Might the A&V Ivory have been the inspiration for the Pray Manuscript Illustration instead of the Shroud of Turin, my friend John asked in an email?

imageThe ivory is interesting. Stephen Jones brings it to our attention in his blog at Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #3:

Click on the image for a larger view

Stephen tells us that this lamentation scene can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.  He tells us that “Jesus’ hands are crossed awkwardly at the wrists, with the right arm over the left, exactly as on the Shroud” and that Jesus is “lying on a double-length cloth which has a repeating pattern of Xs similar to those that accompany reproductions of the image of Edessa. They hint, he tells us, of the Shroud’s herringbone weave.”

Stephen offers this caption for a photograph of the ivory:

[ . . . Scenes from the Passion of Christ …The Lamentation"[13]: Part of larger carved ivory panel in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Note that Jesus’ arms cross awkwardly at the wrists, right over left, exactly as they are on the Shroud, in this 11th/12th century Byzantine icon. This alone is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud existed at least a century before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud.]

Proof beyond reasonable doubt? Anyone think so?

We might well think that it is based on the shroud. But we might want to consider alternatives. Are those really Xs? And why do we think they hint of the a herringbone weave? Maybe instead of what John thinks, it is the other way around.  What about other lamentation scenes?  What else? What is missing that we might expect?

The Victoria & Albert Museum dates it to the 12th century. Where did the c. 1090 date come from on Stephen’s blog?

Associates for Biblical Research mentions this ivory briefly in an article, The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part Three: The Shroud of Constantinople.

I mean it would be great if this thing was the proof. Could we call it the missing link?