Home > Books, Carbon 14 Dating, Science > Of Similarities: The Tunic of Argenteuil and the Shroud of Turin

Of Similarities: The Tunic of Argenteuil and the Shroud of Turin

November 6, 2013

clip_image001By email, Joe Marino sends along some very interesting quotations from the new book, Witnesses to Mystery: Investigations into Christ’s Relics by Grzegorz Gorny (Author) and Janusz Rosikon (Illustrator). They are from a chapter “on the little-known ‘Tunic of Argenteuil,’” Joe writes, “believed to be the robe mentioned in Mt 27:31 and the tunic mentioned in Jn19:23-24.”:

1) of many similarities as discussed on pp. 190 and 191:

     In 1998 scientists at the Optics Institute in Orsay decided to compare the bloodstain patterns on the Tunic of Argenteuil and on the Turin Shroud  They created realistic and rotational computerized geometric models of what the tunic would look like if worn by a man of the same physical stature and morphology as the man depicted on the shroud.  The result was absolutely bewildering:  it turned out that the bloodstains on the tunic were aligned exactly with the imprinted wounds visible on the shroud.  Overlaying both images drove the scientists to the conclusion that both clothes were stained by the same bleeding man.

     Could that man have been Jesus of Nazareth?  It was confirmed that the tunic was produced using horizontal looms, whose width matched the proportions of those looms used in Christ’s time.  The weave, made using a so-called Z twist, indicates that the robe was probably made in the Near or Middle East.  The fabric’s dye was made of dyer’s madder (Rubia tinctorum), which was in widespread use in ancient times around the Mediterranean Basin.  The dyeing took place before the fabric was woven, and alum was used alongside the dye to dress the cloth.  Both of these practices were common in the first century.

     Because of these results, interest in the tunic steadily grew throughout the scientific community.  In 2004, the Institute of Genetic Molecular Anthropology in Paris commenced tests on the relic.  During restoration work one year earlier, the tunic was cleaned with a special vacuum cleaner.  Scientists therefore decided to analyze the vacuumed particles.  With the use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM), they discovered 115 pollen grains belonged (sic) to 18 plant species.  The most frequently occurring types of pollen were from:  nettle (Urtica fragilis), with 41 grains, and Syrian mesquite (Prosopis farcta), with 13 grains.  Most of the pollen grains belonged to species that had already been discovered on the Turin Shroud (six species) and the Sudarium of Oviedo (seven species)  Among them were Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani) and spreading pellitory (Parietaria judaica).  The most significant discovery, however, was of two species endemic to Palestine:  the terebinth (Pistacia palaestina) and the tamarisk (Tamarix hampeana).  Their pollen grains have likewise been discovered on the Turin and Oviedo cloths.

2) on the limitations of carbon dating as discussed in pp. 192-193:

     From all the tests conducted on the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil, only one result challenges its ancient origins.  This was achieved using carbon dating tests, which took place in 2004 and 2005 under the initiative of the subprefect of Argenteuil, Jean-Pierre Maurice.  A sample of the relic’s fabric was tested twice using C14 radiocarbon particles.  The first test, in 2004, concluded that the tunic dated back to between A.D. 530 and 650, and the second test, in 2005, placed the date between 670 and 880.  Already, the variation in results points to the unreliable nature of carbon testing, as has been discussed with regard to the Turin Shroud.

     Lucotte says he following with regard to the limitations of carbon dating:  "There are many factors that can alter the results of tests using radiocarbon particles.  Even scientists who carry out the tests admit that this method of dating only works properly when the test sample is actually representative of the material whose age one wishes to determine.  In other words, the C14 particles in the test sample must come from the same era as the fabric as a whole.  If at some point over the years the fabric became suffused with either older or younger carbon particles, then the tests would obviously be rendered inconclusive.  In the case where older carbon particles are present, the fabric is dated as being older than it is, and the opposite is true if the fabric contains younger carbon particles."

     Carbon dating can be particularly unreliable with fabrics, since they easily absorb fluids containing substances in which one can find traces of carbon, such as calcium carbonate (which occurs naturally as chalk, limestone, and marble) or organic materials.  The presence of these carbon particles, which can be deeply embedded within the fabric, can have a great effect on test results.  In the case of the Tunic of Argenteuil this is highly likely:  in an attempt to protect it from insects and mold, the relic was treated in the last century with the insecticide DDT, which contains a large amount of carbon.

  1. Joe Marino
    November 6, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I also informed Israeli botanist Avinoam Danin about this. He emailed that he is no longer working on the Shroud and added “Tamarix hampeana does not grow in Palestine. Pistacia palaestina is not regarded by any botany book of our area as ‘endemic’.”

    • O.K.
      November 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Joe, checking Frei’s list, he claimed Tamarix nilotica Bunge not Tamarix hampeana , if they are different species.

    • O.K.
      November 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm
      • Joe Marino
        November 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        O.K., I have passed along your comments to Danin.

      • Joe Marino
        November 7, 2013 at 7:11 am

        I received this response from Danin: “I am sorry about my response concerning Tamarix hampeana. It is mentioned in Flora Palaestina part 2: 359 (Zohary, 1972) and regarded as a very rare plant. I did not see it in the field and I could not erase it from the list of plants in Flora Palaestina area. Hence it is mentioned in my Distribution Atlas of Plants in the Flora Palaestina Area (Danin 2004) as a very rare plant found in the Philistean Plain. The nomenclature in my website (flora.huji.ac. il) is based on Flora Palaestina. Tamarix species are very hard to determine and I suspect anybody can determine pollen grains as belonging to a certain species of Tamarix. I suggest you address Prof. Dr. Thomas Litt (Bonn, Germany) about the pollen types mentioned in your letter.”

  2. Hugh Farey
    November 6, 2013 at 8:01 am

    It is interesting, is it not, that after vacuuming approximately 10000 cm2 (yes I’m guessing – how big is it?) of the tunic of Argenteuil, 115 pollen grains were found. The tape samples on the shroud perhaps constituted 500cm2, perhaps 5% of the area of the tunic, and yet enough pollen was found to identify 56 different species. No doubt these figures need considerable adjustment, but even at their most optimistic, I think there is a discrepancy that needs to be discussed.

  3. November 6, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Don’t you just love these folk who commission a radiocarbon dating, knowing its inherent imprecision, and then proceed to knock the methodology when it fails to give the right answer (with the inevitable accompanying cries of contamination – well based or otherwise). What would their response have been if it had given the right answer, with a spread around 33AD? Answers on a postcard please.

    Stats? I’m a bit rusty, but with help from the internet:

    The 4 data points were 530,650,670,850 (all AD)

    That’s a mean of 682.5 years and a standard deviation of 145.5.

    If one assumes the data are from a normal distribution about the mean (one really has no option but to) and that 95% of the data points would lie between +/- 1.645 standard deviations from the mean, then the minimum date would be 443 AD or rather the probability of it being 443 or greater is 95%, the conventional level for statistical confidence.

    As for contamination – calcium carbonate would not not be a problem. All clean up procedures use acid, which would convert the carbon to gaseous CO2. If DDT were a suspected contaminant, then a solvent for lipids is all that is required (DDT being highly hydrophobic and lipid-soluble). One could also determine lipid-soluble chlorine to get an estimate of maximum contamination.

  4. Charles Freeman
    November 6, 2013 at 9:55 am

    ‘The weave, made using a so-called Z twist, indicates that the robe was probably made in the Near or Middle East.’
    I think the author must have meant ‘S’ twist. Z is relatively rare in the east but almost universal in western Europe while S is the predominant twist in the Middle East. (It depends on the way you do the spinning and this is, interestingly enough, a cultural phenomenon.) It may be, of course, that the tunic is the exception that proves the rule.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      November 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      ‘S’ twist was common and the norm in most Egyptian textiles, where ‘Z’ is relatively unknown. Elsewhere in the Middle East, ‘Z’ twist is not at all uncommon. There are any number of examples of ‘Z’. I see the assertion as merely yet another example of a slanted take contrary to the actual evidence, in a pathetic agenda driven attempt to discredit the TS as of possible ME provenance. Lacking a coherent argument, the correspondent falls back on creating a false textile mythology based on ‘spin’! About as pathetic as asserting that there was no AB blood until the Magyars and Mongols got together in the 11th century. What other fairy tales do you have?

      • O.K.
        November 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        Dave had there even been no AB in the first century, this would mean nothing, because Jesus was born from the Virgin.

      • O.K.
        November 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        And of course the blood on the Tunic was identified as AB (in 1985 by some Dr Saint Prix although I could find no more details).

      • Charles Freeman
        November 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        ‘ Merely yet another example of a slanted take contrary to the actual evidence, in a pathetic agenda driven attempt to discredit the TS as of possible ME provenance.’

        And I thought we were meant to be being polite to each other!

        Ok, Dave b, well let’s put out some evidence as this in area that has been exhaustively researched (because knowing the twist S or Z is used widely to assess provenance and so it is always recorded in textile studies).

        This is a compilation of the evidence from various archaeological sources.

        All the major finds in the Near East, the textiles from the Qumran Cave and Masada (both first century AD), those from the period of the second Jewish revolt (AD 132-5) and from the early third century from Dura-Europus in Syria, have S twists. So did all the 46 fragments of wool damask from the Mons Claudianus site in Egypt (second century AD). A study of 21 linen textiles from Coptic Egypt from the Katoen Natie collection in Antwerp that have been dated to between the fifth and tenth centuries AD showed all had S twist yarns. A possible exception to the eastern S twist lies in the very finest cloths as in a (wool) diamond twill of the third century AD from a tomb in Palmyra (its weft had a staggering 160 threads to the centimetre) which was Z twist.
        In contrast the pre-Roman Celtic cultures of Europe all used Z twist. John Peter Wild, a leading authority on textiles, writing in 1970, knew of only one piece of linen from the Roman west that was S spun and as it was found with silks, it was probably an import. ( Wild’s Textile Manufacture in the Roman Northern Provinces, p. 44.) The wonderful silk damask from Milan of the fifth century is another cloth with Z twist threads. The ‘Roman’ Z twist continued into medieval Europe. For instance, all the linen textiles recovered in excavations from London that are dated between 1150 -1450 have a Z twist in their yarns. In general, therefore, a linen textile that uses a Z twist in its yarn is likely to come from Roman or medieval Europe, and a yarn with S twist invariably comes from the east.

        Now would you like to present your evidence to contradict this ‘coherent argument’?

        Please realise that some of us are professionals working in these fields and we do try and get things right before we go public.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      November 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      O.K.: You are missing the point. It is known that bloodstains on the TS, and various other alleged Jesus blood relics, are of Group AB. Worldwide, the occurrence of AB in modern times is 5.1%, 3% in Europe, and 8% in the Middle East. There are some populations in which it does not seem to occur at all, and yet other populations, e.g. Oriental and Ainu, where it is historically significant. The correspondent had previously made a pathetic attempt to discredit the TS, on the specious grounds that AB was unknown until Magyar & Mongol populations commingled around 1000AD. AB is even known to occur in some (not-all) non-human primates! ‘Z’ twist cloth is known to occur in the ME, his denial has a similar pedigree as his AB blood type assertions. Doubtless we shall see him grasping at yet further straws in the future to bolster his pseudo-skepticism as his imagination might allow.

      • O.K.
        November 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

        Dave, of course I understand what you mean. And fully agree. Just pointed that even if AB had first appeared in 1000 AD, as sceptics claim, this would change nothing, due to the Virgin Birth (so genetical profile of Jesus is special case).

        As to Z/S, both Shroud, Sudarium of Oviedo and Tunic of Argenteuil have Z. It is sometimes claimed that this suggest more Syrian origin, than Egyptian for example, but actually proves nothing. And textile trade in the 1st century was very widespread, so the cloth could be produced elsewhere and sold to Palestine.

        The legend claims that the Tunic of Argenteuil is woven by Mary herself, and it is plausible.

      • Charles Freeman
        November 7, 2013 at 4:29 am

        Dave b. I only intervened on one issue, the Z twist. When I first read it, I simply assumed that the author had got S and Z mixed. I do not know where he got his idea that Z twist indicated that the tunic ‘was probably made in the near or Middle East’ . A glance at a standard text, e.g. the first volume of The Cambridge History of Western Textiles would have shown him that he was wrong. It has long been recognised that Z is rare in the east, and S rare in western Europe.
        I do take the point,however, that there was trade. In fact, trade between the east and Spain has been plotted through the discovery of S twist textiles in Spain. Accounts suggest that the Temple priesthood in Jerusalem imported their linen from India or Egypt, there being little high quality flax in Palestine until the second century. So one can have an imported Z spun cloth in the east- I was simply making the point that ‘PROBABLY MADE IN THE NEAR OR MIDDLE EAST’ is certainly wrong.

        I did not intervene on the blood issue so that is irrelevant here.Obviously the fact that non-human primate species may have AB blood is neither here nor there as the species don’t cross. This is one of the areas that will be clarified over the years as more genetic evidence is accumulated. Progress is so fast in the field of ancient genetics that it is simply a question of seeing how this is resolved.

        ‘Doubtless we shall see him grasping at yet further straws in the future to bolster his pseudo-skepticism as his imagination might allow.’
        I am working on it, Dave B, but what is ‘pseudo-skepticism’? I assume that it is pretending to be sceptical when one is not, but I can’t understand why I should PRETEND to be sceptical.
        The real question is whether this is a website on which sceptics are allowed or not to contribute without personal attacks. That is up to Dan. Yesterday in the ‘Consider Rogers’ posting I put forward some areas of research (in the relic collections of northern France that are said to have come direct fromJerusalem) that can be followed up without making a commitment either way to authenticity. Here I have put forward some accepted evidence about S and Z twist that certainly does not come from my imagination but from the hard work of dedicated archaeologists.

  5. November 6, 2013 at 10:44 am

    The problem with pollen evidence is the same with the carbon dating in our inability to know what has come into contact with the material. A false relic could have traveled to many places and picked up those pollens as much as a true relic.

    I would find the matching bloodstains more conclusive that the two materials are linked to the same person. Though I’d like to see some forensics experts support the conclusions mentioned in the post.

    I keep pondering on these linked relics. We certainly know there was an industry built around them. But it is logical to assume that Christ’s garments, burials clothes, etc would have been considered precious relics by his followers, particularly because they contain his blood – his lifeforce. It also follows then that they would have preserved them, hid them in times of persecution. Of all the relics out there, these relics would be preeminent. The only way they would have been lost is if they were destroyed by catastrophe. That may have happened. but is it pure poppycock to think that the Sudarium, the Shroud and the Tunic could indeed be these preeminent relics? I don’t think so, particularly if they can be linked by general forensics. Proving definitely they are those relics is of course another matter.

  6. O.K.
    November 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Hi guys.

    Remember, the chapter in Witnesses about Holy Tunic of Argenteuil is in fact only short summary of a book that is my primary source of information about it: André Marion, Gérard Lucotte Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil
    A polish edition of it is partailly available at Google Books: http://books.google.pl/books?id=0s9LQkwCEWsC&printsec=frontcover&hl=pl#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Hugh: It is interesting, is it not, that after vacuuming approximately 10000 cm2 (yes I’m guessing – how big is it?) of the tunic of Argenteuil, 115 pollen grains were found.

    Marion & Lucotte write that more pollens were found, but approximately 2/3 of them are damaged. 115 were identified under SEM.

    Collin: As for contamination – calcium carbonate would not not be a problem. All clean up procedures use acid, which would convert the carbon to gaseous CO2. If DDT were a suspected contaminant, then a solvent for lipids is all that is required (DDT being highly hydrophobic and lipid-soluble). One could also determine lipid-soluble chlorine to get an estimate of maximum contamination.

    Marion and Lucotte provide details about carbon-dating. The first “official” dating at Saclay ordered by Jean Pierre Maurice used two samples gave results 530-650 AD. But another blind dating was ordered using (smaller) part of the same sample with the same pre-treatment and cleansing procedure, and gave result 670-880 AD. Marion and Lucotte cliam that test cleansing failed to clear the sample from all calcium carbonate , about 1/3 of initial amount of calcium remained in the threads.

    The Tunic is heavily contaminated, because in the years 1793-1795, during the French Revolution, it was buried by abbot Ozet in the parish garden to hide it from revolutionaries. So the sense of carbon dating can be seriously questioned.

  7. Hugh Farey
    November 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks OK. So about 350 pollen grains were vacuumed from the Tunic of Argenteuil. If only 5% of the tunic had been sampled (roughly the area sampled by sticky tapes on the shroud) they’d have found about 17 grains. Those who examined the STURP tapes said they observed very few pollen grains. Unless Max Frei’s tapes were quite extraordinarily rich in pollen, his identification of 56 species of plant looks increasingly suspect.
    But then, so does this. About half the pollen on the tunic comes from Stinging Nettles and Syrian Mesquite. Both these plants are insect pollinated, and their pollen does not float about in the air. The only way such a proportion of pollen could arrive on the tunic was if quantities of Stinging Nettle and Syrian Mesquite flowers were laid on it.

    Then, what about this: “the bloodstains on the tunic were aligned exactly with the imprinted wounds visible on the shroud.” Really? What wounds, exactly. Not the nails, spear or crown of thorns, presumably. Are we talking about a precise correlation of the dumb-bell shaped flagellation wounds? Or the rather general and vague contusions on the shoulders? “Aligned exactly”?

    PS. I do apologise to those who feel that actually reading the results of scientific investigations shouldn’t be allowed if it compromises their faith.

    • O.K.
      November 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Unless Max Frei’s tapes were quite extraordinarily rich in pollen.

      Some were, some not so much. Some contained hundreds of pollens, some only single specimen. But if the flowers were deliberately laid on the surface of the Shroud, as some claim…

      Then, what about this: “the bloodstains on the tunic were aligned exactly with the imprinted wounds visible on the shroud.” Really? What wounds, exactly. Not the nails, spear or crown of thorns, presumably. Are we talking about a precise correlation of the dumb-bell shaped flagellation wounds? Or the rather general and vague contusions on the shoulders? “Aligned exactly”?

      Truly we don’t know. We have only Marion’s descriptions and not so clear photos from his and Lucotte’s Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil. We can trust them or not. Actually, the bloodstains on the Tunic and wounds on the Shroud were first compared in 1934 (Hynek wrote about that in already in 1937later in 1997-1998 André Marion improved the results by using computer simulations of Tunic’s distortions), but forgotten for over 70 years!

      We can at least say they are consistent. The biggest problem is that there are so many wounds on the back of TS Man, that I wonder how humch unequivocal the results are.

      BTW: Until 19th century no one was aware that the Tunic is bloodied, as the Tunic is red color and the blood is also red color.

  8. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 6:57 am

    David Goulet :
    I would find the matching bloodstains more conclusive that the two materials are linked to the same person. Though I’d like to see some forensics experts support the conclusions mentioned in the post.

    I would like to add a few comments, though I am not a forensic expert. I do not consider myself a “blood expert” or a “DNA expert”, either. I do have a working knowledge and professional experience with the methodology and scientific principles. I have also taught the subjects at the graduate, medical, undergraduate, and high school levels. I think the word “expert” is way overused. It implies a certain infallibility that I, myself, am not comfortable with. That being said, I think I have something to add relevant to the topic that may be beneficial (or not). If truly interested in the subject, I would recommend independent validation from multiple sources.

    Interesting that the premise that real blood exists on the Tunic isn’t protested with a similar vigor as that on the Shroud. Even though AB is the most infrequent blood type in the population and percentage variations exist among certain ethnic groups, having the same blood type is only suggestive evidence, at best. These results are consistent with the idea that the blood on the two objects could have come from the same individual, but that’s as far as it goes (or that the collagen binder could come from the same animal, if you want to go really far). Typing tests are most conclusive at ruling out the relationship between two objects (i.e., when both show different blood types), than ruling them in.

    The most effective test(s) that could be done to determine the relationship between these two objects is DNA analysis (nuclear and/or mitochondrial). This is the most conclusive set of experiments that would help include or exclude that the blood on the two objects is from the same individual.

    Finally, it is often mentioned that the DNA on the Shroud is degraded; true, but it is also relevant that portions of 3 genes were cloned and sequenced: a subunit of hemoglobin, and genes located on X & Y chromosomes. It’s been concluded from these studies that the blood is that of a human male. However, it’s not as though portions of these 3 genes might exist and everything else is wasted. It could be, but there is no reason to think that portions/segments of certain other genes or noncoding sequences might similarly exist.

    These 3 particular genes were able to be analyzed because they were targeted with specific probes that allowed them to be selectively amplified and examined. This is similar to using a large magnet to pull certain needles out of a haystack. Or, if possible, to apply a word search engine to a pile of shredded documents and asking it to find certain key phrases; many other things may be in there, they are just not the object of that particular analysis.
    Even with a small percentage of the entire genome remaining intact, who knows?

    If additional, more sophisticated DNA testing could reveal useful information is an if. Contamination could be a issue-it might be possible to selectively minimize it. DNA degradation could be a roadblock for certain nuclear genes, because of its relatively higher abundance, analysis of mitochondrial DNA might prove more useful-this was introduced into the US legal system in 1985. To truly determine the relationship or the Shroud to the Tunic or other objects, DNA testing would be the most definitive, this would take it beyond matching blood types.

    • November 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

      This is much deeper analysis/feedback than I was looking at — thanks, Kelly. I was thinking more in terms of the matching of wound patterns, than the blood match (which would as you point out be even more conclusive). If a person has a unique type of wound (like those found from a scourged and crucified victim) and the wound pattern shows up on two (or three) separate pieces of ‘clothing’ evidence then this is important. This is why I would like to see persons trained in forensics to give their two cents on the wound match ups between the three relics. This type of person could give a better conclusion as to how ‘good’ the match ups are and how much could be coincidental.

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      If additional, more sophisticated DNA testing could reveal useful information is an if. Contamination could be a issue-it might be possible to selectively minimize it. DNA degradation could be a roadblock for certain nuclear genes, because of its relatively higher abundance, analysis of mitochondrial DNA might prove more useful-this was introduced into the US legal system in 1985. To truly determine the relationship or the Shroud to the Tunic or other objects, DNA testing would be the most definitive, this would take it beyond matching blood types.

      Kelly, Lucotte writes in Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil that he was able to obtain a genetic code from the Tunic, with 15 genetic markers.

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Interesting that the premise that real blood exists on the Tunic isn’t protested with a similar vigor as that on the Shroud.

      The blood on the Tunic was already discovered in 1892. There are blood cells discovered, no doubt there is a real blood on the Tunic -despite that false claims that there is no blood on the Tunic are sometimes spread. Interestingly, until 19th century no one was aware that the Tunic is bloodied, as the Tunic is red color and the blood is also red color.

      BTW.: Joe didn’t write the most interesting discovery about the blood on the Tunic. See Witnesses pg. 191, and right illustration on pg 193.

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Even though AB is the most infrequent blood type in the population and percentage variations exist among certain ethnic groups, having the same blood type is only suggestive evidence, at best. These results are consistent with the idea that the blood on the two objects could have come from the same individual, but that’s as far as it goes (or that the collagen binder could come from the same animal, if you want to go really far). Typing tests are most conclusive at ruling out the relationship between two objects (i.e., when both show different blood types), than ruling them in.

      To Kelly and others. You don’t see the point.

      Only 5 % (1 in 20)of human population has blood type as AB.

      Nevertheless, it was found on FOUR alleged relics of Christ!!!

      1. Shroud of Turin
      2. Sudarium of Oviedo
      3. Tunic of Argenteuil
      4. Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.

      Assume all four are nothing but medieval forgeries. What are the chances that such coincidence would have come purely by chance?

      I discussed this in my article: http://ok.apologetyka.info/racjonalista/w-potrzasku-bredni-prawdy-i-poprawdy-na-temat-poplamionych-krwia-relikwii-pasyjnych,432.htm

      First I considered: what are the odds that all the relics would have the same blood type (no matter which) by a pure chance? The distribution of blood types is as follow:

      0 type -44 %
      A type -35%
      B type -16 %
      AB type -5 %

      So the odds that by pure chance, all the relics would have the same blood type (no matter which) are like 4:73

      But next step is that we determined on one of these relics blood type as AB (chronologically it was first on Lanciano, but it doesn’t matter).

      So next question arises: what are the odds that on the 3 other relics the blood type is AB?

      The answer is obviously:

      1:8000

      All the relics have the same blood type and the rarest in the whole human population!

  9. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    O.K. :
    If additional, more sophisticated DNA testing could reveal useful information is an if. Contamination could be a issue-it might be possible to selectively minimize it. DNA degradation could be a roadblock for certain nuclear genes, because of its relatively higher abundance, analysis of mitochondrial DNA might prove more useful-this was introduced into the US legal system in 1985. To truly determine the relationship or the Shroud to the Tunic or other objects, DNA testing would be the most definitive, this would take it beyond matching blood types.
    Kelly, Lucotte writes in Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil that he was able to obtain a genetic code from the Tunic, with 15 genetic markers.

    Thanks-are they are specific details as to which markers and if multiple forms (>2 for each gene) were present?

  10. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Sorry for so many typos, hands too long for this keyboard “Are there specific”

  11. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    O.K. :
    Interesting that the premise that real blood exists on the Tunic isn’t protested with a similar vigor as that on the Shroud.
    The blood on the Tunic was already discovered in 1892. There are blood cells discovered, no doubt there is a real blood on the Tunic -despite that false claims that there is no blood on the Tunic are sometimes spread. Interestingly, until 19th century no one was aware that the Tunic is bloodied, as the Tunic is red color and the blood is also red color.
    BTW.: Joe didn’t write the most interesting discovery about the blood on the Tunic. See Witnesses pg. 191, and right illustration on pg 193.

    Blood was confirmed in 1985, using chemical testing correct? (The ABO typing would fall in the category of immunological testing).

    I don’t have the book…most interesting discovery about the blood…

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      No, something much more intereesting… ;-)

      Ask Joe, let he quote that!

  12. O.K.
    November 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Kelly Kearse :
    Thanks-are they are specific details as to which markers and if multiple forms (>2 for each gene) were present?

    I will send you the scans from Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil, but unfortuantely not until tomorrow.

  13. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    O.K. :
    Even though AB is the most infrequent blood type in the population and percentage variations exist among certain ethnic groups, having the same blood type is only suggestive evidence, at best. These results are consistent with the idea that the blood on the two objects could have come from the same individual, but that’s as far as it goes (or that the collagen binder could come from the same animal, if you want to go really far). Typing tests are most conclusive at ruling out the relationship between two objects (i.e., when both show different blood types), than ruling them in.
    To Kelly and others. You don’t see the point.
    Only 5 % (1 in 20)of human population has blood type as AB.
    Nevertheless, it was found on FOUR alleged relics of Christ!!!
    1. Shroud of Turin
    2. Sudarium of Oviedo
    3. Tunic of Argenteuil
    4. Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.
    Assume all four are nothing but medieval forgeries. What are the chances that such coincidence would have come purely by chance?
    I discussed this in my article: http://ok.apologetyka.info/racjonalista/w-potrzasku-bredni-prawdy-i-poprawdy-na-temat-poplamionych-krwia-relikwii-pasyjnych,432.htm
    First I considered: what are the odds that all the relics would have the same blood type (no matter which) by a pure chance? The distribution of blood types is as follow:
    0 type -44 %
    A type -35%
    B type -16 %
    AB type -5 %
    So the odds that by pure chance, all the relics would have the same blood type (no matter which) are like 4:73
    But next step is that we determined on one of these relics blood type as AB (chronologically it was first on Lanciano, but it doesn’t matter).
    So next question arises: what are the odds that on the 3 other relics the blood type is AB?
    The answer is obviously:
    1:8000
    All the relics have the same blood type and the rarest in the whole human population!

    I do see the point-scientifically though it is still only suggestive at best. It does not show it is from the same person. I am unsure about the results from Lanciano based on the results I’ve seen. Some, including Zugibe have raised doubts regarding the AB blood type because of contamination by bacteria, fungi, etc. Such antigens are shared by those organisms-I have addressed this in my previous articles. When discussing the blood type on the Shroud, I am always careful to say it is type AB as determined by forward typing methods. In a blood bank, a transfusion is only performed if the blood type can be cross-checked by an alternative complementary method (typically reverse typing). In the case of AB, particularly with older blood, this is somewhat of a catch-22-see previous articles). Molecular (genetic) testing can circumvent such issues, provided sufficient DNA is intact at that region to evaluate.

    I am familar with percentages of frequency of expression, even if the answer was 1:80,000-if 4 items were brought into a courtroom, which were thought to be linked to the same person, and all showed type AB blood, would this prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was the same person? No. Consistent with, yes. But definitive-no, not scientifically.

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Kelly I know, I discuss this widely in my article.The problem is of course interpretation. Look at this from the other side, could the forgers (who of course knew nothing about blood types) be so lucky?

      Those are not some cloths found somewhere on the dump. Those are items, which are claimed to contain a blood of a certain person, that is Jesus.And this assertion may be right, or may be wrong.

  14. Anonymous
    November 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Quote: “Interesting that the premise that real blood exists on the Tunic isn’t protested with a similar vigor as that on the Shroud.”

    My answer: It’s due to the fact that there is no body image on the Tunic! If there was one, no doubt the skeptics would try to deny the fact that there really is blood on this cloth as hard as in the case of the Shroud because the blood evidence on the Shroud alone is enough to understand that the Shroud image is not due to a man made forgery (see: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n76part5.pdf).

    Colin Berry (for one) knows this and that’s probably why he try so hard to deny the fact that the bloodstains on the Shroud are made out of real blood material coming from exudates of blood clots.

  15. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    O.K. :
    Kelly I know, I discuss this widely in my article.The problem is of course interpretation. Look at this from the other side, could the forgers (who of course knew nothing about blood types) be so lucky?
    Those are not some cloths found somewhere on the dump. Those are items, which are claimed to contain a blood of a certain person, that is Jesus.And this assertion may be right, or may be wrong.

    I agree, from the other side, lady luck would have to smile pretty broadly…but, scientifically, it still falls under circumstantial. I am pretty comfortable accepting the typing results on the Shroud studies because of the inclusion of specific and nonspecific controls, and the use of both polyclonal & monoclonal antibodies, in different studies. In the Miracle of Lanciano results I have seen, there is only the presentation of reactivity with anti-A and anti-B antiserum, no control data is presented. Which specific controls to include are not always intuitively obvious to those who don’t work with antibodies on a regular basis. I remember as a young graduate student getting very excited about isolating several proteins based on their reactivity with specific antibodies. The label on the tube said the antibody was specific for them, so I had no reason to question it. When I went back and ran several irrelevant, unrelated antibodies, I saw exactly the same pattern. So much for specificity in those particular experiments. I have reviewed numerous papers over the years where the controls on specificity were assumed, but not proven. In immunology, it’s a must.

    From the other side, Zugibe might have argued that the presence of AB antigens on all of these relics was really due to contamination by other organisms. (He mentioned this in his book). These carbohydrates are not unique to red blood cells but are expressed in other microorganisms. I don’t think this is the case for the Shroud because adjacent white fibers are non-reactive with anti-A and anti-B. Shroud fibers have also been examined with anti-O reagents and shown to be negative. (The O antigens are the branch from which the A and B are assembled-if simple contamination, I would think there might be reactivity here as well). I don’t know if the typing on the other relics is as thorough. I would like to see the actual data. If it were totally air tight, I would still be at the same place: certainly consistent with, but I don’t think you can definitely conclude anything unless the blood types are different.

  16. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    O.K. :

    Kelly Kearse :
    Thanks-are they are specific details as to which markers and if multiple forms (>2 for each gene) were present?

    I will send you the scans from Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil, but unfortuantely not until tomorrow.

    Great-I appreciate this very much

  17. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    O.K. :
    No, something much more intereesting… ;-)
    Ask Joe, let he quote that!

    OK!

    • jmarino240
      November 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      O.K. had mentioned a passage on pg. 191 concerning the blood. Here it is: Numerous red blood cells were discovered on the cloth, attached to the fabric’s fibers. Besides this, traces of urea–a constituent element of perspiration–were found among the many groups of red blood cells. According to Lucotte, this points to a rare condition, known as hematidrosis, in which one sweats blood. The source of this condition is an extreme level of stress, which causes the organism to go into histaminic shock. The American anatomic pathologist Dr. Frederick Zugibe, who is familiar with this phenomenon, claims that it is brought on most often in the face of unavoidable death. This is another indicator that the tunic’s owner could have been Christ. Indeed, St. Luke (who was also a doctor) wrote in his Gospel that while Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he sweat blood.

  18. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    jmarino240 :
    O.K. had mentioned a passage on pg. 191 concerning the blood. Here it is: Numerous red blood cells were discovered on the cloth, attached to the fabric’s fibers. Besides this,
    traces of urea–a constituent element of perspiration–were found among the many groups of red blood cells. According to Lucotte, this points to a rare condition, known as hematidrosis, in which one sweats blood. The source of this condition is an extreme level of stress, which causes the organism to go into histaminic shock. The American anatomic pathologist Dr. Frederick Zugibe, who is familiar with this phenomenon, claims that it is brought on most often in the face of unavoidable death. This is another indicator that the tunic’s owner could have been Christ. Indeed, St. Luke (who was also a doctor) wrote in his Gospel that while Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he sweat blood.

    Joe,

    Thanks-there are micrographs of the red blood cells?

    • jmarino240
      November 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Yes, the captions on pg. 193 read: “Red blood cell on the Tunic of Argenteuil, magnified 8000 times. Image taken using a scanning electron microscope” and “Group of three blood cells found on a urea crystal, magnified 10,000 times”

      • O.K.
        November 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm

        Joe thanks.

        BTW: Did they correct in the english edition the confusion with the maps of the historical track of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Veil of Manoppello on pages 145 and 219 respectively? Because in polish edition one problem is that they are the same, and another that Alexandria is placed in Macedonia instead of Egypt.

        • jmarino240
          November 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

          Each section has the correct map. Alexandria is still misplaced.

  19. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    jmarino240 :
    Yes, the captions on pg. 193 read: “Red blood cell on the Tunic of Argenteuil, magnified 8000 times. Image taken using a scanning electron microscope” and “Group of three blood
    cells found on a urea crystal, magnified 10,000 times”

    OK-Thanks very much-might have to pick this up

  20. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    O.K. :
    The blood cells were claimed to be discovered not only on the Tunic, but also on the Shroud. See this cover: http://www.calun.org/strony/mikroskop/index.html

    O.K., thanks-the photo that is used is from one of Baima Bollone’s reports, I believe-think I recognize the shot from a manuscript, also used in his books? I must admit, I am a little hesitant when red blood cells/ red blood cell ghosts are identified solely on morphological characteristics-again, the immunology card, but it would great to see these verified using antibodies specific for RBC markers. You tag the antibodies with colloidal gold or a reactive substrate and it is very distinctive in the microscopic field-an unrelated particle (silica) will not react with such antibodies and not be distinctively marked.

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Actually I saw that picture only twice, first time on this cover, and second time in Il caso Sindone non é chiuso by Bruno Barberis and Massimo Bocaletti. The Baima-Bollone’s Sindone, 101 domande e risposte has no illustrations, and also does not mention discovery of blood cells, as well as his brochure written with Zacca. But Emanuella’s Marinelli La Sindone – Un’immagine Impossibile claims they were indeed discovered. Due to that, I still have some reservations. It is a mystery to me, why Frache & Filogamo in 1973 didn’t notice those cells.

  21. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    O.K. :
    Actually I saw that picture only twice, first time on this cover, and second time in Il caso Sindone non é chiuso by Bruno Barberis and Massimo Bocaletti. The Baima-
    Bollone’s Sindone, 101 domande e risposte has no illustrations, and also does not mention discovery of blood cells, as well as his brochure written with Zacca. But Emanuella’s Marinelli La Sindone – Un’immagine Impossibile claims they were indeed discovered. Due to that, I still have some reservations. It is a mystery to me, why Frache & Filogamo in 1973 didn’t notice those cells.

    Do you have Bollone’s Sindone O No or Sindone Storia E Scienza? Both have a middle section (glossy pages) with similar photographs of blood cells-the photos are the same in both books-it also includes a silica particle in an adjacent panel for comparison

    • O.K.
      November 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      No, I have Sindone, 101 domande e risposte, “The Shroud: 101 questions & answers” which has no illustrations, at least in polish edition.

  22. Kelly Kearse
    November 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    O.K. :
    No, I have Sindone, 101 domande e risposte, “The Shroud: 101 questions & answers” which has no illustrations, at least in polish edition.

    Got it-I have the Italian editions of the above books (one was a gift from B Bollone )-Google translate was my best friend for several months

  23. O.K.
    November 8, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Kelly Kearse :

    O.K. :

    Kelly Kearse :
    Thanks-are they are specific details as to which markers and if multiple forms (>2 for each gene) were present?

    I will send you the scans from Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil, but unfortuantely not until tomorrow.

    Great-I appreciate this very much

    Kelly I have those scans for you:

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/5ifw.jpg/

  24. O.K.
    November 8, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Hugh Farey :
    Then, what about this: “the bloodstains on the tunic were aligned exactly with the imprinted wounds visible on the shroud.” Really? What wounds, exactly. Not the nails, spear or crown of thorns, presumably. Are we talking about a precise correlation of the dumb-bell shaped flagellation wounds? Or the rather general and vague contusions on the shoulders? “Aligned exactly”?

    And for Hugh and others I have more scans from Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil.

    Some comment is needed. The bloodstains on the Tunic are best visible in IR. The live model and computer simulation was used to obtain distortions of the Tunic due to position of a man carrying cross (according to Marion it is more likely that SM carried the whole cross, see also http://www.acheiropoietos.info/proceedings/GloriWeb.pdf). The relation between marks on the Tunic and the Shroud is as follow:

    1 B
    2 F
    3 G
    4 C
    5 H
    6 I
    7 J
    8 No match for some unknown reason (loincloth’s belt?)
    9 K
    10 L

  25. Hugh Farey
    November 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Thanks OK. I don’t think the “exact match” is as convincing as the authors seem to think, but I do understand their comparison. Can I ask if these pictures are from (the Polish version of) “Le Linceul de Turin et la Tunique d’Argenteuil : Le point sur l’enquête” by André Marion and Gérard Lucotte? I may have to get a copy to understand their ideas fully.
    And has anyone read “Une si Humble et si Sainte Tunique” by the man who commissioned some of the investigation? Does it contain anything the Lucotte book doesn’t? (I’m too mean to buy both books if one will do!)

  26. Kelly Kearse
    November 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    O.K. :

    Kelly Kearse :

    O.K. :

    Kelly Kearse :
    Thanks-are they are specific details as to which markers and if multiple forms (>2 for each gene) were present?

    I will send you the scans from Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil, but unfortuantely not until tomorrow.

    Great-I appreciate this very much

    Kelly I have those scans for you:
    http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/6954/01p2.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/5ifw.jpg/

    O.K. Thanks very much for providing the scans. The DNA analysis is looking at expression of STR (short tandem repeat) sequences, most of which are found in noncoding regions of chromosomes that show high variation among the population. The FBI in the US utilizes a panel of 13 of these markers (plus the amelogenin genes for X & Y chromosomes) as part of their standard DNA analysis. It would be interesting to see sampling from several sites (on the Tunic) and compare the profile-this would speak to the heterogeneity that may or may not be present. (I’ve gone on before about the limitations of proving the DNA truly originates from blood cells from analyzing non-blood cell specific gene sequences, I’ll refrain). This data shows there is human DNA on the Tunic. For the Shroud, the claim is often made there is blood from a human male that is present. Yet, at the same time, it is said the DNA is so degraded that it really can’t tell us much. I don’t think you can have it both ways. If the DNA is so degraded, where are such signals coming from, contaminating DNA, if that’s true, then…
    If some sequences are obtainable, perhaps others are as well.

    Thanks again very much providing the scans, including the RBC micrographs. Looks like this book has a good summary of the work that’s been done, think I might pick up a copy.

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