Home > Teaser of the Day > Teaser of the Day (#4): Body image in noncontact zones?

Teaser of the Day (#4): Body image in noncontact zones?

February 4, 2013

clip_image001What is right or wrong with this material from page 9 of The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Image pirated from Colin Berry, complete with the yellow exclamation mark.

Table I, Item 4.0:

A body image is visible in areas of noncontact zones between body and Shroud, for example, the nose and cheek areas.

Scored: Established


This characteristic is inconsistent with the image being formed by a contact mechanism.

Yeah! And? Any strong objections to this point other than from Colin and those who propose photographic methods and those who propose artistic methods and maybe Luigi Garlaschelli?

Hearing none . . .

Categories: Teaser of the Day
  1. Hugh Farey
    February 4, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Where no contact was made, no mark of contact appears. I don’t think anybody would dispute that.
    Where there is a mark of contact, there was contact made. That seems pretty irrefutable too.
    What this has to do with the image forming mechanism of the shroud escapes me…

  2. Louis
    February 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

    This is stale news, as anyone involved in Shroud research knows. Top Shroud scientists wrote papers on this years ago.

  3. Hugh Farey
    February 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    This, and Yannick’s thorough insistence that there is no sign of smearing on the shroud, leads me to pose a corollary. Has anyone considered how Jesus was carried from the cross to the tomb? On this shroud? Another shroud? With his face covered by the Oviedo cloth, but the genitals uncovered? On a stretcher; in a cart; carried by four strong men each holding a corner of a sheet? Simply carried in someone’s arms? Each of these possibililties carries profound implications for what the body looked like when it was enclosed by the shroud for the last, image-making, time.

  4. Louis
    February 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    This is, indeed, a very question, one that I had thought about years ago.

  5. Louis
    February 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Sorry, I meant, a very good question.

  6. Gabriel
    February 5, 2013 at 3:56 am

    In the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences a new paper has just been published where once again, previously established dating using C14, have proven to be wrong, thus indicating that radiocarbon dating techniques in the 80’s were far from being accurate.


  7. Matthias
    February 5, 2013 at 4:34 am

    What’s your current preferred theory Hugh? Is it the scorch theory?
    although I see some good points in Colin’s ideas, there are a few things that still trouble me about the scorch theory, including:
    – the general anatomical correctness of the image: statues of the 1300s were still struggling with anatomy
    – certain characteristics of the image – eg. the rear foot sole imprints – very much appear as genuine organic images from a real body, rather than images generated from a bas relief template or equivalent
    – the “wrist problem” – why the blood on the wrist when this was basically unknown in artistic depictions. Surely the wound would have been placed on the hand
    – the general appearance of wounds across the body appear quite authentic to my eyes, rather than something ‘faked’
    – why the absence of loin cloth, again a historical norm. A fake created by scorching on a bas relief could have built in a loin cloth into the relief. Again why the big departure from the cultural norms of the time?

    • Hugh Farey
      February 5, 2013 at 6:34 am

      Hi Matthias; the shroud is such a varied topic that I don’t have any theory encapsulating the entire thing. I’m mostly exploring the scorch idea for three reasons:
      a) Several of the original papers by the STURP team describe the shroud as having many of the characteristics of a scorch, in particular the relationship between pressure or distance and image intensity and the fact that the image seems to be made of degraded cellulose.
      b) Scorching linen and observing the results is something anybody can do in their kitchen!
      c) Although degrading cellulose by scorching may not be the answer, experiments with superficiality, 3-D imaging and UV fluorescence may suggest a mechanism that can be achieved in other ways (gas diffusion or painting, for example).

      All the difficulties you mention are entirely valid, and were the main reasons the STURP team rejected the hypothesis, but they are, for time being, outside my purlieu, as it were!

      • Matthias
        February 6, 2013 at 2:54 am

        So Hugh I am right to assume you are agnostic with regard to the question of the Shroud’s authenticity (as the burial shroud of Jesus)
        I’m agnostic tending towards believer (I’m a believer though in the Catholic faith!)

  1. February 7, 2013 at 7:17 am
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