Home > Books, News & Views, Science > Giulio Fanti Responds to Gian Marco Rinaldi’s Book Review

Giulio Fanti Responds to Gian Marco Rinaldi’s Book Review

April 16, 2013

Giulio Fanti writes:

clip_image001. . . In the meantime you can read the attached answer to the comments of Gian Marco Rinaldi that you have already translated and put in your blog (please inform me if you can’t read the attachment).

And be patient because, as I wrote, within few weeks it will appear a paper of mine on a respected scientific journal regarding FT-IR and Raman dating of ancient textiles.

Here is the attachment. It was provided to me by Giulio as an automatic translation of comments he had already written pertaining to the book review written by Gian Marco Rinaldi. I have included it below, having copied the text from an attached Microsoft Word document (docx) and pasting it into the blog. Because of its length, you may need to click on the “Read more” link to see the entire text. (UPDATE: Or you may click on AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION replica rivista Fanti -spedita- QUE for a PDF file that includes the Italian version).

UPDATE 2: Giulio sent along a revised version of the translation after noting some criticism. I have replaced the old one below. I have left the PDF version unchanged.


AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION (With Revisions)

Padua, April 11, 2013

Comments to the article by Gian Marco Rinaldi:

<Shroud: the "alternative dating" by Giulio Fanti>

Author: Giulio Fanti

Tags: alternative dating, Shroud, Gian Marco Rinaldi, systematic effects

Premise

I first thank the editors of Query for giving me the opportunity to clarify a few points below touched by the perhaps too brief article (hereinafter called Article) entitled <Shroud: the "alternative dating" by Giulio Fanti> written by Gian Marco Rinaldi.

I also thank the author for the gratuitous insult "bad science", highlighted in the "Tags". Insult not only directed the work done by Giulio Fanti and his collaborators from other reputable universities, but also at the Ateneo Patavino which funded the research, and indirectly to the prestigious journal that has accepted and will shortly publish an article on chemical dating of ancient fabrics based on Raman spectroscopy and FT-IR.

However, I can forgive the gratuitous insult because probably due to unsuitable interpretations of a text not read in the details and too simplified in the discussion of the scientific issues, since it is addressed to the general public.

It would have been better if the Article was written only after a more careful reading of the data that will be contained in future scientific articles in journals that are not typical of popular books such as "The mystery of the Shroud: The amazing scientific discoveries on the enigma of cloth of Jesus "(Rizzoli, 235 p., € 18) wrote with Saverio Gaeta (hereinafter called the Book). But now I feel compelled to clarify immediately a few points raised by Article, postponing any more detailed discussions after the reading of scientific papers mentioned above.

Systematic effects

The Article contains the following statement "It is announced the forthcoming publication of an article in the scientific journal, but just from now we can doubt the results." This attitude seems to show some prevention against the presented results perhaps because they are not consistent with the thesis that you would like to demonstrate. Of course if you make studies that are goal-oriented towards the target you want to achieve, these studies become subjective and thus of no scientific value. A serious scientist should first objectively analyze the data in his possession and then to venture to make a few comments only after obtaining the corresponding objective results.

The reason given for having to "doubt the results" seems thus explained: "The concerns are inherent in the very nature of the method used.", But is not considered the fact that much of the work done to develop the reliability of alternative dating has focused its exploration of possible systematic effects (later criticized by Article) that could alter the results of mechanical and chemical dating.

In fact, the research at the University of Padua did not concern only these alternative methods of dating but it has also considered other, such as the corresponding systematic effects due to environmental factors. Only these three methods, FT-IR, Raman and Multi-Parametric Mechanical were considered valid to run dating of textile samples that, after suitable measurements based on parallel analyses also of microscopic type, these data resulted reliable, because characterized by uncertainty sufficiently small. The other methods studied were therefore eliminated.

It is also to note that the analysis of environmental effects on textile samples imposes that some of them are not suitable for these methods of dating. Preliminary studies of various details also using visual inspection with an optical microscope can in fact impose to discard a priori various archaeological samples contaminated by environmental factors.

The Article shows rightly that "changes may proceed at different speeds depending on several factors." and it was just the object of this analysis that allowed the preventive identification of these dating methods discarding other methods because too much affected by alterations. It is obvious that any alteration of the properties of the samples may still cause some small deviation of the result, but these changes were considered in the statistical analysis that led to the final uncertainty of the order of the century. These uncertainties can be reduced in the future if we adopt a more appropriate procedure for the selection and cleaning of the samples.

The Article also states that " the degradation of cellulose is not a clock that proceeds at the same velocity (like it is the decay of radiocarbon)." This is true within the limits just discussed, but also I have to add that the radiocarbon method presents various uncertainties and that it is not always reliable especially if it is used with fabrics which may have suffered environmental contamination such as to generate supply of carbon 14.

It is just the case of the Shroud whose double body image imprinted there is still scientifically not explainable nor reproducible. Many hypotheses of image formation is based on intense radiation (radiation in the broad sense as a phenomenon acting at a distance) and I do not think that we can a priori rule out the hypothesis of a possible enrichment of carbon-14 caused by a radiation still not well defined and of natural origin. For example, it is just of a few decades, the discovery of X-rays and gamma collimated associated with the birth of supernovae and ipernovae that penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere and that could have caused both the body image formation and the enrichment of carbon-14 .

In this respect it should be remembered that in flax there is roughly one carbon 14 atom of one million of carbon 12 atoms and that the addition of one carbon 14 atom in the same amount of carbon 12 atoms, maybe coming by a nitrogen atom of the flax hit by a neutron, would change the radiocarbon date of the order of a thousand years. It is therefore advisable to repeat a radiocarbon dating of the Shroud only after finding out clearly what phenomenon could have produced the double image on the Shroud. Here is also explained the importance of developing alternative dating methods that may indicate a more reliable age of the Shroud.

Results

To obtain the results described in the book we have had to first determine the calibration curves linking the various chemical and mechanical properties analyzed to the historical date of the samples, along with the measurement of the corresponding uncertainties. In the Article it is written that "Fanti has procured some antique fabrics from different eras approximately known." It should be noted that the ages are determined on the basis of their assigned uncertainty.

For example, the 11 textiles on the table on p. 98 of the Book, report time intervals more or less extensive depending on the method used for the determination of the corresponding historical epoch. Sample no. 9 (Coptic tissue from the mummy of Fayum, Egypt) was dated in the range between 544 AD and 650 A.D. (Confidence level of 95%) following a radiodating carbon; instead the sample n. 3 (the end of the Old Kingdom Egyptian fabric) has been dated from the Egyptian Museum of Turin in the range from 2700 BC and 2100 BC on the basis of historical and stratigraphic information.

The Article observes, "that the results cover a very wide range, from 300 BC 400 AD," but 700 years of range are really comparable with the 600 years interval assigned to the Egyptian Museum of Turin sample no. 3. So, even now, without the improvements that can be made, the dating methods proposed may be of interest to museums who want to verify the antiquity of textile samples not clearly located in a certain historical period.

In reference to the comment: "Considering the extremes of the confidence intervals, it would range from 700 BC to 800 AD ", the range is now extensive and can be reduced by making improvements to the method proposed, but this range is already a step forward compared to traditional dating performed in museums that rarely consider statistical confidence intervals as it was done in this case.

Precisely for this reason connected to the relatively wide confidence interval, the age of the Shroud was determined by performing an arithmetic average of the results obtained from the three independent alternatives dating. Future technical improvements of the methods, based on the cleanliness of the sample and the method of extraction of flax fibers will reduce the uncertainty assigned to the date of the samples.

In reference to the dating of the Shroud is to observe a surprising result: all three methods, of course, independent of each other, Raman (200 BC ± 500), FT-IR (300 BC ± 400) and Multi-Parametric Mechanical (400 AD ± 400) provide results that are compatible with one another in reference to the level of confidence of 95%. What is curious it is that just the first century AD, which includes the date of the death of Jesus of Nazareth, is the only century common to the three dating.

It then reads: "The dispersion would be even greater for the first series using the original result, it was 752 BC ± 400. "This statement is not completely correct because we cannot speak of dispersion in statistical data (i.e. related to the repeatability and reproducibility) in reference to known systematic effects that are not treatable with the same statistical methods with which have determined the confidence intervals. In fact, the quantity defined systematic effect is used to change the historical date of finding measured.

The Article continues: "This correction is somewhat arbitrary." This statement may be acceptable if we discuss why it was made a correction of 452 years instead of 437 years. Given that the uncertainties involved are of the order of the century, we can add that we have tried to round up the data. The assertion of the Article is not acceptable if we discuss in terms of a wider range of years for systematic effects that were not invented but that are calculated on the basis of experimental data that will be made available to the scientific community.

It is then formulated the following criticism that seems very appropriate: "it is not known at what temperature and for how long the cloth of the Shroud has been heated as a result of the fire." Although it is clear that there are no scientific data on thermal measurements of Chambéry’s fire, you can set some limits. For this reason, as is reported in Paper on p. 99, Stefano Dall’Acqua of the University of Padua has performed several experimental tests in the oven on linen-like Shroud to determine which pairs of time-temperature can cause yellowing greater, equal or less than that detectable on the Shroud. At this point it was not difficult to establish the upper limit of time-temperature which may have undergone the Shroud during the Chambéry fire: 200 ° C for two hours.

The following observation: "It should be noted that, if he made a correction to the first method, Fanti had to make a correction for the third method which with similar heating tests found that they produced an apparent age" of a few centuries " perhaps due to a hasty reading of the Book, deserves further comment. At p. 100 it is explained that the systematic corrections caused by the effect of fire are negligible compared to the uncertainty inherent mechanical method, evaluated over a period of time ranging from more or less 400 years. It is also highlighted in the Book the fact that the effect of the fire was further reduced by the particular position from which they were collected fibers Shroud under analysis.

Instead on p. 90, in the case of FT-IR analysis, with reference to the deviations produced by systematic effects in the case of linens exposed to fire, one speaks of several centuries. These have therefore necessitated a correction of the measured data.

Better not to comment on the accusation, veiled by a "maybe" Article: "Maybe Fanti has decided to rejuvenate the result of the first series, he was too old than the time of Christ, but he chose not to further rejuvenate the result of the third series, 400 AD, because it was already too young. "This statement wrongly suggests that" perhaps " the data have been tampered in order to achieve a certain goal-result. If you wanted to get such a result at the expense of professional ethics, it would not have been required years of hard work aimed at finding the Truth!

The reliability of the methods

The three methods proposed, Manual Multi-parametric, Raman and FT-IR are new and therefore amenable to improvements, especially as regards the cleaning and extraction of the samples, which may reduce the uncertainty in the assessment of the age of the historical samples.

It seems that the Article directly a priori attacks these alternative dating methods labeling them as unreliable, probably forgetting that from a few years there are method based on similar techniques. One example is the dating method of the cellulose of the wood used by the Museum of Art and Science in Milan and described by Gottfried Matthaes that is based on techniques FT-IR (http://www.spectroscopyforart.com/index-ita . htm and http://www.spectroscopyforart.com/DescrizioneMetodo-ita.htm).

They may seem tendentious in the Article the following statements: "… I believe that the results are not reliable, not for any doubts about the origin of the material, but because of the inadequacy of the methods used." "… You can imagine some differences in storage conditions such as a strong bleaching process, and the Shroud had stories more lively. " "We have also a more concrete reason to think that the fibers of the Shroud used by Fanti were in poor condition." "These uncertainties mean that the methods used by Fanti are inherently unreliable."

Indeed, as has already been said, much of the research on alternative methods of dating has not only focused attention on the search for possible correlations between certain chemical and mechanical properties with the corresponding date of the historical sample considered, but also it centered attention on the possible effects of various environmental contamination such as temperature, humidity, the mechanical and chemical action that suffered the sample during the centuries and the presence of impurities of various kinds both organic and inorganic. It is therefore not true to say in the Article: "Fanti says that he has conducted tests to assess the" systematic effects "of various factors, but in practice he has only made the correction that we saw for the first series.". These are the corrections that have been explicitly mentioned in the informative text, but the literature that will followed it, will best describe these systematic effects.

Conclusion

The international scientific community, accepting the first work on the subject of alternative dating of plant tissues, seems to enjoy a lot of these new methods proposed, but the Article seems in the opposite direction and has to be over with statements that do not seem very scientific, "So with these methods if you get a date in contrast with other knowledge, must doubt the result. "

In this case, the only result seems to be in reference on the radiocarbon dating of 1988 (Nature, http://www.shroud.com/nature.htm) that finally declared a medieval date the Shroud; incidentally "conclusive evidence" reported in the conclusions of the article by Nature does not seem suitable to the scientific statement because it does not seem to leave room for possible future research.

The result in 1988 was challenged by different perspectives also of methodological type recently published an article by robust statistics on magazine (Statistics and Computing http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007% 2Fs11222-012-9329 -5 # page-1) that has cast severe doubts on medieval dating of the Shroud because statistically unreliable.

Based on dubious and lacking justifications it seems the Article reference to the statement: " We have two reasons to think that the fabric of the Shroud was made around 1300 they are the radiocarbon dating and the historical fact of his first appearance. On the other hand, we have no reason to suggest that the Shroud is the first century. "

Since the Article with this statement comes from the strict experimental science I feel entitled to embrace other fields of knowledge in commenting on this statement that perhaps deliberately ignores the results of several studies also published in the book.

Apart from the dating results Raman, FT-IR and mechanical multi-parametric the Article defines as "unreliable … the inadequacy of the methods used" and the historical references from the early centuries AD, also mentioned in the Book. There are several indications that the Shroud is prior to 1300.

For example, we must not forget the texture of the Shroud extremely valuable to "herringbone", but performed on a hand loom with obvious defects and jump stop and wires of varying thickness even more than the 50% obtained manually because in ancient times. In agreement with the biblical book of Exodus, the Shroud’s threads have a twist "Z" instead of the more common twisting "S" because addressed to high-ranking religious person.

We must not forget the full compatibility between what is observed on the Shroud and what we read in the Gospels that was not easy to be played by a Medieval artist; for example lacerated and contused wounds caused by the scourge marks are not easy to explain to this day. That’s why famous scientists such as Eberhard Lindner did not hesitate to appoint "scientific Gospel" the Shroud.

From the early centuries A.D. the iconography of Christ takes typical features of the Shroud face that would not explain except in reference to artists who have not had the opportunity to observe the Shroud. The book adds some interesting detail: for example, we recently found a gold Byzantine (Solidus of Justinian II, the period) of the seventh century AD, depicting the face of Jesus Christ, with interesting additional details (-a: crooked nose because the cartilage fractured as a result of a stick;-b: long hair asymmetrical like"payot", i.e. the side curls Orthodox Jews) that reflect the particular characteristics of the Shroud face.

It seems rather absurd to think of a hypothetical medieval artist who was able to play a double body image that up now cannot be explained, especially in the microscopic details, and he was also aware of many details of Christ’s face unknown in the Middle Ages, but showed in coins and icons of the early centuries AD, only came to light in modern times.

At this point even applying Occam’s Razor, from numerous knowledge about the Shroud, the most likely hypothesis is that the most important relic of Christianity has really wrapped the body of Jesus Christ, bringing impressed his unique "photography ".


PDF Version with Italian Version Included: AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION replica rivista Fanti -spedita- QUE
Categories: Books, News & Views, Science
  1. April 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

    What you see now is the hallmark tendency of the corona discharge, having emanated initially from one electrostatic hotspot, to jump an air gap, and then detach, so as to take up residence on a nearby one. (It having migrated you will note from Giulio’s tie to his pulllover…)

    • David Goulet
      April 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I’ll confess I laughed at that one.

      • April 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        Actually, it’s a very particular and precise alignment that allows Prof.Fanti to obtain his data. Fortunately, he’s provided us with a clue in that photograph ahead of our seeing the peer-reviewed paper. Note that Secondo Pia’s positive has to be placed in the backgound behind the microscope, with a hardback book with a pale-blue shiny cover carefully positioned in the foreground – it being needed to deflect a stream of coherent mysterons back onto the microscope slide. Probably any newish hardback book will do, though I see Prof. Fanti has chosen one called IL MISTERO DELLA SINDONE. Maybe it has special powers that one can only guess at.

        How does he know when he’s got the alignment right to see what he wants to see? His tie lights up (first), that’s how, but the photographer was not quick enough to catch that, so we have to be content with a secondary afterglow….

      • Paulette
        April 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        Colin, you are a troll after all.

  2. Hugh Farey
    April 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

    This would be a lot more convincing if Fanti was able to name the “prestigious journal that has accepted and will shortly publish an article,” even if its subject matter “dating chemistry of ancient fabrics based on Raman spectroscopy and FT-IR” does not include either his own speciality, mechanics, or any mention of the Shroud.

    I now have a copy of Fanti’s book. The pages devoted to his dating experiments are sketchy and wholly devoid of any diagrams of spectra, or correlation curves, although there is a single FT-IR spectrum among the plates.

    I’m not sure if I understand him correctly when he says, above, that his mechanical experiments were so inaccurate that it wasn’t worth applying a 450 year correction factor for the effect of the 1532 fire, and also that his fibres weren’t affected by the fire anyway. The actual text above reads:

    “the systematic corrections caused by the effect of fire are negligible compared to the uncertainty inherent mechanical method, evaluated over a period of time ranging from more or less 400 years.”

    and:

    “the effect of the fire was further reduced by the particular position from which they were collected fibers Shroud under analysis.”

    I very much look forward to the clarification of these details in the prestigious scientific journal.

  3. Paulette
    April 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    This “automatic” translation is awful. Fanti speaks and writes in English. He could certainly give us an hour of his time to fix it. One gets the sense that he doesn’t care all that much about anyone outside of Italy.

  4. Gabriel
    April 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Fanti seems to have forgotten about his challenge to the Pontificia Academy. We’ll have to wait for his paper in that serious journal…..

    • Yannick Clément
      April 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      NO GABRIEL…

      What we have to wait is much more this: We’ll have to wait until a NEW SERIES OF DIRECT TESTS ON THE CLOTH IS ALLOWED BY THE VATICAN!

      Saying this is much more on the target. Fanti can claim everything he wants (of course, everything he claim is in the line of “the Shroud is genuine”) and even be published in a serious journal, in the end, the only way we will be fixed on the question of whether or not the Shroud is 2000 years old and come from the Middle East is to wait for a new series of direct tests done properly by UNBIASED scientists, each experts in their own field of research (which is totally unlike what Fanti does since he entered into the Shroud world). When such a profesionnal team of experts will publish their final report, then we will know for sure if Fanti’s claims were serious or not. Not before.

  5. Dan
    April 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Note update 2. Giulio sent along a revised version of the translation after noting some criticism. I have replaced the old one above. I have left the PDF version unchanged.

  6. April 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Paulette :
    Colin, you are a troll after all.

    Well now, you and some others here might have more cause for complaint if I were to tell you candidly what I really think about Prof. Fanti’s approach to Shroud research, Paulette. So while I reject your charge of trolling (which I understand to mean a deliberate and systematic attempt to wind up the regulars on a web forum) you – and the Professor- are spared a lot of plain talking on my part. It is ideas and issues that interest me primarily. I leave the stalking and trolling to others.

    (As it happens I am resolved to give the laptop a rest while taking a spring break in France and Italy, so do not assume you have driven me off for good with your customary over-ferocious responses to what I write here).

  7. daveb of wellington nz
    April 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I read that cellulose is a complex polysaccharide with the formula (C6:H10:O5)n, consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand D-glucose units. It is highly hydrophilic and can exist in crystalline and amorphous forms. The Fanti paper apparently asserts that the data from the calibration experiments demonstrate that the cellulose progressively degrades over long perionds of time and this can therefore be used for dating purposes. I do not understand what is going on here, nor what in fact the experiments are supposed to be measuring. Perhaps someone more chemically enlightened can explain it. Are the chains breaking up into fewer glucose units? Are the glucose units giving up some of their water content? Are the proportions of crystalline and amorphous components varying? Or is there some other explanation? Apart from the C, O, H atoms there appear to be no other elements involved, and so I am not clear on what the various spectral analyses might mean. One might guess that the various mechanical tests provide some measure of amorphous / crystalline proportions, perhaps water content, or even average chain lengths?

    Each of the various cloths used for calibration will have its own history, and the cellulose in each will therefore have reacted in different ways according to particular environments of exposures to light, temperature and humidity, as well as frequency of use, folding, and handling. Has consistency in the calibration results been demonstrated by various systematic samples from each cloth, or was only one sample from each cloth taken?

    A major reservation has to be that only one fibre of alleged provenance from the TS has been tested to demonstrate the final conclusion of a first century origin. This is no better than what was done for the C14 tests, and some might say it does not even match that low standard. The wide scatter between the three methods used, have been averaged out to provide the first century result. Another verdict might be that the three methods would seem to yield inconsistent results.

    Empiricism is sometimes a last resort when a more rational scientific approach is unavailable or unyielding. It may often be seen in the social sciences, the softer sciences such as finance and economics, earth sciences and hydrology. It can only occasionally provide the starting point for a more rational scientific approach when convincing trends are adequately demonstrated. We have yet to see whether it stacks up in this particular case.

  8. April 17, 2013 at 1:39 am

    “In agreement with the biblical book of Exodus, the Shroud’s threads have a twist “Z” instead of the more common twisting “S” because addressed to high-ranking religious person.”

    Can anyone explain this? Does the Exodus mention linen textures?

    Thank you.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 17, 2013 at 5:50 am

      There has been some speculation that the original function of the cloth may have been as a “temple garment”. I’m aware of two papers by A.A.M. van der Hoeven who seems to have some expertise in textiles. “The Turin Shroud as John Mark’s Temple Garment” Oct 14, 2011, and “Internal selvedge in starched and dyed temple mantle – (etc)” April 2012. The papers can be found on her “Jesusking” site, but CAUTION, last time I went there I struck a link to a nasty computer virus. The papers might be on the Shroud.com site if you’re lucky.

      I considered that the “Temple Garment” paper seemed somewhat
      speculative and I could not agree with some of the aspects and interpretations, as there seemed to me to be some confusion in mixing the writers of the second and fourth gospels and John the disciple (a fisherman) the son of Zebedee. Notwithstanding that, I thought a reasonable case was made for the cloth being someone’s temple garment, possibly even Joseph of Arimathaea. Alternatively it may even have been intended as Joseph’s own shroud, although the possible suggestion of a selvedge could point to its purpose being a temple garment. I am guessing that the biblical prescriptive laws concerning textiles can probably best be found in Leviticus.

  9. Andrea Nicolotti
    April 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

    David Mo :
    “In agreement with the biblical book of Exodus, the Shroud’s threads have a twist “Z” instead of the more common twisting “S” because addressed to high-ranking religious person.”
    Can anyone explain this?

    I think is simply invented

  10. April 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I know a sole reference in “Exodus” (26:1) that sounds remotely. “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue…” or “Make the Tabernacle from ten curtains of finely woven linen”. Both translations are possible.

    Either Mr. Fanti misinterprets the word “twisted” or he has a big imagination. You need a lot of fantasy to see here a reference to “Z” and “S”.

  11. Yannick Clément
    April 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    The most funny thing to notice in this long reply of Fanti is the fact that he complain that Rinaldi (and every one else who has critisize him and his research project) have not wait until the publication of his supposedly « upcoming paper in a prestigious scientific journal » while he is the very first one (and probably the only one) to blame for this since he choose to publish his conclusions in a commercial book first instead of acting like any real profesionnal and credible scientist, which is to publish your conclusions first in a credible scientific journal and then, after some time, maybe you can think of publishing a commercial book about that!!! Message to Fanti : If you really would have wanted to avoid hard critics at the max, why publishing a commercial book long before being able to get your work publish properly in a credible peer-reviewed journal? This is purely ludicrous…

  12. daveb of wellington nz
    April 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    A.N.: re Z twist – “I think is simply invented”

    There are several biblical references to the use of fine twisted linen for priests, Levites and royal personages: Exod 28:5-42; II Chron 5:12; II Sam 6:14. The temple veil was made of it. It was a symbol of wealth Luke 16:19, and in Rev 19:8, 14, also a symbol of purity. None of these refer to a Z twist. However other possible sources for the Z twist requirement might be found in the Talmud, and there is likely a reference to it in the Jewish Encyclopaedia. It has been asserted that the Z twist indicates a Syrio-Palestinian provenance (Hoeven). Hoeven also mentions Nu 15:38 referring to the requirement of adding a blue cord with a tassel on their robes, and it is the suggestion of a selvedge on the Shroud for such a cord which underpins her assertion that the Shroud cloth was originally intended as a temple garment.

    • Yannick Clément
      April 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      The question Dave is this: Was the Z twist was onlu used by Jewish manufacturers in ancient time? I think it would be ludicrous to answer yes to this question… Many ancient textile experts have analyzed the Shroud over the years and they were clear about the fact that there was no features particular enough to indicate an exact location for the making of the cloth.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      April 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Daveb of wellington nz scripsit: «[…]None of these refer to a Z twist».

      So I can repeat: the statement of prof. Fanti is simply invented.

      «However other *possible* sources for the Z twist requirement might be found in the Talmud, etc.»

      The Talmud was written some centuries after the death of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem. What is *possible* in the Talmud is not useful for us.
      All historians of Jewish textiles know that in the I century CE all textiles were made with S twist. So, again, the sentence of prof. Fanti is wrong. The Z twist means that the textile was NOT made in the ancient Palestine.

      • April 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm

        As to the twist of the threads, a similar statement to Fanti’s can be found in a 2010 book by Roberto Giacobbo (Italian TV journalist): “Templari, dov’è il tesoro?”, p. 119. I translate:
        “The particular twist of the linen thread [of the Shroud], which is that described in the Bible (Exodus, 28, 6-8) for making the sacred dress of the high priest of Israel.”
        I copy this passage from Exodus in a standard translation. There is no mention of Z or S twist.
        “6 Make the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen—the work of skilled hands. 7 It is to have two shoulder pieces attached to two of its corners, so it can be fastened. 8 Its skillfully woven waistband is to be like it—of one piece with the ephod and made with gold, and with blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and with finely twisted linen.”

      • latendre
        April 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        Andrea Nicolotti wrote: “All historians of Jewish textiles know that in the I century CE all textiles were made with S twist.”

        Notice that you wrote “all textiles”. This is very broad.

        Can you give a few references to support that statement?

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          April 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm

          latendre :
          Notice that you wrote “all textiles”. This is very broad.

          I am speaking about linen textiles. Goat-hair or camel-hair fabrics, for example, are usually Z-spun.

      • latendre
        April 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm

        Andrea, you replied “I am speaking about linen textiles. Goat-hair or camel-hair fabrics, for example, are usually Z-spun.”

        Ok. So we have some Z-spun textiles.

        What about references to that statement you made? That is, references to “All historians of Jewish textiles know that in the I century CE all textiles were made with S twist.” assuming that would only apply to linen.

  13. daveb of wellington nz
    April 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    A.N.: ““All historians of Jewish textiles know that in the I century CE all textiles were made with S twist.” ; “I am speaking about linen textiles. Goat-hair or camel-hair fabrics, for example, are usually Z-spun.”

    Refer “Akeldama repudiation of Turin Shroud omits evidence from the Judean desert”, Diana Fulbright, Frascati Conference May 2010. Paper at: http://www.acheiropoietos.info/proceedings/FulbrightAkeldamaWeb.pdf
    Note that PDF is secured. It can be saved but text cannot be copied. Fulbright mentions several examples of 1st to 3rd century in the Judean desert. Akeldama lepers’ tomb clothing comprised both plant and wool, both with S and Z twists. At Murabba’at there were seven twill-weave fabrics including a dark-blue cloth of fine and regular herring-bone twill weave (2:2) with Z spun warp threads and mixed S and Z spun weft threads. There are also much earlier examples from Northern Europe of linen with Z spun threads. Paper cites very many other examples which illustrate a variety of practices.

    There may have been a requirement for priestly garments to be Z twisted, but it is not evident in the OT. The Talmud written some centuries after the 1st century may have recorded the requirement. It is evident that some linen in 1st century Palestine was spun with Z twists. But it does not seem to have been exclusive to Palestine.

  14. Louis
    April 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    It looks that more information will be needed, for purposes of comparison, before anything can be stated with some degree of certainty about the twist(s) used in textiles in first-century Palestine. Then there is the problem that literature, say, from the 3rd to the 5th centuries can not be used as reliable controls for customs in 1st century Palestine without being rejected as gross extrapolation. Geza Vermes made the mistake of relying on this literature to guess that it also applied to the period five centuries earlier and it was Rabbi Jacob Neusner who advised that it should be used with care.

  15. April 18, 2013 at 2:42 am

    Conclusion: “Exodus” says nothing about “Z” or “S”. Fanti’s imagination makes him see things.

    About Fulbright: Bad historical practice is made when you compare different objects from separate cultures and try to match them. Fulbright might demonstrate that a cloth as the Shroud is physically possible in Palestina in the 1st. Century. Maybe. But physical possibility isn’t cultural (and economic) possibility. A burial cloth from a poor prophet in Jerusalem isn’t a royal burial cloth in the Chalcolithic (6.000 years before!) or in North Europe (900 BCE). Burial cloths aren’t coats, wool isn’t linen, 2:2 isn’t 3:1, and so on. It sounds alike to the inexpert, but this way of comparison can mislead him. The true historians know this. I think Mrs. Fulbright has forgotten it.

    I recommend take a look at “La Sindone e il giudaismo al tempo di Gesù” by Antonio Lombatti, http://www.cicap.org/new/stampa.php?id=273770# . Very intesting. Yes, in Italian. But to know other languages is useful. You see, although my awful English is useful for me.

  16. daveb of wellington nz
    April 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Professor Diana Fulbright is director of the Shroud of Turin Research Centre, Richmond, VA. Original purpose of her paper as cited above was to refute a claim made by British & Israeli archaeologists in 2010, based on a discovery of fragments of one single plain-weave shroud, that sought to discredit the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. In addition it was claimed that a cloth the size of the TS was too large to be woven on 1st century looms. Her several examples of cloths found in the Judean desert was an ample refutation of both these false claims. She goes further and enlarges on the topic, but this no way compromises her principal argument.

    My own purpose in citing the paper was to refute the assertion made by Andrea Nicolotti that all such linen cloths were of S twist. The paper provides ample evidence of such linen cloths being of both S twist and Z twist.

    A poor crucified prophet may not be up to providing a fine linen shroud for his burial, but it would be well within the means of a wealthy patron such as Joseph of Arimathaea. It was said to be a common practice of 1st century Jews to provide extravagant funerals. This practice only ceased in the 2nd century when Gamaliel II directed that he was to be buried in a simple plain-weave shroud, and his example then became the norm.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      April 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I am not at home and now I cannot provide references, but that the linen in Jewish tradition was worked in S and not in Z is a fact well known. I remember that I have read it that many times. And that when (very rarely) linen textiles Z-spun are found, it is interpreted as proof of foreign provenance.
      You can look, for example, for the studies of Orit Shamir, that now in Israel is the most notable authority on Jewish ancient textiles.
      Please, do not quote articles written by sindonologists without competence (e.g. Diana Fulbright). They are full of mistakes, like ALL what was published about the textile structure of the Shroud, from Paul Vignon to Fulbright. The only reliable study on this subject was published by Gabriel Val that, by the way, was the only expert on ancient textile that ever saw and touched the Shroud and wrote something about it. I have spent 4 month to check all the statements made by sindonologists about the textile structure of the Shroud, and I found all wrong. So, now for me all this is rubbish.

      • latendre
        April 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

        Andrea, your statements are very general and all sweepings.

        You just wrote “I have spent 4 month to check all the statements made by sindonologists about the textile structure of the Shroud, and I found all wrong”. *All* the statements are *all* wrong?! I doubt that. Specific examples would be useful information.

        You wrote in this post (#28) “The only reliable study on this subject was published by Gabriel Val that, by the way, was the only expert on ancient textile that ever saw and touched the Shroud and wrote something about it.”. This is quite sweeping again. What about Flury-Lemberg? Everything she wrote about the textile structure of the Shroud is wrong? Which statements?

        Diane Fulbright gave many useful references on ancient textiles related to the Shroud and its Z-twist weaving. People can read these references and conclude that your statements are not correct. Reading your statements, I think that we get the impression that you are mostly wrong AND that you do not want people to read the references that contradict your statements.

        So far, you have produced no proof of your sweeping statements made recently in this blog regarding the structure of ancient textiles related to the Shroud.

      • latendre
        April 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        Your answer from post #31 amalgamated what I wrote and what “daveb of wellington” wrote. In any case, you are essentially writing that you cannot provide detailed answers in this blog.

        You wrote “I have not antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin”.

        But you participated to a special issue of the magazine “L’Histoire” titled “Le Suaire de Turin, la vraie histoire d’un faux” published in February of 2012 in France which essentially had the purpose of proving that the Shroud of Turin is not authentic. Granted, that you gave an interview to a journalist that probably decided afterwards to publish it as part of this special issue. Yet, it gives the impression that you want to disprove the authenticity of the Shroud. This is the normal conclusion from such publication.

        You also ascribed the term “sindonologist” to some researchers as if this were their only characteristic as a researcher. Why would Flury-Lemberg be a sindonologist but not, say, Gabriel Vial? What is a sindonologist for you?

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          April 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

          <<< In any case, you are essentially writing that you cannot provide detailed answers in this blog.

          Exactly. A blog is not a place for it. And, by the way, is useless.

          <<<<<<<<<<<
          But you participated to a special issue of the magazine “L’Histoire” titled “Le Suaire de Turin, la vraie histoire d’un faux” published in February of 2012 in France which essentially had the purpose of proving that the Shroud of Turin is not authentic. Granted, that you gave an interview to a journalist that probably decided afterwards to publish it as part of this special issue. Yet, it gives the impression that you want to disprove the authenticity of the Shroud. This is the normal conclusion from such publication.
          <<<<<<<<<

          I was contacted by “L’Histoire”. They asked me to answer some written questions NOT prepared by a journalist, but by a professor of medieval history in a French university. I was contacted because I wrote a book about the false theory of the Shroud connected with Templars (Wilson, Frale, etc.).
          I have accepted and in my article NEVER I told something about the authenticity of the Shroud. It was not the aim of my article. Your “impression” is only your personal judgement.
          By the way, if some magazine publishes an issue against the authenticity it does not seem to me a problem: 95% of magazines publish only material pro-authenticity. I like variety.

          <<<< What is a sindonologist for you?

          Someone convinced about the authenticity of the shroud, without possibility to change idea, that writes often about it even without competence, connected with some sindonological association, participates to sindonological congresses (organized and frequented only by supporters of the Shroud).
          Vial is not a sindonologist: he was a very famous teacher and researcher on history of textiles (like for example Daniël De Jonghe, John Peter Wild, Dominique Cardon, Elisabeth Völling, Lise Bender Jørgensen) and he was called to make an examination on the shroud. He made his work (with gentle words, saying what I say) and after he came back to his work.
          Flury Lemberg is a member of the sindonological diocesan committee for the conservation of the shroud, and is capable to say sentences like: “I believe that this is the original shroud of Christ, I believe without a shadow of a doubt. This fabric is so precious, so perfectly woven fabric, and thus corresponds perfectly with what is written in the Bible (!!!???) … On the other hand if it really was made on 13 and 14 centuries as well as the examination of the carbon-14 suggests, however I could not believe: it is necessary that the supporters of this thesis explain in which way the image was imprinted on the shroud. Because the image is so special that the answer *can only be a miracle*. Who else but Christ would have so much energy?”
          This is sindonology. Miracles, Jesus, energy of resurrection, believing without a shadow of a doubt, and so on.

      • April 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

        Answering Post “On April 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm | #31.” by Andrea Nicolotti wrote:

        1) “Exactly. A blog is not a place for it. And, by the way, is useless. ”

        I agree that a blog can be a very chaotic place to precisely discuss a specific subject matter and that at some point no further discussion is possible. It is not completely useless though since you wrote here some statements.

        2) “I have accepted and in my article NEVER I told something about the authenticity of the Shroud.”

        You are correct.

        I was actually a bit disappointed that you did not go over many details that you wrote in your book titled “Dal Mandylion di Edessa alla Sindone di Torino. Metamorfosi di una leggenda” published only in Italian. My Italian reading is slow. Can we expect an English (or French) translation of your book?

        Thank you for your answers.

      • Yannick Clément
    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      A Google search on “Gabriel Val shroud of Turin” yielded no results. I may deduce that his work is not so significant that it has yet to reach the web. Mme Fury-Lemburg is a universally recognised authority on textiles, and has worked intimately on the Shroud so that it is not strictly correct that Gabriel Val is the only authority that ever touched and saw the Shroud. The work of Orit Shamir seems mainly confined to the textiles found in the Christmas Cave at Qumran in connection with the Dead Sea scrolls. The linen textiles there were of a unique type confined to the Essenes. It seems that these particular linen textiles were indeed S spun. Diana Fulbright’s work as an archaeologist in the Judean desert provides ample evidence that linen there also included Z spun. She provides adequate photographs and citations. I would surmise that the particular spinning type would be reasonably recognisable by a person of her competence.

      I am aware of Andrea Nicolotti’s antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. It seems that he works from the principle of negating anyone who has a view contrary to his own,, condemning everyone from Vignon to Fulbright. I consider that the paper “Wiping the Slate Clean” by Emanuela Marinelli provides more than an adequate response to his particular negative view concerning others’ attempts. http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n74part8.pdf

      • Andrea Nicolotti
        April 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        >>>Andrea, your statements are very general and all sweepings.
        You just wrote “I have spent 4 month to check all the statements made by sindonologists about the textile structure of the Shroud, and I found all wrong”. *All* the statements are *all* wrong?! >>>>>

        Obviously not ALL in general sense, but almost all in historical perspective. Since sindonologists have the aim to demonstrate the authenticity of the Shroud, they made a lot of examples of “similar” textiles in antiquity, but their comparisons are unacceptable. I remember you that we started this conversation with the Fanti’s sentence: “In agreement with the biblical book of Exodus, the Shroud’s threads have a twist “Z” instead of the more common twisting “S” . This is an example of this kind of wrong statements.

        >What about Flury-Lemberg?

        Flury-Lemberg is a sindonologist and is an expert on textile conservation and restoration. Is not a well known historian of textiles.

        <<Diane Fulbright gave many useful references on ancient textiles

        Diane Fulbright is not an expert on history of textiles and is a sindonologist also. Many of her references are not acceptable, and she compares to the Shroud many textiles with fundamental discrepancies, so she is not able to demonstrate anything. I cannot explain this here, but in the future I will publish a deep analysis of it. As I normally do when I say something.

        <So far, you have produced no proof of your sweeping statements

        You can think what you want. But this is not the place to do it and I have not time nor capacities to write pages and pages in English in a blog. I started with the wrong sentence of Fanti, that remains wrong. Now I tell you that most of the statements of Fulbright & C. are like the Fanti’s one. If you want to believe me, ok, if you do not want, is the same. This is not the place to demonstrate anything, if the demonstration requires a long and complicate analysis.
        Surely remains that the only group that believes that the shroud has a typical ancient textile structure are the sindonologists. Ask you why.

        <<<<<<A Google search on “Gabriel Val shroud of Turin” yielded no results.

        VIAL, not VAL, it was a mistype. You do not know Vial? Strange. It was also involved on C14.
        I confirm: Gabriel Vial is the only well known authority in HISTORY OF ANCIENT TEXTILES that until now touched, saw and wrote a technical analysis on the Shroud.

        <<<< The work of Orit Shamir seems mainly confined to the textiles found in the Christmas Cave

        No, Orit Shamir (curator of organic materials at the Israel Antiquities Authority) is now the most recognized authority on Jewish textiles of the Roman age in Palestina (and not only the Christmas Cave). Her phd thesis is still the most important study on the “Textiles in the land of Israel from the Roman period till the early Islamic period in the light of the archaeological finds”

        <<<<<<I am aware of Andrea Nicolotti’s antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.

        You are inventing, as sindonologists normally do. I have not antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin (why?). I have antipathy towards pseudosciences, sloppiness, superficiality.

        <<<<It seems that he works from the principle of negating anyone who has a view contrary to his own

        You are describing the sindonology….

        << I consider that the paper “Wiping the Slate Clean” by Emanuela Marinelli provides more than an adequate response to his particular negative view

        I consider the paper of Marinelli a perfect example of what sindonologists normally do. Marinelli is graduated on natural sciences and has no competences on history, philology, byzantine philology and ancient languages. So, she is a person completely unfit to write a review of a book about the Mandylion. However she wrote a review of it (even if in my book I often criticize her…), and obviously in a sindonological review (by the way, giving a description of my results in a very partial way).
        On the other hand, I have received until now six TRUE reviews on six TRUE scientifical reviews or books:
        1) Luigi Canetti (professor of history of christianity at the Ravenna University), in S. Cosentino – G. Vespignani (edd.), Studi in onore di Antonio Rocco Carile, Fondazione CISAM, Spoleto, 2013, pp. 1-21
        2) Francesco Pieri (priest, professor at the theological faculty of Bologna), in «Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa» 48 (2012), pp. 167-178
        3) Vincenzo Poggi (priest, professor at the pontifical institute of oriental studies) in «Orientalia christiana periodica» 78/1 (2012), pp. 239-240
        4) Vassa Kontouma (professor of byzantine studies at the École pratique des hautes études, Paris) in «Revue des études byzantines» 70 (2012), pp. 308-309.
        5) Valerio Polidori (phd in oriental studies at the pontifical institute of oriental studies) in «Medioevo greco» 12 (2012), pp. 375-376.
        6) Alessandro Rossi (historian of christianity, University of Milano) in «Vetera Christianorum» 48 (2011), pp. 391-392.
        They are all positive. This is enough for me. I do not look for the assent and approval of sindonologist. To get it, I ought to write not what I consider true, but what they want to read. And this is not my way to work. I’m sorry about that.

  17. Charles Freeman
    April 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Please could someone explain how Giuilio Fanti’s averaging system works? Suppose you took two new separate samples from the Shroud and had each carbon- dated in a different lab and the results were Sample One: 30 AD, Sample Two: 1370 AD, surely you would not date the Shroud to 700 AD. Perhaps I have missed something but is this not what Fanti is doing?

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I don’t see that it is quite so straight-forward as comparing results using only one method. Fanti appears to have used three different methods each with its own band of results. He has then taken the average of the three methods. As I commented above, an alternative verdict could well be that the results from the three methods are inconsistent. Further, each of the ancient samples used for his calibration curves will have its own history with varying effects on the rate of degradation, if in fact such degradation can be adequately demonstrated. It is reasonable to take proper ssmples under a standard scientific (statistical) protocol and average these results. All the results from such a protocol can then be considered in providing confidence limits using standard error procedures, but not otherwise.

  18. Louis
    April 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    If Jesus dressed like a Clark Gable of that period his enemies would notice and gossip about it and some mention would have been made in the gospels. But neither would he dress beggar’s rags. So he at least wore good-quality clothes, making the soldiers cast lots for his tunic during the crucifixion.

    Since he made no arrangements for his burial rich man Joseph took charge and bought the burial cloth. But did he obtain it from Palestine or bought it from some foreign merchant who came from the Near East (Anatolia?). Who exactly followed the religious norms then? Perhaps the Essenes, before whom the Pharisees would like like liberals, with the Sadducees imitating the Greeks. Remember the coin found by Zvi Greenhut?

    There was no true monotheism then, it was monolatry, but even in this case the rules were ignored. Solomon built the Temple but also worshipped Asherah, whose idol was placed inside this very Temple later. Herod re-built the Temple and also constructed several Pagan temples to worship other gods. Deep inside he was Idumean. If those on the top broke the rules what could be expected from commoners? From Jesus himself we learn that they also worshipped Baal.

    Given the mentality prevailing during that period, would the people bother about the weave of burial shrouds?

  19. Yannick Clément
    April 18, 2013 at 10:42 am

    What I never understood in all this “big noise for nothing” (i.e. the alternative dating of Fanti and his gang) is the fact that he did not think of doing a proper C14 dating of his sample in order to compare the result with those of his alternative methods ! For me, this kind of “protocol” (i.e. focussing only on doubtful dating method while leaving on the side the only method widely accepted for this kind of ancient dating) is completely ridiculous.

    • Yannick Clément
      April 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

      I should have written “focussing only on doubtful dating methods” because there were 3 methods used by Fanti… Sorry.

  20. April 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Not that I am a textile expert but a relatively quick google scholar search totally refutes somebody’s claim that the first century Middle East linens could have been only Z twist and never an S twist( or vice verse). There is an abundance in scholarly articles and books which date both twists in the nearby areas back to 4000BC:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=s+and+z+twist+in+the+first+century+linen+cloths&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C10&as_sdtp=

    http://books.google.com/books?id=_iU4CPSvDK4C&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=s+and+z+twist+in+the+first+century+linen+cloths&source=bl&ots=AkoO3EtZ_5&sig=C9O1E0oX3n00bq6YXwSSS-4gHrE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WU9wUbDzGpCc8wSi54DQCQ&ved=0CF8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=s%20and%20z%20twist%20in%20the%20first%20century%20linen%20cloths&f=false

  21. jesterof
    April 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    The fabric does not have to be produced in Jerusalem – trade has been known for centuries and Z spun linen fabrics as well as S spun have been around as well – why shouldn’t it be possible to buy a cloth produced somewhere else in Jerusalem in the 1 century?

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/503450?uid=3739600&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101922946803

  22. Louis
    April 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Further to comments #25 and #33, it is obvious that more research is needed and the material found in Akeldama and in the Qumran caves do not help in understanding the TS, the textiles found in the caves being very crude. Unfortunately there are no textiles among the Essene artefacts photographed by me some years ago and there was no disappointment because no one ever found any similarity between the Qumran region cloths and the relic. Linen was widely used in Israel, but how much was produced locally and how much was bought abroad?

  23. daveb of wellington nz
    April 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    In 1726, Dean Jonathan Swift recounted how the great war between the empires of Lilliput and Blefescu originated from a Lilliputian imperial edict under great penalties that the smaller end of his subjects’ eggs should be broken. The decree caused great resentment throughout the land, and the Big-Endians took refuge in Blefescu. Many lives and ships were lost in the ensuing war. [Gulliver’s Travel : Voyage to Lilliput]. I conclude that the present debate on S and Z type spinning of 1st century Palestinian linen cloths is hardly of any greater moment than the Lilliputian controversy on which end of an egg shall be broken!

  24. Louis
    April 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    #36. Linen cloth was known to have been manufactured in Anatolia as far back as 6000 BC.

  25. April 19, 2013 at 2:06 am

    daveb of wellington nz :
    Her several examples of cloths found in the Judean desert was an ample refutation of both these false claims.
    (…)
    A poor crucified prophet may not be up to providing a fine linen shroud for his burial, but it would be well within the means of a wealthy patron such as Joseph of Arimathaea. It was said to be a common practice of 1st century Jews to provide extravagant funerals. This practice only ceased in the 2nd century when Gamaliel II directed that he was to be buried in a simple plain-weave shroud, and his example then became the norm.

    1. How many linen shrouds about 4m long has found Mrs. Fulbright in Palestine into the “extravagant” tombs of rich Jews?
    2. How many of these linen was woven in herringbone tread 3:1 twisted in “Z”?

    Yes, nothing, or almost nothing, is impossible in History. But the Shroud of Turin doesn’t match withh funeral clothes in Palestine (1st Century), and Mrs. Fulbright’s article doesn’t changes this claim.

    Joseph of Arimathea is a controversial character in the narrative of the Passion with contradictory features. Let us talk the first evangelist, that is to say, Mark (15:42-46):

    “[42] And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
    [43] Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counseller, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
    [44] And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
    [45] And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
    [46] And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.”

    Normal. The “honourable counseller” has voted against Jesus in the strange Sanhedrin session, but he is a secret disciple of Jesus. So, when he knows Jesus is dead he goes to the local market and buys a royal linen cloth (very common in Palestina markets in these days) just before the Sabbath begins.
    All is normal… in a fairy tale.

    Note that I’m not denying JA could exist and that he could buy a piece of linen. I’m asserting that an improvisation of the purchase of so exceptional piece of linen is highly unlikely (i.e.: “impossible”).
    Shroud of Turin is supposed to be a proof of evangelical narrative, not the other way around. If we accept the Gospels as an argument for the Shroud case we don’t make History, but stories.

  26. daveb of wellington nz
    April 19, 2013 at 7:12 am

    David Mo: Firstly, I am not a biblical literalist. I look for consistency, not endeavouring to prove one feature from another. All four evangelists mention Joseph of Arimathaea. Matthew and Luke are probably sourcing Mark. However John’s independent gospel also mentions him and includes Nicodemus. That is close to corroboration. Luke adds the gloss “”He had not consented to what the others had planned and carried out”, which discounts the assertion that he has voted against Jesus.

    The story does not smell to me of invention, partly because it is not an obvious story to invent, as indicated in your comments. I am happy to place other interpretations on the text, that “he bought fine linen” as a possible form of literary shorthand for some other kind of acquisition. I have suggested other possible sources above, one view being that it was at one time a temple garment, possibly John Mark who some say was the Sanhedrin secretary (see van der Hoeven), possibly even Joseph’s own garment, or possibly even intended as Joseph’s own burial shroud. It is not so incredible that a wealthy Jew, even the putative Joseph of Arimathaea, should be able to lay his hands on a fine linen cloth even on Preparation Day. Burial was one in fact one of the few works permitted on the sabbath.

    The assertion that the Shroud of Turin doesn’t match with funeral clothes in 1st century Palestine may rest on the fragments of one solitary plain weave shroud discovered by Israeli and British archaeologists (yet another case of a single sample being used for purposes of false generalisation). In fact it was not at all unususal to be buried in one’s own normal attire. In Jesus’ case, his clothes had been taken from him prior to his execution, the soldiers throwing dice for his seamless tunic. He was utterly naked on the cross, which was the usual practice, not even the loin cloth of artistic convention.

    My comment on extravagant funerals does not rest on Diana Fulbright’s paper, but on an Enclopaedia Britannica extract concerning Gamaliel II (2nd century AD). “When he died, he was buried, according to his own wish, garbed in simple linen, to discourage the expensive burials that had impoverished many Jewish families.” You may quarrel with Encyc Brit if you so wish.

    Other commentators above have covered the question of the general availability of a variety of cloths in Jerusalem either locally produced or through external Trade. My own views on the debate of S and Z spun linen yarns have now reached the point which I likened to the experience of Lemuel Gulliver in my comment #41.

  27. jesterof
    April 19, 2013 at 7:55 am

    “Yes, nothing, or almost nothing, is impossible in History. But the Shroud of Turin doesn’t match withh funeral clothes in Palestine (1st Century), and Mrs. Fulbright’s article doesn’t changes this claim.”

    Oh, and how much funeral clothes from Palestine from the 1st century is known to compare? just one? this certainly makes that other one a standard and the 4 m Shroud an exception, doesn’t it?

  28. Louis
    April 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

    It was forbidden to perform any labour on the Sabbath, including burial rites, or even so much as moving a body.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Louis, my understanding is that if burial commenced on the day beforehand, it was permitted to complete this work even if necessarily after sunset when the sabbath began. Certain works were permitted if essential for health, danger of death or survival, including military defence. Jewish Encyclopaedia seems to imply that deciding what was permitted and what was not can be quite a tricky exercise in interpretation of Jewish Law. The exceptions are not always obvious.

  29. Hugh Farey
    April 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Luke 15 suggests that some prohibitions were pretty well ignored anyway.

  30. Louis
    April 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    David, I got your point, but must say that interpretation of the Law has always been a problem and, as commented previously, literature from the 2nd to the 5th centuries can not be used as controls for all the customs prevailing in the first century. In fact, some rules and beliefs are said to have appeared even in the medieval period!

    The NT is therefore a reliable control used by many Jewish scholars and publications and we are told that there was haste in Jesus’ burial because of the approaching Sabbath. A crucified victim would not be left on the cross and I am sure you will agree that it was for this reason that only half the job was done in the case of Jesus and that was why Mary Magdalene went to do the rest on Sunday morning. The question of health, danger of death, military defence simply did not arise here.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      OK Louis, but I’m not sure as to whether I agree that “only half the job was done” or not. I’m aware that Max Patrick Hamon has maintained that there was no reason why the burial could not be continued into the evening assisted by lighting at the tomb. He has another explanation for the women preparing the spices and visiting on the Sunday morning in connection with some required post-burial ritual. Meantime I’m open to either view-point.

  31. Louis
    April 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    David, one wonders whether Max thought about the fact that the problem was not lighting but the approaching Sabbath. Joseph of Arimataea and Nicodemus could have a thousand lamps at their disposal, so to say, but of what use would these be if the Sabbath was being broken? If the Sabbath rules were broken during the Sabbath it would be exactly the ammunition the High Priests were waiting for to hurl more accusations at those who belonged to the Jesus movement, the budding Church.These priests hated and feared Jesus. If they did not leave him in peace when he was alive, they also did not do so when he was dead. They had spies and servants around to watch what was being done. So what did Max have to say about this? If may be worthwhile reading about the “explanation”,provided it is not something like Schonfield’s “Passover Plot”.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Louis: The question of the scope of the burial procedure, the purpose of the women’s visit on Sunday morning, their preparation of and bringing of spices, has been debated from time to time on this site over the last year. You can find a long set of comments under Dan’s posting of March 17, 2013, “Scorching Theory: Pseudoscience or Miracle?” There is a long comment there from Max at #35, where he reconstructs a burial scenario. (There are also other postings) Max seems prepared to take at face value John 19:19 “They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, FOLLOWING THE JEWISH BURIAL CUSTOM.” It seems to be Max’s assertion that everything required by the Law would have been carried out, even if this meant extending the burial time beyond sunset, which I understand he considered legitimate. (The burial activity did not need to cease on the appearance of the third star, if it was already in progress.) Very likely there were others present that could assist Joseph and Nicodemus. As the market / shops probably closed around midday, one explanation he has is that the cloth was originally intended for Joseph’s own burial (hence no shopping required). Another explanation (Hoeven) is that it was John Mark’s temple garment worn as a himation, which Joseph was able to recover on his visit to Pilate. I vaguely recall that Max considered the purposes of the women bringing the spices was for some kind of fumigation during their visit, rather than for completing the burial activity. We don’t seem to have heard from Max for some weeks, possibly he is otherwise preoccupied on some paper. I hope he is keeping good health.

  32. Andrea Nicolotti
    April 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Mario Latendresse :
    I was actually a bit disappointed that you did not go over many details that you wrote in your book titled “Dal Mandylion di Edessa alla Sindone di Torino. Metamorfosi di una leggenda” published only in Italian. My Italian reading is slow. Can we expect an English (or French) translation of your book?
    Thank you for your answers.

    Mario, oui, une traduction sera publiée, ce qui me permettra aussi d’inclure certains changements. Si vous avez mon livre en italien, vous pouvez aussi consulter ma page en Academia où j’ai préparé un errata corrige (à la fin du document pdf):
    http://www.academia.edu/916021/Dal_Mandylion_di_Edessa_alla_Sindone_di_Torino._Metamorfosi_di_una_leggenda

  33. Louis
    April 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    David, there seems to be no reason to doubt that the disciples made a hasty burial keeping an eye on the sunset. The haste was precisely because of “the Jewish burial custom”, that is, also no burial during Sabbath. The body does not appear to have been washed.

    • Hugh Farey
      April 23, 2013 at 5:07 am

      “The body does not appear to have been washed,” is quite a contentious statement and has been contended several times. Certainly, the rivulets of blood down the arms may not be inconsistent with having been formed while the body was being crucified, but many people have commented that the entire back was likely to have been covered with blood, while the image shows only neat little marks, as if the back had been washed clean, and then new blood (or possibly Yannick’s favourite ‘exudates’) made the marks we see. Some (possibly Max, if I remember correctly) suggest that minor injuries were allowed to be cleaned off, but that major blood losses had to be recovered, or, if still on the body, preserved, so some sort of partial washing might have occurred. The discussion about old dried bloodstains being remoistened, in contrast to new bloodflows caused by the tearing open of (large) wounds in the process of carrying the body to the tomb, is ongoing.

      How about this for a brand new idea: It was pouring with rain as the body was carried to the tomb. Both body and shroud were wet…

      No, I haven’t thought it through, but it might account for some things…

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

      We have an earthquake and the sun being darkened (Luke says it was an eclipse, but possibly being Greek maybe he didn’t know there’s a full moon at Passover – can’t have a solar eclipse) The darkness was more probably due to one of the regular dust-storms there. It’d be a fairly muddy dust-storm if it was raining as well. We have a few earthquakes in Wellington each year, and there’s occasional news about the big ones. Strangely I can’t ever remember it raining during an earthquake! Maybe we only have eathquakes when the barometric pressure is that little bit higher when there’s no rain?? My plate tectonics is a little rusty! Can it rain during California earthquakes?

  34. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Louis you wrote: “It was forbidden to perform any labour on the Sabbath, including burial rites, or even so much as moving a body.”

    The true fact is Judean liberal Pharisees were allowed to complete a burial rite (once initiated) even after sunset if need be to honor the deceased AS LONG AS they didn’t move the body. Because the women had to abide by the Halakha (Judean religious law), anointing was not performed though as they were not allowed to grind solid/granulised spices to make spicy oily perfumes after sunset (even had the grinding been initiated before sunset) on Sabbath. Hence Yeshua’s body was not anointed on his burial.

    Besides, Yeshua’s burial as related in the Gospels, doesn’t mean at all that at least four of the five Judean burial core procedures (namely speedy burial, wrapping in shrouds, specific purifying and drying were not completed within a minimum 2 hours-2hours-and-a-half time-frame (i.e. till the apparition of the third star heralding the Shabbath).

    • daveb of wellington nz
      April 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Max. Mark 16:1 specifically says that the women brought spices with which to anoint the body. So it would seem clear that the anointing ritual was not carried out during the burial.

      I find it intriguing that all four evangelists make a point of a woman coming in to anoint Jesus beforehand. Luke turns the incident into a rebuke of Simon’s poor hospitality. But Matthew, Mark and John make the point that this was done in preparation for Jesus’ burial. I have a note that the word ‘Messiah’ means the ‘Annointed One’. Despite his not being annointed during his burial, they seem to be making the point that nevertheless he was indeed annointed, and thus any requirement that his body should be annointed for burial was actually satisfied.

      • Max Patrick Hamon
        April 23, 2013 at 7:46 am

        100 % agreed.

  35. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 7:45 am

    To Hugh: The haematic cartography as recorded on the Turin Shroud is totally inconsistent with a loosely draped or wrapped stiff rigid body having been carried under pouring rain to a tomb. It is consistent with a tightly wrapped stiff rigid body having been handled before and after having been compressed in shrouds (with the long inner shroud being in-soaked with a watery solution).

  36. Louis
    April 23, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Max, Bonne soirée. After Jesus’ death Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate to ask for permission to remove the body and the soldiers had to go go to the site of the crucifixion and come back to give a report and this may involved some documentation. You can be sure that the High Priest’s servants, serving as spíes, kept an eye on everything that was going on: any mistake committed by Pilate would provide the HP with justification to demand that he be sent back to Rome. Remember that both parties did not get along with each other due to some of the procurator’s previous actions. Then, any breaking of Sabbath rules by the disciples was what the the HP would also love to see to justify his attitudes on the whole and aim,once again, at those in the Jesus movement.

    Since this took a lot of time it is perhaps true that, as you said, only four of the five Judaean burial core procedures were performed. My contention is that the body was not washed, much less anointed, for the simple reason that the disciples would have to first wash to then anoint. This anointment had to do with burial, not with the previous anointment, performed when the person was alive, and which was an ancient Israelite ritual.

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      April 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Hullo Louis,

      politically speaking, the true fact is Pilate and the High Priest did get on rather well BEFORE Yeshua’s execution not AFTERWARDS while in the meantime, “Herod and Pilate became friends — before this they had been enemies” (see Luke 23: 1-25).

      Chronologically speaking, the maximum time-frame to bury Yeshua was four hours (from after his death on the cross to the apparition of the third star heralding the Shabbath). Besides, because of the Passover Shabbath eve, it cannot be totally ruled out, Yossef Har-Ramathayim had even anticipated the approach of Pilate and asked him for the body before Yeshua’s actual death on the cross was duly confirmed by the Centurion.

      Forensically speaking, it is most likely the body was speedily but ritually “washed”. Because of the very presence of starch and soap (saponaria officinalis) residues in the very long inner shroud, once the latter soaked with a watery solution, it could have behaved like a washing/purifying medium in se.

      • Max Patrick Hamon
        April 23, 2013 at 11:01 am

        As to the anointment/anointing, Yeshua’s very disciples did symbolically it as if it had been done in preparation for his burial.

  37. Hugh Farey
    April 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Yes, well I said I hadn’t thought it through! But it’s good to have your expertise back with us on this one.

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      April 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Hugh, thank you for your kind words.

  38. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Typo: As to the anointment/anointing, Yeshua’s very disciples did symbolically TAKE it as if it had been done in preparation for his burial.

  39. Louis
    April 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Max, you know that the Gospels do not go into details, and so when Luke says that Pilate and the High Priest “became friends” he didn’t add that it was political horse trading. No report would be sent to Rome demanding that Pilate be sent back there for some reason or the other and the Procurator would leave the HP and the rest around in peace, going to the extent of agreeing to have Jesus crucified. Yosef Haramati, being a secret disciple, would have no part in this, and it is likely that he knew well in advance that he would have to approach Pilate, as you said.

    #70: It doesn’t change anything because the point I am stressing is that the body was not anointed because it was not washed.

    Returning to #66 on “saponaria officinalis”, it may have something to do with the TS itself. Why don’t you say something more on this “long inner shroud”, or better, instead of saying things in bits and pieces on this blog, post that paper you said you were preparing.

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      April 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Louis you mistakingly wrote: “Luke says that Pilate and the High Priest “became friends”. The true fact is Luke wrote “HEROD and Pilate became friends — before this they had been enemies” (see Luke 23: 1-25).

  40. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Louis, I wrote: “Forensically speaking, it is MOST LIKELY the body was speedily but ritually “washed” (and dry in a most specific way so as to bury the shed (innocent) blood with the corpse).

    Now you wrote: “it (the TS man’s body) was not washed.” How can you be so assertive when there are forensic medical examiners (e.g. Zugibe and a few others) who do think the TS man’s body was washed (one way or another). What crucial evidence leads you to adamantly think so? How do you mean “washed”? That seems to be the whole point here.

  41. Louis
    April 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Max, thanks for correcting me, but even then little is changed. Regarding the washing of he body, have you forgotten about Dr. Bucklin?

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      April 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Louis, I do understand your viewpoint. The true fact remains though late Dr Bucklin (may G.od rest his soul in peace) no matter how talented he was as a forensic medical examiner was neither a palaeopathologist nor a forensic archaeologist familiar with ancient Judean funerary customs, practices and rites or an archaeological bloodstained pattern analyst. Besides, he was working from a lifesize Turin Shroud negative photograph not from a real corpse.

  42. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Reminder: the Hebrew word taharah means “purification”. Because The TS man’s shed innocent blood was to be buried with his body, the latter was not washed as carefully as a non bloodied corpse.

  43. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    reminder 2: the dirt at the TSM’s heel level is ON THE SHROUD, which means it was no longer on the body implying the Shroud was used as a washing medium. Besides blood, the body fluids were also purified and most likely are to be found in very the impurity layer that makes up the body image.

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      April 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Typo: in the very impurity layer

  44. Louis
    April 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Max,Dr. Robert Bucklin was a forensic pathologist, and didn’t make a big fuss about bilirubin. It is difficult to understand why dirt at the heel level implies that the TS was used as a washing medium. Now please give some details about the “long inner shroud” and how you reached this conclusion. We have the Oviedo Sudarium, the Manoppello Veil, tunics and robes preserved here and there, and now you present another cloth…

  45. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Louis, most likely, the Turin Shroud was used as a long inner burial sheet, the Oviedo Sudarium as a pre-burial head-cloth, the Manoppello Veil as a burial face cloth, the Cahors head-dress as a skull-cap (used on top of both the Byssus face cloth and long inner linen sheet).
    I am talking so much about biluribin as about mordanting (as blood intensifier).
    On March 16, 2013 at 11:40 a.m. #5 Reply, I wrote:
    There is no need to have a PhD or even master’s degree in chemistry to deduce the TS “blood degradation is due to natural mordanting of blood remoistened with aqueous alkaline solution as natural mordanting could account for:
    – The aged bloodstains still looking fresh today on the long inner burial cloth as if the blood had just been shed the day before as mordant is known to be used for intensifying stains e.g. in cell or tissue preparations
    – Potassium giving only a weak signal in Shroud bloodstains
    – Low temperature alkali gelatinisation of starch residuals present in the ancient linen cloth could be a possible factor as printing paste to be taken into account in the Shroud image formation process. Now it is well known gelatine is a breakdown product of collagen.”

  46. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Typo: I am NOT talking so much about biluribin as about mordanting (as blood intensifier)

  47. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    I also wrote on March 16, 2013 at 7:35 p.m. #21 Reply:
    “I said it once I say it twice as far as the archaeological bloodstain pattern analysis is concerned:
    Natural mordanting of dry blood remoistened with aqueous alkaline solution along with drying through myrrhic-aloetic (wood aloe) fumigation could account for:
    – The aged bloodstains still looking fresh today on the long inner burial cloth as if the blood had just been shed the day before. Mordant is known to be used for INTENSIFYING STAINS e.g. in cell or tissue preparations
    – Potassium giving only a weak signal in Shroud bloodstains while hydroxyproline (a marker for collagen) giving strong signal. Now it is well known gelatine is a breakdown product of collagen. The true fact is low temperature (55°-85° C) alkali gelatinisation of starch residuals present in the ancient linen cloth could be a possible factor as bubbling printing paste to be taken into account in the Shroud image formation process.
    – Bilirubin is neither the problem nor the solution, just probably one part of the whole equation.”

  48. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 24, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Most likely, fine twisted linen was a high quality import from the Roman province Syria since the latter was the Middle-East centre of linen production in the first century CE. Reminder 1: in 6 CE, Judaea became an autonomous part of the Roman province Syria.
    Reminder 2: the Turin Shroud measures about 4.4 x 1.1 meter or 8 x 2 Assyrian King cubits

  49. Louis
    April 24, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Good afternoon Max. Thanks for these comments.

    Not knowing much about chemistry only one comment can be made: Thank God you at least do not make a big fuss about bilirubin, with particular reference to the fact that it was used to explain the Jospice Mattress Imprint. As for the relics:

    1) More work is needed on the Oviedo sudarium and there is no consensus. One paper was sent to me some months ago and something will be written on this shortly

    2) The Manoppello Veil as the burial face cloth? Such a comment has been heard before, but how do you explain the two different faces, that is, the one on the TS and the other on the veil? When,in your, view was the image on the veil formed? Some excerpts from my interview with Professor Heinrich Pfeiffer, SJ on this cloth and the TS have been published, but not on the Internet. By the way, did you notice that Benedict XVI did not seem to be impressed by what he saw at Manoppello?

    3) Some suggestions about where the Shroud was produced were given by me a few days ago. Anatolia was suggested and now you mention Syria. It is, of course, possible and here again more research is needed.

  50. Louis
    April 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Max, why the silence? Is there nothing to support what you stated, particularly with regard to the Manoppello veil?

  51. Max Patrick Hamon
    April 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Louis,

    Re the Sudarium of Oviedo, it doesn’t seem you are aware of the Actas del “II Congreso Internacional sobre el Sudario de Oviedo” (2007). Probably you also have missed some of my past comments on the topics:

    I wrote on August 6, 2012 at 6:31 am #6 Reply:
    “Bloodstains and other body fluids on old linens shall be studied AT LEAST not only from reflected but also transmitted and raked light images + UV and X ray images.”

    I wrote on August 7, 2012 at 7:43 am #9 Reply:
    “When it comes to CONCLUSIVELY carbon date claimed old burial linens, history of their conservation conditions (and first and foremeost the specific burial rite they were subjected to) is vital information. Now both for the Turin Sindon and the Oviedo Sudarium much of the information is lacking.

    I wrote on August 7, 2012 at 10:03 am #11 Reply:
    “For the Oviedo Sudarium carbon dating see the César Barta Gil paper, Datacion radiocarbonica del Sudario de Oviedo, proceedings of the/Actas del “II Congreso Internacional sobre el Sudario de Oviedo” (2007), pp. 137 -155.”

    I wrote on August 7, 2012 at 10:19 am #12 Reply:
    “Statistically speaking, the true reliability of 14c dating is only about 70% (from Barta’s, Meacham’s and Voruz & Meanen’s studies). It is even lower for textile samples.”

    In 2012, I also wrote tens of comments on the Manoppello Veil on this very blog. Most obviously you also have missed them.

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