Moving the Exclamation Point

clip_image001A new book by Giulio Fanti and Pierandrea Malfi,  Sindone: Primo Secolo Dopo Cristo, is now available from Italian booksellers Libreria Cattolica and Edizioni Segno.

This is the book description as it appears at Libreria Cattolica (translated by Bing):


After the radiocarbon test of 1988, the scientists responsible were photographed with the date written on the Blackboard  . . . followed by an exclamation point; now, the exclamation point must be reported to a date in the first century after Christ. Among the most interesting news is not only that new methods of mechanical and chemical, dating the Shroud is compatible with the period in which Jesus of Nazareth lived in Palestine, but who was also a model for numismatic Byzantine iconography from 692 ad who carved the coins in those years had just seven chances on a billion billion coin that particular face of Christ without having seen the image on the shroud. Scientific studies on the Relic to date fail to provide conclusive answers both on the identity of the Man who was wrapped up, both on the dynamics of formation of image imprinted thereon. The human science must admit its limitations, but studies continue to dispel erroneous conclusions and absurd assumptions. The book not only addresses these issues in a scientific way and objective as possible, but within everyone’s reach, leading the reader through new research paths.

While I congratulate the authors on publishing the book, I wonder if anything has happened to independently verify these methods since we discussed them in Paper Chase: Giulio Fanti’s New Flax Fiber Dating Machine.

76 thoughts on “Moving the Exclamation Point”

    1. Anonymous hates Fanti for many years.

      I know Giulio and I can tell you from my own PERSONAL experience that this kind of coarse insinuations re Giulio are completely false and simply disgusting and pathetic.

      Dan, you know Giulio and I am surprised that you did not immediately delete the above message.

      1. Thibault, I simply missed it. I have since removed it and temporarily removed automatic comment approval for Anonymous. It is too bad because Anonymous oftentimes contributes to the conversation.

  1. Why are you so unfair with Professor Fanti?
    Professor Fanti has the merit to have developed a new non destructive ancient textiles dating method, and has published his methodology in a respected scientific journal I mean Vibrational Spectroscopy.
    As far as I Know his new method along with Professor Roger’s degradation kinetics of vanillin loss are the only alternative scientific ways to date Shroud fibers.
    People interested on the scientific study of the Shroud should feel grateful to his commitment to the Shroud and Shroud Science Group.
    I feel honored to praise Professor Giulio Fanti as the great scientist he his and for his excellent contributions to Shroud science.

    Antero de Frias Moreira
    (Centro Português de Sindonologia)

    P.S. Will an English edition of this book appear?

    1. Dear Antero de Frias Moreira
      (Centro Português de Sindonologia),
      If you are able to read the italian words, there is the following link :
      I wrote some line about my ideas.
      Here the Italian words :
      >… nel 1998 avevo indicato l’uso delle tecniche AFM per poter ottenere il valore del grado della polimerizzazione della cellulosa …
      here my rough translation :
      > … in 1998 I indicated the use of AFM techniques in order to obtain the value of cellulosic DP …
      Diana e Marinelli (both roman researchers) pointed the finger towards the cellulosic DP (as interesting parameter, but see also the epimerization, etc.Title = “Natural Textile Fibres – Optical Activity, Racemization and Epimerization”) but they indicated the old system (unfeasible with the linen fibrils from the Holy Shroud !).

      Instead in 1998 Prof. Fanti (together prof. Ulf Winkler) indicated the NMR technique …

      Now Eng. Giulio Fanti want to show the true epoch using the mechanical dating.
      OK … This is another interesting parameter to add and then we can work using the AFM three-point bendig tests.
      Do you agree on that ?
      Do you know these tests (… on textile fibrils) ?

  2. Quote: “Professor Fanti has the merit to have developed a new non destructive ancient textiles dating method.”

    My reply: This have certainly not been backed-up yet by the scientific community. Come on.

    1. It’s not because the description of his method was published in a scientific journal that such a method will ever be accepted widely by the scientific community as being accurate for ancient textile… Only time will tell and since he admit himself that his method is probably not more accurate than C14, I seriously doubt that we will see C14 labs using it to verify their dating results.

  3. If it is at least as accurate as C14 that should be enough to challenge the infallibility imparted to it. Hopefully more about this shortly.

    1. In the scientific paper of Fanti, it is clearly stated (if my memory is ok) that his method do not produce a result as accurate as the C14 dating…

    2. Yes, the opening abstract of Fanti’s 2013 paper, ‘Non-Destructive Dating of Ancient Flax Textiles by means of Vibrational Spectroscopy’ includes:

      “Presently, the method allows to assign an uncertainty of centuries to the measured data, but future calibrations based on a greater number of samples … and coupled with ad-hoc cleaning procedures could significantly improve its accuracy.”

      1. What kind of future calibrations ? …
        — —
        As you have read, often I indicated the SPM way …
        I believe that comparing the data obtained from the controls on cellulosic DP with the others obtained from the AFM bending tests we can improve the precision of the AFM controls.

  4. Well, at least we now have accurate information regarding the method. About one thing I am sure: Professor Fanti worked on authentic threads and his previous book was dismissed by Turin with the allegation that what he worked on was not authorised. Nothing of the sort happened with Ray Rogers, who also used unauthorised fibres, and only had his theory contested.

  5. Anon is starting to become boring. All the C14 tests to date assign the Shroud to the 13th-14th centuries. Fanti’s pioneer experiments date it to within a few hundred years of the 1st century. All other evidence suggests it is 1st c. [Constantine I abolished crucifixion around 325AD!] What date does Anon assign to the Shroud?

    1. Daveb: “All other evidence suggests it is 1st c.” I know of only one piece of evidence, the Pilatus coins. Try looking at a good photo of the Shroud: can you see the coins and the letters of the inscriptions? As to the “pioneer experiments” of Fanti, he has compared the minute fragments of fibres collected among the debris and dust of Riggi’s aspirator with fibres freshly extracted from whole threads. No wonder if the Shroud fibres (if really they are from the Shroud) are weaker and more deterorated.

    2. Quote: “Fanti’s pioneer experiments date it to within a few hundred years of the 1st century.”

      Have you noticed that his published scientific paper did not talked at all about his dating of supposed fibers from the Shroud? That’s speak loud to me… The truth is this: No serious scientific paper has ever confirmed his supposed dating of the Shroud so far.

    1. @ Louis. I think it is probable that Fanti really took the debris from Riggi’s filters and that Riggi aspirated from under the cloth of the Shroud, but in so aspirating he could collect also fibres from the Holland cloth, from the many patches and from any other inquinating source.

  6. Gian Marco, it is not difficult to understand your point, but please read the stretch taken from the link given above:

    “In short, there were samples taken of Shroud material in both 1978 and in 1988. In both cases, they were approved by the Custodian of the Shroud, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Anastasio Ballestrero, with the consent of the owner, Umberto II of Savoy in 1978, and Pope John Paul II in 1988. Involved with the Shroud for a long time, prof. Fanti received some fibers taken from the Shroud in 1978 by prof. Ray Rogers, one of the American scientists of the STURP team.
    “But in 1988, Giovanni Riggi di Numana, the expert who cut the Shroud samples for examination by C14, and with the agreement of Cardinal Ballestrero, kept some of the fibers of the Shroud and collected fragments of aspirated blood and dust samples in between the linen and the Holland cloth.

  7. >>“All other evidence suggests it is 1st c.” I know of only one piece of evidence, the Pilatus coins. Try looking at a good photo of the Shroud: can you see the coins and the letters of the inscriptions?<<

    I've always seen them ever since I saw the PBS special with Fr. Filas in the eighties, and I can't not see them now. Too many coincidences right around the eyes with the apparent lepton and inscription for me to think they're not there, but who knows?

    Lots of other evidence suggests 1st century-3rd century: the accuracy of the wounds due to crucifixion, the weave being similar to what was found at Masada, etc. But I'm just an amateur who is really enjoying this site. I love reading what is said by the experts, pro and con.

    1. ‘The weave being similar to what was found at Masada.’ The Masada evidence was fully discussed in a separate posting. The Masada textiles are mostly wool and are not the same as the weave of the Shroud – those that are twill are largely 2.2 not 3/1 (the Shroud herringbone) that apparently needs a different kind of heddle on the loom when being woven.
      The similarity was supposed to be the stitch which, it was claimed, was a very rare one (Wilson, The Shroud) and only known on the Shroud and on a Masada textile. However, as we showed in the discussion, I hope to everyone’s satisfaction, the stitch concerned was in fact a very common one for stitching two different cloths together and used from ancient times up to this day, even by my wife when she was working with theatre costumes. So the stitch theory did not take us any further forward.
      Perhaps someone , ?Hugh in his Newsletter, could gather together the fruits of these discussions when an issue/myth seems resolved so that it doesn’t get brought up again and again.

      1. I’ve got so many ideas for the next newsletter it could become a one-man-band if I let it, so I’ll let this one ride for a while…

      2. With all due respect, but I would prefer the opinion of a textile expert like MFL. Especially with your own admission in a previous post on this blog that “Yet as much of the Masada textile collection has never been published, F-L may have seen something that was not reported in the excavation report from a private inspection”. So I don’t know how you may act as if this issue/myth has been resolved?

      3. ‘Yet as much of the Masada textile collection has never been published, F-L may have seen something that was not reported in the excavation report from a private inspection”

        No, I think you will find that we have the reference in F-L to a specific illustrated stitch in the excavation reports -these are difficult to pin down but the Cambridge University Library has a copy that I consulted on this and photocopied the relevant illustrations of stitches. If the stitch illustrated is in fact the same as the stitch on the Shroud then it could have been stitched at any time as it is very common one. Wilson is very misleading on this when he describes it as rare – but I suppose sewing is not his thing while it is for for my wife who used to design and sew up theatre costumes and instantly recognised the stitch- this is why these myths get around!

        However, as we discussed this endlessly before and it is on record in this blog, I am not going to look out the photocopies of all the stitches I took from the excavation reports to make the point yet again.

        But the point I made is valid- some of these discussions do eventually end in conclusions that no one seems able to challenge and sometimes these conclusions get rid of myths about Shroud research that get endlessly recycled from one discussion to the next. One day someone will write the definitive book on the Shroud drawing on independent textile experts, art historians , historians ,etc. which can be used as the benchmark on all these issues. There does not yet exist a single book that does this despite all the talk about the vast amount of research that has been done.

  8. Anon: “Have you noticed that his published scientific paper did not talk at all about his dating of supposed fibers from the Shroud? That’s speak loud to me… ”

    Fanti announced his findings on the dating of the Shroud in a separate release, courting controversy in the process, including questions raised concerning the provenance of his samples, which Louis has already answered. Clearly Fanti considered it premature to include this specific finding in his scientific paper, until the method itself based on KNOWN AGE of samples had been subject to proper scientific critique. There was no reason to court further controversy by including his finding on the Shroud [AGE UNCERTAIN & CONTROVERSIAL], until the scientific community had adequate opportunity to evaluate this piece of pioneering research into dating of textiles generally. I see it as a proper exercise of prudence on his part. Anon should get over his distaste for competent researchers who bother his unique way of looking at things.

    1. The proper exercise would have been to verify his dating result by submitting some of his samples (highly questionable) to a proper C14 dating and compare the results. Of course, he did not. That’s great Fanti once again.

      And another proper exercise for him would have been to avoid publishing a popular book in order to make believe that he was able to prove the authenticity of the Shroud while his method and samples are still questionable…

    2. Oh, by the way, before calling Fanti’s method a « pionner method », can we please wait to see if the scientific community (especially the ones who are experts in dating ancient fabrics) will accept his method as scientifically accurate and use it to confirm some C14 dating. If that’s not the case, sorry but his method (as well as his dating result concerning the Shroud) will end up in the trash bin of science history… And even if his method should be approved by a major part of the scientific community, this would not give us any insurance about the validity of Fanti’s samples. The only way he could give us some insurance about that would be to submit part of his samples to a proper C14 dating and see if the results match his own results…

  9. Gian Marco wrote : “I know of only one piece of evidence, the Pilatus coins. Try looking at a good photo of the Shroud: can you see the coins and the letters of the inscriptions?”

    When observed in the light of 2 eidomatic reconstructions of a dilepton lituus and lepton simpulum obverses each showing a specific accidental characteristic (“UCAI” “latin misreading” embedded in the TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC legend and prong mark embedded in the TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC LI? legend), I do can see tiny partial markings of 2 Pilate coin obverses on 1931 Enrie, 1978 Miller and 2002 Durante Shroud face photographs.

    Reminder : an American professionnal numismatist and an Israeli scholar numismatist (i.e. men with the initiated eye) could also see the partial decal of a dilepton lituus obverse on the right eye too from a 1931 Enrie Shroud photograph magnification.

    It does take an initiated eye when observing the Turin Shroud face. Recurring to a specific eidomatic reading grid based on blood pattern analysis I personally devised, anybody can see the Pilate coin obverse tiny partial decals.

  10. I presume Max is referring to Ari Kindler, author of “Coins of the land of Israel”. Father Werner Bulst sent a photograph of the eye area of the Shroud to him without revealing anything else and he identified what he saw as a Pilatus coin, so Max’s study can be taken as confirmation.

  11. The doubts about the Shroud material with Professor Fanti have been dispelled and daveb has correctly explained the rationale behind his way of working.

  12. Hi Louis, in a way yes as the alleged “lituus” on the right eye is a pareidolia and the reading “UCAI” is a misreading for “AICAP” ([TIBEPIOY K]AICAP[OC]). Besides I also identified the very partial marking left by a Pilate coin (lepton simpulum type) down on the left eye corner (this is new).

  13. Thanks Max. Please think about putting this paper with images in pdf as a comparative study can be made with the material from Francis Filas, Ari Kindler and yourself.

  14. Well, sort of. In an earlier post I wrote: Fanti’s book and the brou-ha-ha that came with it involved various more or less dubious means of dating old flax, including the highly controversial mechanical testing. After a while he published a paper in Vibrational Spectroscopy, in which all mention of the shroud and all his mechanical dating methods were omitted, leaving only FTIR spectroscopy. He subjected 12 samples of known age from 3000BC to the present to his process, and observed a noticeable progressive change in the spectra recorded. Flax, it appears, can be shown to degrade with age. In ideal situations (permanent storage in a single place of constant environmental conditions) his findings suggest an ascertainable age band of 400 years, which might be narrowed if further ressearch was carried out. Although this method is unlikely ever to be better than C14 dating, it has the merit of being wholly non-destructive. In more variable conditions however (and the Shroud springs inevitably to mind) this does not seem a promising line of research.

    He has since returned to the mechanical testing, publishing first a device for carrying it out, and now “Multi-parametric micro-mechanical dating of single fibers coming from ancient flax textiles,” in which, again, 11 samples of known date were subjected to 5 mechanical tests, and again, he found a correlation between his results and their ages with a “relative standard uncertainty of the method” of about 200 years. He does not include any Shroud fibres in this study. I believe that the criteria and criticisms which applied to the earlier paper still apply. His fibres from the Shroud were, by definition, loose, having either detatched during the course of its history or by being sucked out by the vacuum collector. They can validly be described as not typical of the fibres still part of intact threads, and as having been likely to have suffered more mechanical damage than the rest of the shroud. However there is no way of knowing how consistent their mechanical deterioration has been. It is overwhelmingly more likely that they ‘date’ by the mechanical deterioration method to a time considerably earlier than that of the manufacture of the shroud.

    All this may be explained in his new book, but having bought and read his previous one without being informed of much more than the publisher’s blurb told us, I am reluctant to buy the new one until somebody else reviews it! (Cheapskate…)

    As for the coins, it would be good to see demonstrations of their presence derived from the Haltadefinizione photos rather than the Enrie photos, just as confirmation…

  15. Professor Fanti appears to have obtained his material from two sources, Ray Rogers and Giovanni Riggi and I presume he must have looked for mechanical deterioration or damage before making his observations.
    As for the coins, I will pass the buck on to Max since the people at Haltadefinizione seem to be very professional and have in fact mentioned the Shroud in the link below:

    1. Following the procedures he laid out in “Multi-parametric micro-mechanical dating of single fibers coming from ancient flax textiles” I’ve no doubt obviously damaged fibres were indeed excluded, as well as fibres showing the distinct anomalies he also describes there. Even so, it can hardly be said that the fibres most easily removed from the Shroud are typical of the mean in mechanical terms.

      Haltadefinizione made the Shroud 2.0 app which is a quite high definition photographic scan of the entire shroud. If there is any evidence of coins, flowers, ropes, inscriptions or other miscellaneous grave goods on these photos, then objections that they are pareidolia based on imperfections on Giuseppe Enrie’s photos of 1938 might be dispelled.

  16. Demonstrations of the presence of two Pilate coin obverse very partial decals can be seen not only from the Enrie Shroud face photographs but also from 1978 Miller’s and 2002 Durante’s. What is most needed is demonstrations from authentic photographs. Still waiting for :
    – a first generation/authentic 1978 Miller Shroud face negative photograph (as I have only worked so far from a 1978 Miller second generation high definition slide copy made by André Marion and a copy from Wilson’s book The Shroud back cover)
    – an authentic 2002 Dante shroud face photograph (I have only worked so far from a second generation colour photograph published separately in Barberis & Boccaletti’s book “Il Caso Sindone Non è Chiuso”., ed. San Paolo, 2010).

    The fact remains though, that, on the three photographs (Enrie, Miller & Durante) , the two Pilate coins left a very partial yet detailed tiny image on each of the Shroud face eye that shows you exactly what those coins looked like. The Turin Shroud recorded not so much where the lepton simpulum was first placed over the left eye as where it had slipped down onto the face (during a fumigation rite and/or post mortem handling?) as the shroud was used to tightly wrap up the TS man’s face (before the cloth somehow loosenned up).

  17. Well, it does indeed seem that sorting out these fibres is no easy task and we must hope that the new book says something about how this was done. Professor Fanti is meticulous and contested Prof. Paolo di Lazzaro when it came measuring the supericiality of the Shroud image, apparently the reason why he didn’t go to Spain.

    One wonders why no one thought about Haltadefinizione before as there are a couple of Shroudies who could make good use of their availabilty as added support for their papers. If none of the objects are seen then that will leave the door open to pareidolia.

  18. When examining a suspected surface in quest for “subtle inscriptions”’ ridge and valley, it is common knowledge, among archaeologists, glyptologists, palaeographers and epigraphists that the best way to examine it is under alternative light and/or raking light, high definition is not enough.

  19. Dear Piero
    Thanks for your information.
    Although I can’t read italian I understood some words and the meaning of the article, but these techniques are far beyond my field of expertise.
    I trully believe professor Fanti did indeed test Shroud fibers, and his new method of ancient textile dating, although not accurate as radiocarbon brings new clues on this issue.
    Let’s hope experts will validate Professor Fanti’s method.

    Antero de Frias Moreira

    1. In 1998 (in Turin) my intervention (“La qualità del microcontrollo tessile della Santa Sindone”) indicated the problem of the “microcontrolo della qualità tessile” …and then I indicated the AFM, CFM and SNOM techniques as the possible solution for the Ancient Enigma (… mainly in order to discover the true epoch).
      The detection of cellulosic DP (=degree of polymerization) was foreseen as feasible using the AFM techniques (and this was my opinion, without true and exact proofs obtained from the experiments). If I am right, until now, this foreseen event has not been shown … because Fanti and Malfi treated the research under the point of view of mechanical part and not from the chemical part …
      Both sides can be treated using the AFM techniques. See also : the AFM three-bending point test (micro- or nano-mechanical control), etc. and the lack of interesting discussions on that technical argument on this interesting blog by Dan …

      1. If you want to understand what is the AFM bending test,
        then there is the following link :

        Click to access 08nan22.pdf

        you have to observe the slides :
        9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16 … …
        — —
        So, I hope you have understood the importance
        (for the improvement of the researches on ancient linen fibrils and … the inherent comparisons) about the Elastic Modulus determination.
        — —
        There is a link (= Nanomechanics and AFM) :

        Click to access Nanomechanics.pdf

        But that webape is oriented trowards the mineralogy and then this is far from the useful investigations on own textile field.
        — —
        Here another example.
        Link :

        Title :
        Measurement of the elastic modulus of
        spider mite silk fibers using atomic force microscopy

        Hudson, Stephen D.; Zhurov, Vladimir; Grbic, Vojislava;
        Grbic, Miodrag; Hutter, Jeffrey L.

        publ. date = April 2013
        Source : Journal of Applied Physics;Apr2013, Vol. 113 Issue 15, p154307

        But this reseach seems to be near the easy (… or user-friendly !) hypothesis of advanced investigation around the Manoppello’s Veil (… IMO we have not yet seen the truth about this old relic …) and not for the Turin Shroud because the textile material used for the Shroud was linen
        and not silk !
        I want to add that IMO it’s impossible to destroy the
        precious repert/relic (… taking the samples to submit for the analyses) and then we have to work in another manner (= spectrophotometric controls).

        I am not a quarreler or a quarrelsome fellow and
        then I want to respect prof. Giulio Fanti, but … it is remarkable that using the AFM techniques we can hope to obtain the truth about the linen fibrils (and the inherent age).

        If we want to work in a proper manner we have to follow
        the useful AFM work-shadowing (a training period), otherwise we have to believe in what the expert (and/or the technical manager) will be able to discover using the AFM techniques …
        — —
        Where are Portuguese experts ?
        I hope in your contributions.

        If we want to work with the preliminar experiments
        there are several things to do …
        For example :
        What is the difference about flash heating
        with respect repeated laser spots ?
        I remember that Ray Rogers (= RR) indicated the fact that Joan Rogers
        subjected linen to flash heating with lasers observing ablation without any color formation …
        The conclusion by RR was the following : intense rapid heating can not explain image formation and he add that the primary effect of any kind of radiation is heating; therefore the image color can not be a result of a flsh of any kind of radiation !
        Instead Paolo Di Lazzaro and others researchers
        ( ) have been able to use the laser on linen and
        they claim that linen fibrils treated in that manner
        are similar to those of the Shroud …
        and …
        then I ask : are we sure ?
        So, I think that investigating the matter using the AFM
        on treated linen fibrils (here the main linen treatments to control : Corona Discharge, excimer lasers, only Maillard pathway, etc.) will be the right way to work and in that manner we can hope to obtain the scientific truth.
        — —
        The use of AFM in Biology.
        The Atomic Force Microscope “images” individual molecules
        by monitoring the flexing of a micromachined cantilever
        as it scans over a surface with a sharp tip, contacting molecules deposited on the surface. The deflection of the AFM tip as it responds to sample topography is measured by reflected laser light and converted to a digital image map of molecule locations on the surface, plus their height profiles.
        This technique can be used in a number of ways and
        various biological applications have been developed.
        — —
        If the blood derived, for example, from a puncture
        caused by a needle used during sewing (after the Fire of 1532) then we can observe the differences in a more exact manner …
        — —
        In conclusion :
        All that we have to do is to apply the SPM techniques avoiding
        the great destructions (example = 14C tests).
        — —

  20. To Louis et al,
    hopefully next week I’ll email Dan two eidomatic numismatic tables with short comments (from my 2011 Torun paper I could not finish because authentic 2002 Durante Shroud face digital colour photograph and authentic Haltadefinizione Shroud right and left eye digital photographs were not put at my disposal to double check my results fromTamburelli’s contrast enhanced eye image from authentic 1931 Enrie Shroud face photograph). It will give you a fairly good idea of what is really there and what is not as far as Pilate coin obverse very partial markings are concerned and what exactly remains to be done in terms of confirmation. So keep tuned.

  21. Many thanks, Max. You have dedicated a lot of your time and energy to this topic and I am sure that your contribution will be welcome by everyone for analysis and comments.

  22. >> The Masada textiles are mostly wool and are not the same as the weave of the Shroud – those that are twill are largely 2.2 not 3/1 (the Shroud herringbone) that apparently needs a different kind of heddle on the loom when being woven.<<

    Wilson got this information from Fleury-Lemburg, who he seems to rely on a lot, even to the point of dismissing Rogers theory about the reweaving being the cause for the C14 date. So if she's wrong about the Masada textile, maybe she's also wrong about the evidence that came from Sue Benford/Joe Marino/Ray Rogers as well.

    1. ‘So if she’s wrong about the Masada textile, maybe she’s also wrong about the evidence that came from Sue Benford/Joe Marino/Ray Rogers as well.’

      Perhaps (one must always be open to the possibility), but I assume you are not making this assertion without having read her paper on the subject. And ,as we have noted in another discussion, she is supported by Professors Raes, Vial, Testore who have all examined this corner of the Shroud, so she is one of a GROUP of PROFESSIONALS specialising in ancient textiles who have actually examined this corner of the Shroud,not an isolated voice.

      Yes, for those who follow him, it is important to note that Wilson does not support the ‘reweave’ -he seems to be into contamination by clerical sweat, although one would assume that that would have been dissolved in the cleaning. Perhaps he will enlighten the Melbourne audience on what he actually believes might challenge the C14 date.

      I know academics are often derided on this blog but no one else has such expertise and when several experts concur on there being no reweave then I think one should take them seriously. Remember Benford and Marino are/were not textile experts, nor was Rogers, and Rogers had not seen the Shroud since 1978- he was writing 27 years later with only threads and fibres, not even an actual weave!! And his dye thesis is unsustainable if taken alongside the researches on the Raes fibres by Thibault Heimburger, that show most of the reweave, if it happened, must have been linen. Why add in cotton as well to the ‘new ‘linen if this was meant all to be invisible.

  23. You’re correct, I haven’t read Fleury-Lemburg’s paper on the reweave. At this point, I’m confused. The Pray manuscript is(in my opinion) pretty strong evidence that the Shroud dates back to at least 1190. It doesn’t seem to be a painting. It’s anatomically accurate.The Shroud face seems to have influenced Byzantine art since at least the 7th century. The contamination from sweaty hands theory doesn’t seem to pass the smell test to me. There’s no way, in my opinion, that this would be enough to throw the C14 date off by 1300+ plus years, and dating it to the exact time the Shroud popped up in Lirey. If it’s a fraud, it’s an astonishing piece of work. If it’s not, what is it? The crucified Templar? Or a miracle created in the Middle Ages(as Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich seems to hint in some of her visions)? I’m more perplexed than ever.

    1. Don’t call it perplexed; call it having an open mind. Historically, bear in mind that while some commenters see the occasional representation of four-fingered, crossed-wristed, naked, bearded bodies as deriving from the Shroud, others see a development in Byzantine iconography from which the Shroud was ultimately derived. It’s a chicken and egg situation whose truth has not been demonstrated, let alone resolved, to everyone’s satisfaction. As for the anatomical correctness, it is no more so than dozens of medieval artworks, and has been subject to any number of body-positioning/ cloth-draping experiments in order to make its prima facie inconsistencies fit a more realistic frame. It is often stated that it must be either genuine or an out and out fake, but this is nonsense as a number of people, not least myself, never tire of pointing out!

  24. If it’s not an “out and out fake”, what else could it be? I have read Joe Nickell’s book, and it wasn’t a bit convincing, but on the other hand if it’s not the true Shroud or an authentic portrait “not made by hands”, I can’t imagine it being anything other than an attempt to deceive.

  25. 1) An accidental result from another body, possibly unwounded, later touched up for the veneration of the faithful (that bit may be deceitful, if you like!)
    2) A prayer-stimulating representation to be hung on a wall above and behind an altar
    3) An iconographic representation to be used as an altar cloth
    4) An authorised copy of another relic
    5) An attempt to replicate a real shroud for research purposes
    6) A symbolic demonstration of the similarities between Christ and Jacques de Molay
    and so on…

    1. food for thought!
      I find 2 and 3 unlikely, given the image’s nudity…of course the man’s frontal modesty is protected by the hands, but his backside is on full display!
      Re: 1, I’ve sometimes wondered if the Shroud might have covered a flagellant from the 1200s / 1300s…that might explain the flagellant-like wounds, and then as you suggest this provided the template for Christ-like wound touch ups

    2. Wow… Talk about occam’s razor. ” Watson you …….. Someone stole our tent” so sad people would go so far to try to discredit the obvious:
      1- “Accidental result from another body” like how? I am sure you should be able to reproduce such a fantastical accident and print an image with photographic properties on the top 1-2 microfibres of a linen cloth. What’s stopping you?
      “Possibly unwounded” but in rigor Mortis consistent with someone who was crucified before he died….., “touched up” I thought the blood was there first ?, I thought it was high in bilirubin? I thought some of the scourge marks on the lower calves were only seen under UV fluorescece. I thought there was serum halos unseen without UV fluorescence. I thought all the wounds were forensically accurate? including the 100plus scourge marks. With dirt on the tip of the nose, knee and heels….They really touched it up didn’t they.
      2-“prayer stimulating”3-“iconographic”4- “authorized copy of a relic”…Like where? Where do you see a church use a naked jesus for veneration? And how did they do it? Why would they do it in the 14th century when they can only appreciate its features in the 19th century.
      5-” research purposes” really?..they really had the technology back then. Photography was invented in the 19th century, VP8- image analyzer was invented in the 20th century, UV-fluorescence photography was invented in the 20th century. They were really ahead of their time back then. I assume they need to appreciate these features to be able to replicate them…and how did they replicate it when we can’t do it with today’s technology? I hope they got their research peer reviewd.
      6-“symbolic”..”Molay” I like how you put this as number 6. At least you realize how ridiculous that claim is.. Not only it doesn’t explain anything of the shroud features or how it was produced but it also assumes similarity between Jesus who died by crucifixion and DeMolay who was burned at the stake.

      1. I’m pleased for you that so much of what you think is “obvious.” If only it were so for me. You think the blood was there first, it is high in bilirubin, some of the scourge marks are only seen under UV fluorescence, there are serum halos unseen without UV fluorescence, the wounds are forensically accurate, etc. Well, that’s fine, and you will have no difficulty in finding lots of people who think the same. However, if you try to demonstrate any of these things, even to yourself, you may find they are not as obvious as you thought.

        Also bear in mind that arguments from ignorance (I don’t follow your explanation, so my explanation must be right), are not only logical fallacies, but also cut both ways, such as “We don’t know how it happened in the 1st/13th century (delete as appropriate), so it must have been made in the 13th/1st century (delete as appropriate),” or (slightly different argument), “Naked images were completely unacceptable in the 1st/13th century (delete as appropriate), so it must have been made in the 13th/1st century (delete as appropriate).”

        Stick around. These topics come around, and sometimes old arguments are re-iterated, and sometimes a new idea occurs to someone. Some people simply let us know their opinions, and other back their views up with detailed references. Fascinating stuff.

      2. “If only it were so for me.”
        Frankly I dont care what you believe. but I expect when someone of your caliber comes up with fantastical claims like the ones numbered from 1-6 above he would be able to back it up with detailed references.
        “You think the blood was there first.. etc….you will have no difficulty in finding lots of people who think the same”
        correction: lots of scientists who published in peer reviewd journals.
        “However, if you try to demonstrate any of these things, even to yourself, you may find they are not as obvious as you thought”
        Wrong again: I am very convinced by the data published so far, and I certainly don’t see you demonstrate your fantastical claims by any peer reviewd science.
        “Also bear in mind that arguments from ignorance…”
        It’s the other way around. My arguments were rhetorical, trying to get you to provide evidence for your fantasies.
        “Some people simply let us know their opinions”
        Like the 6 points you listed above?

      3. That’s quite a checklist you have reeled off there. Mike M. You come across as a seasoned shroudie pro (polemical sub-branch) . Do we know you from elsewhere? Irrespective, I’m preparing answers to all your points, but in view of the unwelcome attempts below to present the Shroud authenticy debate as trench warfare between theist v atheist (nothing could be further from the truth in my case, being concerned purely with the never-ceasing battle between generic disinterested v agenda-driven science) I shall not be publishing them here, but on my own site, probably in a day or two. Thought I’d let you know as a courtesy that your Mike M ID will be appearing offsite elsewhere.

  26. But what about the negative and 3D properties of the image? It just seems unbelievable to me that someone created such a convincing image in the Middle Ages.

  27. Yes. Some people have assumed that it would be impossible to create, by accident, an image with the precise negative and 3D characteristics of the Shroud image. But then, others have suggested that anyone setting out to represent an image-containing shroud might well make it, by chemical or physical means, such that places he imagined would make better contact would be more intensely coloured, with the result that both negative and 3D qualities would be an inevitable consequence. The trouble is, of course, that it is difficult for shroud researchers nowadays to create an experimental situation whereby someone in ignorance of what they were testing was persuaded to try to produce a painting with those characteristics.

  28. Hugh and Colin(and anyone else who might know), is there any evidence that Jacques de Molay was tortured in the same manner as Our Lord? Did he look like the Shroud Man? How could his image form on a linen cloth? Thanks for any info.

    1. Hello there. To save time, might I suggest you consult an earlier posting on this site that summarises the similarities and differences between my views on the hypothesised Templar connection and the earlier ones of Knight and Lomax.

      (In passing, I was only vaguely aware of K&L’s ideas re chemical imprinting from the real de Molay while undergoing torture prior to his execution – including quasi-crucifixion – nailing to a door – coming as I was from a completely different direction (thermal imprinting from some kind of effigy (bronze statue? bas relief(s)? etc etc).

      Important postscript to Dan Porter and fellow shroudies: have you noticed anything strange about Google as a search engine of late? When I tried to locate that link above with Google,I got back mainly irrelevant listings, despite entering what seemed targeted keywords, i.e. lomax knight dan porter shroud turin de molay

      When I entered the same in Bing and Yahoo, they were all the ones I was expecting and seeking.

      So what on earth is happening at Google right now? Would it be premature to start entertaining conspiracy theories, i.e. that its search engine may have been been “got at” to suppress certain ‘heretical’ ideas re the TS?

      I have taken a screen grab of those Google listings, and may do a posting once I’ve completed my research on other more important matters (like Rogers’ so-called vanillin paper in Thermochimica Acta, which frankly had I seen in draft – as a referee – I would have deemed unpublishable).

      1. PS: Oops. Egg on face time. All it took was one typo – Lomax for Lomas, to completely throw the Google search engine. Bing and Yahoo are clearly more robust. Is the (overloaded) Google search algorithm maybe over-engineered too? In future I will never rely on Google alone, and always enter the same search into an alternative.

  29. And you lot would accuse Shroudies of fantastical thinking. Come back to the real world!

  30. daveb, I believe in the Shroud as belonging to Our Lord(either at His burial, or through some miracle at some later stage), and being His true likeness. Having said that, it seems that there is a lot more skepticism than usual about the Shroud lately, and I’m trying to work out the theories that say it’is a forgery, or some unintended natural phenomenon unconnected to the historical Jesus. Believe me, I’m on your side on the issue of the Shroud, but I want to know what the alternative theories are, and why those who hold these theories believe them. From everything I’ve seen, the only thing that negates the authenticity argument is the C14. And I’m inclined to believe something went terribly wrong there, but I’m still interested in what skeptics have to say.

    1. “God so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given indications of himself which are visible to those who seek him and not to those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those to see who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.”(Blaise Pascal )

    2. I shouldn’t encourage them! From where I sit it seems to be mainly destructive criticism of little value to any rational argument.

  31. does not anybody in the whole wide world want to be famous? all he would have to do is duplicate the shroud and he would also be a hero to all the atheists.

    1. I seriously don’t believe many atheists would get scared to death if the Shroud of Turin would be authenticate one day (even though it’s most probable that he will never get authenticate as the authentic burial cloth of Jesus because it’s nearly impossible to prove such a connection)… Around me, there are a bunch of atheists and I can ensure you that they don’t care for one second about the Shroud.

  32. I cited Lomas some days ago, in connection with his de Molay-Shroud link, adding the name of Lord Ripon in the process. Lord Ripon (George Robinson) changed direction, even though that shocked Queen Victoria, and did a lot of good work around the world. Lomas is stuck with prejudice.

  33. “If only it were so for me.”
    Frankly I dont care what you believe. but I expect when someone of your caliber comes up with fantastical claims like the ones numbered from 1-6 above he would be able to back it up with detailed references.

    “You think the blood was there first.. etc….you will have no difficulty in finding lots of people who think the same”
    correction: lots of scientists who published in peer reviewd journals.

    “However, if you try to demonstrate any of these things, even to yourself, you may find they are not as obvious as you thought”
    Wrong again: I am very convinced by the data published so far, and I certainly don’t see you demonstrate your fantastical claims by any peer reviewd science.

    “Also bear in mind that arguments from ignorance…”
    It’s the other way around. My arguments were rhetorical, trying to get you to provide evidence for your fantasies.

    “Some people simply let us know their opinions”
    Like the 6 points you listed above?

    1. As I said, topics come around with regularity, so please stick around to check out some of the more detailed references as they occur. Alternatively, you could try the search function for previous discussions. The six scenarios I listed as possible alternatives to the “Christ’s Shroud or deceitful forgery” mantra have all been considered quite carefully and are not ‘fantastical’ at all. Nor, may I say, did I give an opinion on any of them. Listing them as possibilities is not the same as opining on their probability.

      I’m not sure what you mean by your, ‘lots of scientists in peer reviewed journals.’ This is ‘correction’ to what exactly? To my words, ‘lots of people,’ it seems. Are scientists not people?

      And you misunderstand my very carefully selected word, ‘demonstrate.’ It is clear by your tone that you are convinced by some data; I just wonder if the data you find convincing actually demonstrates the conclusion you draw from it. You are perfectly correct that I did not, in my comment above, demonstrate any contrary data. I frequently do so with respect to specific aspects of the Shroud, which effort, although you seem unaware of it, I hope has done a little to justify your very generous epithet, and will be happy to do so again, if you like, but we must be careful not to bore those who have followed this blog more consistently, and for longer, than yourself.

      I’m happy to accept that your arguments were rhetorical, and apologise for misunderstanding. When I read: “I assume they need to appreciate these features to be able to replicate them…and how did they replicate it when we can’t do it with today’s technology?” I thought you meant that since you couldn’t explain how a medieval scientist might replicate the Shroud, therefore it must not be possible. That’s what an ‘argument from ignorance’ is. I have never claimed that something must be so on the basis of ignorance of the alternative. I’m glad you haven’t either.

      1. Still no references, I guess you have none then. Blogs are good for discussion but are not considered reliable references. I am sorry, I thought you could back up your six scenarios by some peer reviewd science. My bad.

  34. I’m not sure you understand the nature of Science, let alone peer reviewed science, in requesting a peer-reviewed article on the possibility of the Shroud being, for example, a 13th century Byzantine epitaphios or strachitsa, or an authorised copy of another relic. But never mind, who cares what I think? Your bad indeed.

Comments are closed.