Teeth Reconsidered

imageO.K. writes in an email:

Hello Dan.

I know you don’t see teeth on the Shroud image -but maybe this will change your view.

And he attached a PDF file with several images.  In it he writes:

Discussion: Of course one can be very careful when assessing so vague images. Although they are not clear as there are several background impurities, which make discerning most individual teeth impossible, yet it is possible to localize 4-5 of them along with some breaks between them. Adding a fact that they are in the proper place, I am now 99 % convinced that those are indeed teeth (and not for example a band of darker yarn).

Sorry. I remain 99% unconvinced.  What say you all?

30 thoughts on “Teeth Reconsidered”

    1. I don’t know what would make you convinced.

      The fact that alleged teeth are in propoer place and proper size?
      Plausible explanation of their visibility?

  1. Joke No.2

    What’s the difference between the Man on the TS and your typical farmyard hen?

    Answer: The hen probably has the better dentition of the two,.

        1. “why he/she considers it relevant to the present post.”

          Hugh as already answered, it’s all about an artifact of the banding.

        2. PS: the Shroud Scope picture you chose to pull out of my posting, the one with the blue rectangle, was No.6 of 17. If you look at No.10 of 17, you will see why the blue rectangle was not centred.

          No.10 is an identical picture, but instead of a blue rectangle, enclosing what I consider to be tips of toes (NO, NOT BANDING!) it has a black dashed line, one that delineates the water stain that Pam Moon considered was responsible for diffuse staining, a view that I decided to investigate in that posting, and found it wanting.It was to ensure that the entire water stain was in the field of view AND to show that the “tips of toes’ were imaged outside the zone of the water stain, that the blue rectangle came to be shown off-centre.

          If I’m correct, and the tips of toes were imaged, then what price the received wisdom that one foot is missing through overlapping the other as a result of allegedly crossed feet? More importantly, what price “imaging by orthogonally-projected (!) radiation across air gaps (max 3-4cm!),” if in reality it is imaging by direct contact only (with imaging across air gaps a fanciful illusion).

        3. My mistake. It’s one I had missed, or maybe forgotten about, probably because it attracted no comments.

          Consider yourself misjudged.

  2. The Holy Face of Manoppello seems to be involved in that speculation…

    — —
    Do you know the composition of an ancient potion (“posca”)?

    I ask because I have read the abstract from the study:
    “Polyacetylenes from Sardinian Oenanthe fistulosa:
    A Molecular Clue to risus sardonicus”
    J Nat Prod. May 22, 2009; 72(5): 962–965.
    Published online Feb 26, 2009. doi: 10.1021/np8007717


    See also :

    I know that:

    Hemlock Water Dropwort
    (Oenanthe crocata)
    The generic name, Oenanthe, is derived from the
    Greek ainos (wine) and anthos (a flower), from the
    wine-like scent of the flowers.

    The toxic principle is oenathetoxin, a polyunsaturated
    higher alcohol. It is a convulsant poison that is not affected by drying or storage (therefore remains toxic after cutting and chemical control). Very small amounts are sufficient to cause death. Poisoning of farm stock usually occurs with out any warning signs…

    Other “information” about Oenanthotoxin or Enanthotoxin:
    >oenanthotoxin is still unknown, and little information on the molecular details of its neurotoxic activity has been reported …

    Have you found other interesting informations ?

  3. I am a bit doubtful about that “poisonous idea”…

    For example,
    I have read (“Meyer’s NT Commentary”):
    >According to Matthew, then, Jesus rejected the potion because the taste of gall made it undrinkable.
    >A later view than that embodied in Mark 15:23, from which passage it would appear that Jesus does not even taste the drink, but declines it altogether, because He has no desire to be stupefied before death.
    See also (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers):

    – In Mark 15:23, “wine mingled with myrrh.” The animal secretion known as “gall” is clearly out of the question, and the meaning of the word is determined by its use in the Greek version of the Old Testament, where it stands for the “wormwood” of Proverbs 5:4, for the poisonous herb joined with “wormwood” in Deuteronomy 29:18.


  4. I don’t think any teeth are visible on the shroud. I don’t think the mouth is open. I think the ‘lip’ that is visible below the ‘moustache’ is the man’s lower lip. The ‘teeth’ are below the lower lip, which means that they would only be visible by some sort of X-ray effect through the skin. I do not believe the Shroud is an X-ray of any sort. I think the ‘teeth’ are an artifact of the banding due to differences in the warp yarn which can be seen throughout the Shroud.

  5. Piero: thanks , interesting links.

    As to the reason of sardonic smile, hard to determine. I thought about some infection, particularly of tetanus (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetanus ), but it seems that it would take too much time for symptoms to develop fully. Hynek, as I said, claimed that symptoms similar to that of tetanus may develop simply from exertion of crucified, but I don’t know. We need an opinion of qualified physician.

    Poison? Maybe. It seems that Jesus drank a little while on the cross, particularly in the last moments of His life (see Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:36, Luke 23:36, and particularly John 19:28-30 )

    1. I have found the following articles:

      – the first by Charles Q. Choi, titled “Killer Smile” :
      >A toxin that forces a condemned victim to smile really seems to exist. The Greek bard Homer coined the term “sardonic grin” after ceremonial killings that supposedly took place in Sardinia, where Phoenician colonists gave to elderly people who could no longer take care of themselves and to criminals an intoxicating potion that put a smile on their face. (They were then dropped from a high rock or beaten to death.) Scientists at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy and their colleagues think they now have identified the herb responsible: hemlock water dropwort (Oenanthe crocata), which is common on Sardinia, where it is popularly known as “water celery.” Their analysis revealed the presence of highly toxic chemicals in the plant that could make facial muscles contract into a grimace, or rictus. The finding appears in the May 22 Journal of Natural Products. —Charles Q. Choi


      the second article:
      >Hemlock poisoning may refer to poisoning by either poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) or water hemlock family (Cicuta species and Oenanthe crocata L.). Historically, poison hemlock was reportedly used to execute Socrates and the Old Testament describes rhabdomyolysis in Israelites who consumed quail fed on hemlock.

      the third under the address:

      Here an excerpt:
      >… The Greek poet Homer first used the word ‘sardonic’ after learning that the Punic people who settled Sardinia gave condemned men or elderly people the grimace-inducing potion.
      >”The Punics were convinced that death was the start of new life, to be greeted with a smile,” Dr Ballero told Italy’s Ansa news agency.
      >The plant, which is common on the Mediterranean island, is known in Latin as Oenanthe crocata but to Sardinians as water celery. It is distantly related to carrots and parsnips but is highly poisonous.
      — —
      I repeaty : this strange idea is very interesting,
      but I have some doubts…
      Where are the true proofs about the poisonous composition of
      the ancient potion (posca)?

      I hope top read the inherent news from Thibault Heimburger …
      or from other medical doctors.
      Here the last words:
      >In ancient times, assassins and murderers have used
      the hemlock water-dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) plant
      to incapacitate their victims slowly through the poisonous
      Botox-like effect of the extract and then do their heinous deed.
      The result are corpses with a smile on their face…

      Source: http://www.pinterest.com/northwitch/b-identify/

      1. Errata corrige :
        “I repeat”
        instead of
        “I repeaty” …
        — — —
        However, the question of the book published by UTET seems more important (= resolution obtainable from the photo and inherent graphical representation … in order to better understand – and perhaps solve – the problem !).

  6. Hugh:

    I don’t think any teeth are visible on the shroud. I don’t think the mouth is open.

    Confront it with Sudarium data.

    I think the ‘lip’ that is visible below the ‘moustache’ is the man’s lower lip. The ‘teeth’ are below the lower lip, which means that they would only be visible by some sort of X-ray effect through the skin.

    You think this, you think that… Have you performed any measurements, Hugh (like I have)? Do it -you will see that alleged teeth are exactly where they suppose to be.

    I do not believe the Shroud is an X-ray of any sort.

    Nor do I.

    I think the ‘teeth’ are an artifact of the banding due to differences in the warp yarn which can be seen throughout the Shroud.

    And this banding strangely produces structures which are in the proper place, and proper size for teeth. Another strange coincidence… ?

    1. Yes, I’ve done that. The lower lip coincides almost exactly with my own. And I do not agree that the teeth are in the proper place. Would you like to post a photo of the shroud with all the teeth that are visible outlined instead of just pointed to? To me it seems that the brightest one (presumably an incisor) is in the exact centre of the mouth (you have no arrow to that one). There are darker patches on either side, one of which (the other incisor? why should it be darker than the other?) has two arrows to it, and the other side nothing. I get lost after that. The warp imperfections, on the other hand, are easily traceable further up and down the shroud, particularly on Shroud 2.0

  7. I am a bit ‘lazy…
    I am more inclined to agree with Hugh and rather than discuss the question in a scientific manner (considering “banding phenomenon” and inherent resolution) I prefer to ask the help about your idea of image resolution in this area!

    I believe that a better graphic scheme can solve the problem.

    Then, try to work using the image of the Face visible under :


    (… using that image is it possible a good attempt ?)

    Edizione di pregio “Sindone” Utet, edizione limitata (Starting price: 2.500,00 euros)
    Precious volume “Shroud” UTET editions, limited edition.

    It has a particular value for both contents, that the images of the Shroud, made for the first
    Once high-resolution Haltadefinizione (Hal9000), the only company authorized to shooting
    by Papal Custodian of the Shroud, Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Severino Poletto.
    Brand new item, properly taken care of, absolutely like new … …
    Time left: 2 days and 23 h …

  8. Hugh:

    Approximate distance from the tip of the nose to the upper row of teeth:


    Approximate distance from the chin to the lower row of teeth:


    Teeth height:


    Teeth width:


    Here is approximate sketch of the teeth:

    In fact only two right-bottom premolars (?) are clearly visible in their whole outlook. the rest needs to be guessed, mainlyon breaks between them, and in particular the one long break between upper and down rows of teeth.

    To me it seems that the brightest one (presumably an incisor) is in the exact centre of the mouth (you have no arrow to that one). There are darker patches on either side, one of which (the other incisor? why should it be darker than the other?)

    You aremaking a mistake. The brighest “tooth” is not an incisor, but simply a blood mark flowing down through mouth area. All teeth should have comparable brightness.

    Generally there are two options. Either:

    A: The mouth is closed, and teeth should not be visible.
    B: The mouth is open, and teeth should be visible.

    I see no serious obstacles against accepting option B. Particularly as it is in agreement with both Sudarium of Oviedo, and Manoppello Veil data.

    1. Fair enough. I find both the measurements and the tooth sketch wholly unconvincing, but you’re welcome to your opinion, of course.

  9. O.K.
    I don’t really have the time to look at this in detail.
    Let’s step back ….who really cares?
    I imagine, however, the “teeth” would be significant, if true, because that would be almost categorical demonstration that the “Shroud Man” was a real person rather than a statue, bas relief etc.

  10. Piero’s comments on “sardonic smile” caused by use of poison: There is no mention of the use of poison in the gospel accounts. The evangelists may have been unaware of it, even if the soldiers had spiked the potion they gave to Jesus. A little bit of research should discover whether it was in fact a Roman execution practice in 1st century Palestine (a long way from Sardinia).

    Alternative explanations: Any suggestion of visibility of teeth may be due to a simple death rictus, a not uncommon occurrence at death, but usually corrected by attendants at the time, as it’s not a pretty sight for the mourners. The mouth and lips could be drawn tightly over the teeth so that it might not be an X-ray effect, but merely the shape of the teeth pressed tightly against the lips. Or possibly just a simple banding effect in the weave of the cloth.

    If teeth are in fact visible, regardless of cause, it would seem to reduce the likelihood of the use of a bas-relief forgery model.

  11. I think it’s very difficult to prove or disprove the presence of teeth. The following factors make it very difficult to distinguish:
    1- the background weave with all the irregularities of manual weaving.
    2- Vertical and horizontal banding.
    3- dirt,blood,serum…etc
    I think OK’s work is an indication that it might be there, and I applaud him for it, but it’s almost like trying to look through a thick veil. So many distortions prevents making a firm conclusion.

Comments are closed.