Top of Head Puzzle

If you haven’t discovered ShroudScope, now is a good time to check it out.


Daveb writes:

imageI’ve just been looking at the top of head Enrie negative in Shroudscope at maximum magnification.  The image changes abruptly from orthogonal frontal to orthogonal dorsal.

Despite my three years of professional university training in technical drawing theory and practice back in the early ’60s, I just cannot figure it out at all. 

Separately, the frontal and dorsal images in projective geometry jargon are what might be called near-orthogonal projections.  If two separate photographs were taken, say on large glass plates, at a scale of one-to-one, the first of the front of the body, and the second of the back of the body, then transferred onto a cloth so that they met at the crown, then the result would be very close to what we see on the Shroud, apart from minor distortions only.

We might be able to account for these minor distortions, because of the way the cloth may have been draped. Close to the edges of the body, the cloth would have fallen away from the horizontal.  It could still be sustained at near horizontal, if some of the 100 pound package that Nicodemus brought was packed alongside the body. This could result in a close near-orthogonal image, but only for the two separate aspects.

Because of this near-orthogonality, I have tended to give scant credence to theories involving laminar flow of vapours onto the cloth-surface causing the image.  I feel there has to be some kind of significant vertically directed influence in the imaging process.  It is one reason why I can be sympathetic to theories such as De Liso’s involving seismic action, variations in the geo-magnetic and electric fields associated with the seismic release of radon gas.  These can bring about the necessary vertically directed influence.

However, even this sort of theory breaks down when it comes to the crown of the head, and I cannot resolve it.  Essentially there are two distinct ways of bringing the cloth over the head of a body lying on its back.

The first is to maintain the near-horizontal aspect of the cloth over the face and also over the back of the head.  There should then be a short section of cloth, clear of the head, on which there is no image, and we would see a gap not less than about 30cm between.  There is course no gap seen at all, but the frontal and dorsal images at the crown abut each other.

The second way is to wrap the cloth in near-contact with the hair.  However this would cause a major variation in the orthogonality of the image on the cloth, no matter what the imaging process might be, and there would be significant distortion.  The only way this can be avoided, is for a spontaneous precise distortion of the cloth at the crown for no explicable reason at the immediate instant of the imaging process, followed by restoration to normality afterwards.  This notional distortion of the cloth has to be so precise, that the resulting image retains its orthogonality.  I cannot imagine how such a remarkable occurence could possibly come about.

This discontinuity of the image at the crown of the head is an enigma which I suspect has yet to be addressed in a satisfactory way.  At present I can see no way of explaining it, apart from my overly imaginative speculation above.  I wonder if anyone has looked deeply into this problem before and been able to come up with a better answer.

Can other correspondents see the enigma, or even see a way to a solution?

61 thoughts on “Top of Head Puzzle”

  1. I’ve often wondered about this lack of image.
    My thoughts are a napkin that is tied under the chin-a chin band- that covered the top of the head.
    Another possible explaination is perhaps “the other cloth” mentioned in the gospel was placed at the top of the head.

    This lack of image is an area that has been largely uninvestigated.

  2. Dave has given us another excellent post and another mystery, except maybe no more mysterious than the image itself.

    The simplest natural explanation is the one of the one’s proffered by Dave: another cloth on top of the head. But we just don’t know if in fact such a cloth existed and except for the Sudarium which appears authentic and which if properly analyzed by new scientific tests could, or could not be, matched. By that I mean the kind of deep “quantum” analysis that was performed by Heller and Adler on the blood from the Shroud. Matching spectra?

    But here is something that is beyond theory and into the area of speculation. However when it comes to the process of image formation, everything for now is speculation. The importance of the image is that the image “is”. Is it a part of the great mystery of Christ’s “I am?” We should know better but we tend to still think of the Resurrection in our three dimensional “physical” universe.

    Many decades ago, before I went to college, I remember seeing at the magazine section of a local drug store, a copy of a magazine that popularized scientific issues a cover proclaiming an explanation of time as the fourth dimension. The cover included an illustration of Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” famous for its drooping watches. When I looked inside the magazine, the entire article was just a few lines referencing the Dali painting. I was disappointed.

    A few years later, I was at a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol attending a two week encampment at Samson Air Force Base at Seneca Lake, We slept in barracks and ate the Air Force food. There are two things that I remember vividly. One was a fellow cadet calling out in the middle of the night “You know that stuff they put in the food?” and then answering the question “It doesn’t work..”

    The other was a fellow cadet, Melvin Weinstein, from Albany NY who had won a Westinghouse prize at some level or other. I asked him about it and he said “I made model tesseracts.” “What was that? I asked. “It’s a four dimension cube,” he replied. “Want to make one? Get some straws.”

    I did and we did. If you have ever drawn a three dimensional cube on paper which is essential two squares with four corners joined by a slanted lines at the corner, you might be able to visualize what we did. We constructed two three dimensional cubes from straws and then connected the eight corners by straws. I was amazed because it reminded me of a stroboscopic picture I had seen in Life magazine of Ted Williams swing a bat. It was as if the cube was moving through space. The distance traveled being the length of the connecting straws. Time was the fourth dimension,

    Freidman cautioned me that the model of a four dimension cube we had created was not the most accurate. Actually, the cube moving though time expanded in all directions. The proper representation was one cube inside a larger one, joined at the corners. That would have been tough to do with soda straws.

    Assume arguendo the reality of the Resurrection. Something happened to Christ’s body that has no precedent. Dame Isabel Pizcek has referred to the Shroud as an “event horizon.” Perhaps she is right and perhaps that explains the image. We would tend to think of the body as moving through the cloth in a singular direction. But if it was moving into another dimension, or existence, it would have been moving from our perspective in all “directions” or no direction at all. I would suggest that these are issues of quantum mechanics.

    On the other hand, applying Occam’s Razor, the existence of a head band, as proffered by Dave, may be the simplest solution. :-)

  3. I no longer wish to comment on this site, in the sense of needing to proffer an opinion. But I do still follow the comments and would like to be certain of what others are saying or claiming. Is DaveB saying there is or isn’t an unexplained gap between the frontal and dorsal images? Is he saying that the flat of the head is missing, and/or that such an absence is mysterious and unexplained?

    1. “… There is course no gap seen at all, but the frontal and dorsal images at the crown abut each other.” Unless I’m mistaken and I could well be, it appears the front and back head images meet according to DaveB. I don’t see this. What appears to be the dorsal head image I believe is a water stain, the top of the dorsal head image is very faint or missing but not touching the ventral head image.

  4. The existence of a head band was an explanation proffered many years ago and, if true, may explain why Jesus appears with a forked beard in early face images. As the band went down the chin it may have held the central, probably longer, part of the beard in this region. The existence of bands may be the reason for the word “othonia”.

  5. Provision of a head band does not resolve the issue at all and I consider it of no relevance. Nor do I accept ChrisB’s assertion that the dorsal head image is actually a water stain. This issue might be resolved by a VP8 3D image of the dorsal head image, but I don’t recall ever seieing one. However the blood stains from the cap of thorns are visible there, the outline of the hair pretty well matches that on the frontal image, and on the better negatives the pigtail is clearly visible.

    The closest I can get to describing what is seen is a quote from my post: “If two separate photographs were taken, say on large glass plates, at a scale of one-to-one, the first of the front of the body, and the second of the back of the body, then transferred onto a cloth so that they met at the crown, then the result would be very close to what we see on the Shroud, apart from minor distortions only.”

    How this can come about based only on a naturalistic explanation escapes me. If all the technology and a suitable model of the body were available to him, then an artist might be able to reproduce it with photographic glass plates in the way described. Otherwise I need to have recourse to a miraculous intervention.

    The fact that the two images abut each other at the crown cannot be explained, even with attempting a graphics explanation.

    It is as if there was a time warp at the moment of image formation. One half of the cloth (section 1) is suddenly flattened, with the cloth’s midpoint level with the crown and the frontal image transferred. The second half of the cloth (section 2) is flattened, again with the cloth’s mid-point level with the crown, and the dorsal image transferred. That is as close as I can get to explaining how the two images can abut at the crown.

    Draping the cloth clear of the head might allow a naturalistic explanation only if there were a gap between the two images not less than about 30cm. But of course with the two images abutting, no gap is seen.

    Either a forger has been able to use something like the glass plate photography I’ve described, or the image has to be some kind of miraculous intervention. I cannot see how any kind of naturalistic explanation can ever provide a satisfactory explanation for the sharp discontinuity of the two images, no matter how the cloth may have been draped, nor whatever process may have created the two images.

    1. I’m seeing a 6-8 inch gap between the crowns of the images. I’m seeing the crown on the dorsal (right side in pic above) ending at the same line as the four burn holes. I also assumed the mark that abuts the ventral was a water mark (shaped like a tropical fish). Are the blood marks on the dorsal not blood in the hair, as opposed to shoulders?

      1. I thought it could be due to a hypothetical chin band (#7) going down the length of the face on both sides. It is possible that the body was loosely draped because of the spices (Joseph of Arimathaea) and plants (Avinoam Danin) kept on the sides of the body.

  6. I agree with others that there is a watermark between the frontal and dorsal images of the head.
    I measure about 15cm between them. A cap-like crown of thornes removing contact between cloth and top of head might explain

  7. ImageJ, a free program which does much the same as the VP8 image analyser of 1978 fame, shows the back of the head cut off quite sharply along a line level with the four small burn holes as described by David Goulet. There is a deep trough between that “cliff” and the “curved wall” of the front of the head. No image colour is visible between these two raised parts, a space of approximately 15cm. However, neither of these edges of colour represent the crown of the head, so it cannot be said that they show the heads separated by 15cm. The curved edge above the face is about level with the top of the forehead, and the straight edge at the back of the head a bit higher up.

    Assuming that the bottom edges of the line of bloodstains along the back of the head correspond roughly to the level of the inion of the external occipital protuberance, there is a distance of about 38cm between there and the bridge of the nose, which corresponds well to the same distance on my own head. In other words, the image which is visible is consistent with a cloth wrapped tightly over the head from nose to occipital protuberance, and possibly a cloth about 15cm wide underneath the shroud and tied around the top of the head to account for the lack of image all the way.

    1. Hugh – well put, I totally agree.
      Does this not create difficulties for the “faked” scenario? It certainly does not bode well for scorch theories, I would have thought.

  8. Dave:

    There should then be a short section of cloth, clear of the head, on which there is no image, and we would see a gap not less than about 30cm between. There is course no gap seen at all, but the frontal and dorsal images at the crown abut each other.

    Provision of a head band does not resolve the issue at all and I consider it of no relevance. Nor do I accept ChrisB’s assertion that the dorsal head image is actually a water stain. This issue might be resolved by a VP8 3D image of the dorsal head image, but I don’t recall ever seieing one. However the blood stains from the cap of thorns are visible there, the outline of the hair pretty well matches that on the frontal image, and on the better negatives the pigtail is clearly visible.

    No more then 20 cm. There is definetyl a gap, I measured it, the result is about 18 cm. When I compared with my head everything was fine.

    As to 3D image recopnstruction, I did one. No image atop of the head:

    See those pictures:



    The question how the Shroud was wrapped around the head is one of the biggest enigmas of the Shroud. There are no clear answers, and the tensions of the cloth could have made it folded in completely unpredictable way. Near-horizontal aspect of the cloth over the face, and near-contact with the hair are only two suggestions, neither of which is the true solution I think, it was rather somewhere in the middle of them, with corners possibly protruding away from the contact with the head. Just see the Mario Latendresse’s experiments:

    http://www.sindonology.org/papers/latendresse2005a.pdf

    Gerard, John, Louis and others:

    I’ve often wondered about this lack of image.
    My thoughts are a napkin that is tied under the chin-a chin band- that covered the top of the head. Another possible explaination is perhaps “the other cloth” mentioned in the gospel was placed at the top of the head.

    Of course such cap was used. Moreover -it was probably preserved, and it is known today as the Cap of Cahors:

    http://books.google.pl/books?id=JEs5bmL_B5oC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=Cap+of+Cahors+%22relic%22&source=bl&ots=Zb0TC0tLpH&sig=yzNRvSuvts80v3zV1mATL_Um28c&hl=pl&sa=X&ei=GBLXUtOlG-mO7QbLzoGwDQ&ved=0CGIQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Cap%20of%20Cahors%20%22relic%22&f=false

    1. Thanks, OK. The band and helmet of thorns are two different things. I would like your and David Goulet’s views on the sides of the face image.

  9. I am very glad I raised this matter, even though I may end up having to eat humble pie over it. It has sharpened my own perceptions of the image, and shown me the value of exchanging viewpoints with other serious students.

    I had interpreted the cup-shaped outline (tropical fish?) as the dorsal image of the back of the head, whereas it now appears to be some kind of outline of the top of the head. A few measurements on Shroudscope as others have pointed out, tends to confirm that the dorsal crown is roughly in line with the four burn-holes. There is therefore a gap of about 15 to 17 cm between the two crowns, roughly corresponding to the distance over the top of the head.

    I would have to agree with Hugh, that this implies that the Shroud cloth has been wrapped tightly over the head from nose to occiput. Here the cloth would be near vertical. and the image is indistinct. This faintness may be due to some kind of head-band as suggested, or it may be because the imaging process was vertically constrained and hence only showed faintly. I don’t believe that the outline we see is a water-mark.

    My faith in a possibly naturalistic cause has been restored. Thank you all!

    1. I vote for a water stain. The tail of that “tropical fish” is partly blood ( the colour is very clear at high magnification on shroud2.0 ) the blood even seems to have been smudged a bit by the effects of the water.

  10. O.K: Thank you for the images, particularly your 3-D attempt. I’m not entirely persuaded that there is no image of the top of the head. There is an outline there which some claim is a water stain, but I suspect might be an outline of the caput. If the Cap of Cahors is authentic, it may explain why the full image is not seen on the Shroud. However I see no reference to an image being on the Cap, only matching blood-stains. If there is no image on the Cap, and only an indistinct image on the Shroud, this might reinforce the thought that the imaging action was essentially vertical.

    I have read Mario’s paper on his experiments previously, but I note that he does not seem to have brought the cloth tightly over the head of his volunteer. Unless I’m mistaken, he only seems to concentrate on the ventral image, with the cloth loosely draped at the crown.

  11. “If there is no image on the Cap, and only an indistinct image on the Shroud, this might reinforce the thought that the imaging action was essentially vertical. ”
    It might also reflect differences in the materials and their ability to facilitate image – cap vs cloth
    how credible is the evidence around the Jews in 1st century palestine using such caps for the dead?

  12. As pointed out by several previous comments, I think it is clearly a water stain that Daved is referring to and not an image of the head. I would add that this becomes clear when:

    1) Looking at the diamond shape water stain that has a strong dark contour as seen on the Durante photo:

    http://www.sindonology.org/shroudScope/shroudScope.shtml?zl=6&image=4&lon=5974&lat=1674

    2) And the reverse side of the Shroud of Turin, as seen from the following link, shows that the water stain did indeed seep through the Shroud (but the image does not do that):

    http://shroud.wikispaces.com/PROPERTIES

    I would also add that the lack of side images do not need a complex explanation. It is the consequence of the distance of the cloth to the sides of the body. That is, from the assumption that the imprinted image has recorded the cloth/body distance, and the body is loosely covered by the cloth, the distance of the sides of the body are too far away to be recorded at all on the Shroud. This does not preclude the possible existence of a cap (Cahors?) to be on the head, but that would not be needed to explain the lack of image coming from the top of the head. I think a cap is needed to explain the presence of some of the side hair to be imprinted on the Shroud. It would have hold up the hair almost at the same level as the cheeks.

  13. “I would also add that the lack of side images do not need a complex explanation. It is the consequence of the distance of the cloth to the sides of the body.”

    I agree.

    “This does not preclude the possible existence of a cap (Cahors?) to be on the head, but that would not be needed to explain the lack of image coming from the top of the head.”

    I disagree. I think the cap – or cap of thorns – is necessary to explain the lack of image. If there was no such cap, then the top of the head would have been in contact with the cloth, and we should expect an image, as per the image generated from the hair on the face image.

    Now…an important question remains as to whether the type of cap referred to above really was commonly used by Jews in the burial of the dead in 1st century Palestine. If it wasn’t we can dismiss this notion.

    1. Matthias wrote “I disagree. I think the cap – or cap of thorns – is necessary to explain the lack of image. If there was no such cap, then the top of the head would have been in contact with the cloth,…” Why would the cloth be necessarily in contact with the top of the head? The cloth could simply have extended a few cms away because the distance of about 23cms between the back and front images would allow it. We would need to have a very accurate knowledge of the size of the head to conclude otherwise.

  14. Mario Latendresse :
    […]the lack of side images do not need a complex explanation. It is the consequence of the distance of the cloth to the sides of the body. That is, from the assumption that the imprinted image has recorded the cloth/body distance, and the body is loosely covered by the cloth, the distance of the sides of the body are too far away to be recorded at all on the Shroud.

    I don’t think either there is a specific “head puzzle”.

    1. I completely agree with both statements made by anoxie and M. Latendresse. Remember folks: The simplest (and, in the case of the Shroud, the most rational) explanations are almost always the good one! It’s fun to note how people constantly want to complicate things while looking at the body and blood images on the Shroud…

  15. I concede! Mario’s Shroud Science Group Properties reverse side shows water stain has seeped through, image has not. How many times is it possible to be wrong in one day? But I’m glad it’s been cleared up! Thanks to all for your patience. I hope I wasn’t the only one to learn from it.

    1. Or there again, there’s the small matter of the triplet symmetry of water stains (left/centre/right) down the entire length of the Shroud, such that the real puzzle would be if even a single one had been missing.

      Anyway, I’m glad that seems resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, especially the post’s initiator.

  16. “Why would the cloth be necessarily in contact with the top of the head? The cloth could simply have extended a few cms away because the distance of about 23cms between the back and front images would allow it.”

    I agree we are treading on uncertain ground here, but the measurements do not allow it. The distance from the bridge of the nose to the occiput is about 38cm, as noted above. Taking the top of the head as approximating half a sphere, this corresponds to about half a circumference. A cloth draped along the same contour, but 1cm away from the head, would increase the length by 3cm. That is just about acceptable, but if it were “a few cms away” the distance would be increased by almost 10cm, which is wholly inconsistent with the measurement of the Shroud. Also, the difference between a tightly wrapped cloth, and a cloth stretched horizontally behind the head, then vertically downwards grazing the top of the head, then back horizontally to the inion, is about 7cm. This is also inconsistent with the measurements made on the shroud.

    If the shroud was indeed a burial cloth, then the measurements suggest a close wrap, and not any padding or significant extension of the shroud away from the body at the crown of the head.

  17. Great discussion.
    And it has raised, in my opinion, big questions for the anti authentic position.
    Most particularly, why would we see this gap if the image was created from a hot statue, or bas relief.
    If the former, presumably we would also see an image from the top of the head, as the linen contacted the hot top of the head as well as the rest of the body.
    As several of us have stated, the measurements between the 2 head images (frontal and dorsal) are pretty much spot on in terms of anatomical distance.
    Compelling…

    1. I agree. It does pose problems for the bas relief theory. The authenticity position does have the Jewish burial customs (head wrapping etc) that fit ‘the gap’. What would be the bas relief equivalent? If the head was that of a real model – and the body the metal — maybe there is more wiggle room. But I believe the latest bas relief theory favours the opposite, no?

      1. I guess the following is possible….our “mystery man” does a first attempt at scorching an image from a hot statue, but gets the top of head image which appears rather odd as an oval shape connecting the nicely formed frontal and dorsal head images….so he tries again with something covering the top of the head and preventing the top of head scorching…
        far fetched – I think – but possible?

  18. I question the veracity of this statement: “There is course no gap seen at all, but the frontal and dorsal images at the crown abut each other.” There is most certainly a gap between the front and the back of the head.

    1. I think that was an early misunderstanding about the water stain. I think we’ve established now that there is definitely a gap in the image, but it does not correspond to a gap between two ‘bodies,’ merely a missing portion of a continuous wrap.

  19. Louis :I thought it could be due to a hypothetical chin band (#7) going down the length of the face on both sides. It is possible that the body was loosely draped because of the spices (Joseph of Arimathaea) and plants (Avinoam Danin) kept on the sides of the body.

    The chin strap theory could be valid. But shouldn’t we see evidence of the strap on the hairlines?

  20. Good question, but it is possible that it was thin and hidden in between the strands of hair before reaching the facial area.

  21. Correction: Strands of hair on the sides of the head, where they would be loose, and not above the head. It is a difficult hypothesis, but possible. If there was rigor mortis, why could only the hands have been bound?

  22. Dave: However I see no reference to an image being on the Cap, only matching blood-stains. If there is no image on the Cap, and only an indistinct image on the Shroud, this might reinforce the thought that the imaging action was essentially vertical.

    We don’t know, perhaps there could be an image on the Cap, but it has not been noticed -for obvious reasons. Anyway, it would be good to check it.

    Louis: Thanks, OK. The band and helmet of thorns are two different things. I would like your and David Goulet’s views on the sides of the face image

    I have no definite opinion on that. There were many theories suggested. But first, we should clarify what are we talking about. The space between cheeks and hair? Or outside the hair.

    If we are concerned about the former, there are some suggestions that those spaces are actually darkened due to yarn bandings, as raised by Rogers and others, see https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/image37.png

    Barbara Frale put forward a theory that strips of papyry with ‘death certificate’ and ID of the body was glued to the face in this place.

    There were also suggestions, by Marion & Courage, that wooden supports for head were used during the burial. The would have kept the Shroud over the face, just like on this picture http://ok.apologetyka.info/upload/ap_upload/articles/15/2013/06/rysunekxi.jpg, other suggested solid spices to perform similar function.

    The outer space is most likely a chin band, perhaps Cahors. This could perhaps explain also the lack of image in space between cheeks and hair, however I am not certain about this.

    It is also posiible that the sides of the face were actually imaged on the Shroud, but they were obscured by hair, which we see on the front image. Or they were at large distance from cloth – the Shroud is over 1 m wide.

    There are many options, as you see. It is hard to give definite answer.

  23. Matthias :
    I guess the following is possible….our “mystery man” does a first attempt at scorching an image from a hot statue, but gets the top of head image which appears rather odd as an oval shape connecting the nicely formed frontal and dorsal head images….so he tries again with something covering the top of the head and preventing the top of head scorching…
    far fetched – I think – but possible?

    I say, steady on old chap. This is neither the time nor place for seditious talk of that nature. Try my site instead:

    http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/what-can-one-conclude-from-looking-at-the-the-point-of-closest-contact-between-frontal-and-dorsal-shroud-images/

    1. There are always work-arounds. The caveat being that they further stretch the tidiness of the theory. It works both ways of course. For the authentist we start to speak of chins traps and spice bags that account for the ‘gaps’. The medievalist likewise has to speak of multiple attempts to ‘fix’ discrepancies.

      The scientific mind dancing with the imagination — and God was pleased. :)

  24. I’m still waiting for some advice on 1st century Jewish burial practice vis a vis head dress…
    Presumably no one knows?
    It’s a very important question WRT the lack of “top of head” image…

    1. Ada Grossi, Jewish Shrouds and Funerary Customs: a Comparison with the Shroud of Turin

      https://www.academia.edu/2427474/Jewish_Shrouds_and_Funerary_Customs_a_Comparison_with_the_Shroud_of_Turin_in_1st_International_Congress_on_the_Holy_Shroud_in_Spain_-_Valencia_April_28-30_2012_ed._Centro_Espanol_de_Sindonologia_CES_

      “In a nutshell, the ritual operations to perform on a corpse to honour the dead (Kevod
      HaMet) can be thus summarized: the family of the dead had to take care of funeral and
      burial within the day when the death occurred, before sunset, because it’s not allowed
      leaving a body unburied overnight41; the body has to be constantly watched and those who
      keep vigil are free from precepts and prayers42; the first thing to do is to close the eyes of
      the dead43 (possibly by the firstborn, remembering Gn 46:4)44, then the jaw and every
      orifice”

      “Jewish funerary customs, as seen above, required to bind the deceased’s jaw to keep it close”

      1. O.K. I did read Ada Grossi’s paper some time ago and it is good that you have provided the link in this context.

    2. If the imaging process is caused by vapours, then it would have the potential to form a top of head image, particularly as we agree that the cloth had to be pulled tightly over the head, from the nose to occiput distance. If the imaging process was constrained to be vertical, then it might not form an image on a more or less vertical section of the cloth. If there was a cap over the head there ought to be no top of image on the cloth.

      If the Cap of Cahors was made of linen and is authentic, then maybe it ought to have an image. I read that the Cap was made of several pieces of fabric. Were they linen, or some other material? Maybe we’ve arrived at a dead end, too many unknowns!

  25. anoxie :
    Yes colin, it is a knwon water stain. Where do you think it comes from ?

    That’s a question I’m addressing right now on my own site, anoxie. From first impressions (modelling with cutouts) I suspect the water entered as a single bolus, and that the Shroud may have been both folded and rolled to create the particular symmetrical pattern of water stains we see. I’m thinking of doing a separate post on the latter, probably in a day or two.

    1. colinsberry
      … the intense heat in that Chambery fire (accident? arson) melted silver to account for the major burn holes (excluding the earlier L-shaped ones). So maybe the melt-hole provided a means of introducing cooling water if, say, smoke had been seen billowing out.

      Maybe not.
      The folding of the shroud during the Chambéry fire (burn holes) is not consistent with the pattern of the water stains.

  26. RE: the binding of the jaw, presumably it was in the form of a cloth that went up the side of the head and over the top of the head.
    Wouldn’t that have impact on the hair image we see on the frontal image?

  27. Msgr. Ricci’s early books, prior to the 78 photographs opined about the gap using the
    Enrie photographs. Applying Occam’s razor he suggested a simple fold over, a pleat over the top of the head.

    1. Richard, The pleat idea won’t work. Check the measurement on Shroudscope. Nose to occiput is exactly what it should be if the Shroud was pulled firmly over the head, leaving no room for a pleat-fold or a gap. I think it has to be a separate head covering, such as perhaps the Cap of Cahors.

  28. OK wrote: “There were also suggestions, by Marion & Courage, that wooden supports for head were used during the burial.” Actually, they only suggested a head-shaped hole carved out in the STONE bench, not wooden supports at all. I first mentioned the possibilty of 3 wooden pieces sawn/cut off the Titulus damnationis in late 1997/early 1998 and told Marion about my hypothesis.

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