized 3D image; (c) 3D visualization within a maximum 16 mm diameter area

The letter-grouping-like shapes are thus clearly distinguishable from the vagaries of the weave. If the reading of “UCAI” had really come from the banding, both vertical and horizontal, encroaching on the area of the right eye, or been a mere “figure in clouds” on 1931 Enrie’s, 1978 Miller’s, 2002 Durante’s Shroud face photographs and 1981 Tamburelli’s 3D reconstructions of the said area, how come then the same “figure in clouds” can be also seen – visually embedded within the inscription KAICAPOC as a spy numismatic detail – on tens of existing Pilate coins minted in the 16th, 17th and 18th regnal year of Tiberius (see Fig. 5)?

The photographic, eidomatic and numismatic evidence offers therefore a complete rebuttal against the “mere figure-in-cloud theory”8.

5/ Can Enrie’s black and white orthophotographs of the Shroud face taken eighty years ago on large glass plate negatives still yield usable and accurate information?

Besides mechanical squeeze and 3D scanning, it is common knowledge, among archaeological analysts and cryptanalysts that the best aids for deciphering purposes of 3D encoded ancient images and inscriptions invisible or almost invisible to the naked eye are applying false colour, 2D to 3D conversion and digital squeeze of photographs taken under appropriate raking light.

1931 Enrie’s Shroud face orthophotographs are not simply very aesthetic as some Shroud researchers would too hastily think. Mostly because of a longer time exposure under appropriate raking light and the use of specially designed filters which enhance local contrast, they did capture the finest details of the Shroud face image and haematic (or blood) imprints along with the characteristic weave pattern and the folds and creases of the linen fabric at scales 1:1 and 2:3. As such and regardless of 2008 HAL9000’s high definition digital photograph that should allow researchers* to analyze the Shroud in unprecedented detail, Enrie’s reversed negatives and positives are still the best candidates available so far (along with 2002 Durante’s digital photograph of the Shroud face as double or triple check) for detecting and studying any possible 3D encoded blood-stained coin tiny patterns embedded in the suspected image areas. Enrie’s photographs do yield usable and accurate information even more modern photographs fail to do. This is made pretty obvious with the photographic enlargement comparison of the right eye area from Shroud face photographs shot in different techniques (see Fig. 7).

Max, I know some people look at this and find it very convincing. I don’t. Is the cloth too coarse? Is the nature of the film inadequate? Maybe. I don’t know. My problem is perception. I suspect that some of us have different, indeterminable acceptance thresholds where I think I see becomes I see.