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Comment Promoted: A Misalignment Between the Left and Right Shoulders

July 18, 2014

imageThomas, in a comment, wonders:

. . . I’ve noticed the past few days that there appears to be a misalignment between the left and right shoulders / neck region. In particular, one side is lower than the other as if there was a dislocation. This corresponds with the arm positions on the frontal image ie. the right shoulder is set lower, as is the right arm.

This would seem to be an argument in favour of the image being generated from a real human (dead) body.


  1. Hugh Farey
    July 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

    This topic has occurred before, and is likely to be fraught with misunderstanding of exactly where the man in the shroud’s shoulders are. “There appears to be a mislignment” needs to be illustrated in order for us to agree or disagree. Here are a couple of images from Shroud Scope, with some relevant details highlighted: http://imgur.com/PmbbVqc. To me, both shoulders are too high, and the shape of them from the front does not match their shape from behind. The absence of neck and general departure from the wishful idea of “anatomical perfection” is often taken as evidence that the two images were independently created (the non-authenticist view), or are because the head was tilted forward, one or both arms dislocated, rigor mortis or some other ad hoc interpretation (the authenticist view). Most of the great pathologists, of course, didn’t observe any distortion at all.

    • Thomas
      July 19, 2014 at 5:08 am

      Hugh your dorsal image illustrates my point. The right shoulder is clearly set a few cms lower.

      • Thomas
        July 19, 2014 at 5:16 am

        Strictly speaking I am talking about the trapezius muscles rather than the shoulders

    • Thomas
      July 20, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      OK Hugh, here are some further thoughts:

      “To me, both shoulders are too high”

      A: In terms of the dorsal image, the image of the trapezius muscle appears about right. This image will naturally vary depending on the muscularity of the individual. In me, the slope of the trapezius is not as steep or as “bulky” as my brother, who is anatomically similar but works out at the gym a lot. To my eye, the image on the shroud is of a man who is not excessively muscular, but has generally quite well developed muscles. Whether such muscle development is consistent with the notions we have of Jesus???? If he did a reasonable amount of physical labour, then maybe its consistent.

      “the shape of them from the front does not match their shape from behind”

      A: This is explained by the tenting that occurred on the frontal image but did not occur on the dorsal image. Also, the trapezius muscle is basically flush with the back, but not with the front of the body.

      As your images show, there is not symmetry in the trapezius image between left and right sides. On the side where the top of the trapezius image is set slightly “lower”, there appears to be a correspondingly lower setting of the arm and hand on the same side on the frontal image. Maybe coincidence. Maybe not. I favour the view that it is not coincidence.

      A further comment :I’ve just noticed on Shroud scope the lack of scourge marks just below the neck on the dorsal image. Could be explained by hair flowing down the back of the neck?

    • PHPL
      July 25, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Hi Hugh,
      I don’t understand very well what you mean by ” Most of the great pathologists, of course, didn’t observe any distortion at all.”
      Could you please explain ?

  2. piero
    July 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Have you tried to observe the famous bronze corpus of the Man
    in the Shroud created by an Italian sculptor, Luigi Mattei ?
    Where are the “”wrong areas/volumes” ?
    I think we have to take into account the dislocations of the arms, etc.
    If you are able to have at disposal a transparent model that would be better.
    You have to paint in red the areas (… or volumes, if you have a
    transparent model) that are considered important.
    Then that work would be a step towards a better understanding of your thought …
    One must of course be able to make good use of a three-dimensional model
    of the body to be able to make those clarifications.
    — —
    But …
    I should have, myself, the same attitude for improvement of the study!
    Here I want to refer to the issue of nanomechanical controls of linen fibrils…
    How to pull a cord (the fibril) taut with the adequate frame?

    • piero
      July 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Sorry, surfing the Web, under the address:
      I have just found an interesting study:
      by Alain Bourmauda,
      Claudine Morvanb,
      Anis Boualic,
      Vincent Placetd,
      Patrick Perrée,
      Christophe Baleya

      “Relationships between micro-fibrillar angle, mechanical
      properties and biochemical composition of flax fibers”

      Here an excerpt from the Abstract:
      >An elementary plant fiber could be assimilated to a laminate,
      mainly constituted of the secondary wall S2 layer, made of
      a few non-crystalline polysaccharides reinforced by cellulose fibrils
      organized in a helix, with a microfibrillar angle (MFA) around
      10° relative to the longitudinal fiber axis.

      That paper investigated the relationships between the MFA,
      the mechanical properties and the biochemical composition
      of different varieties of flax… !

      Here another detail:
      >Within the different varieties of flax, Young’s modulus was found
      to be negatively correlated with the MFA.
      >The results showed that the ratio between hemicelluloses
      (matter extracted with alkali) and pectins (hydrolyzed with acids)
      is highly correlated with the tensile properties;
      concurrently, we showed the great influence of pectic acids
      on the fiber’ Young’s modulus, and
      on the orientation of the microfibrils. …

      >Lower is the micro fibrillar angle, higher is the Young’s modulus.

      At the end the question to solve is the following :
      What happens with ancient linens?
      Unfortunately this argument is completely different
      with respect your interesting notes on misalignment of shoulders
      and “absence of neck” !
      I beg your pardon…
      … and
      I want add :
      It is not in my will to taunt (to disturb) the researches.
      — —
      How to tighten up the strings of a violin ?
      — —
      Perhaps we have to work with a “volumetric version”
      of “Shroud Scope” …
      Are you able to build that new useful tool ?

  3. Mike M
    July 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Thomas, I agree. This observation is consistent with the blood flow down the arms. Please see previous post
    Hugh, in your assessment are you relying on body image or blood stains? Some of the blood stains are off body because of side contact with the body.

    • Hugh Farey
      July 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      I don’t think it is easy to assess where the shoulders are at all. The indications I have given seem to me to be all there is. The dorsal image seems much clearer than the ventral. Try drawing in your own ideas about where exactly there is image of the shoulders on both sides, and upload your drawing via imgur.com, which is extraordinarily easy. Although the scourge marks, if so they be, are level on the shroud, they need not indicate any particular place on the shoulder. When you say “because of side contact,” are you supposing the shroud was wrapped over the shoulders during both blood and image formation, or do you follow the wrapped-for-the-blood,-horizontal-for-the-image school of thought?

      • Mike M
        July 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        Hugh, I agree with you the dorsal image is much clearer, you can actually see the body image and the scourge marks. I think the ventral is more difficult to distinguish with just the blood stains, there is a possibility that the cloth touched the top of the shoulder during wrapping leaving a stain without a body image. I am not sure why there are no side images for the body. It could be due to an orthogonal image forming process or due to spice bags placed around the body leaving a horizontal shroud with no side contact. I agree with Thomas, the right shoulder is lower, I think it’s how the body was fixed in rigor Mortis as seen in the previous post referenced in my previous comment (I believe this position is consistent with the shoulder position and the blood flow)
        Anoxie, The whole body would be misaligned as would be the case if you lean all your weight on one leg and bend the other.

        • Thomas
          July 18, 2014 at 11:26 pm

          I find it quite easy seeing where the shoulders / lower neck are on the dorsal. I’m travelling with children at end of NZ school holidays. I will do a mark up in a few days.

        • Thomas
          July 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm

          Yes the shoulder is lower as is the corresponding arm on the frontal image

        • anoxie
          July 19, 2014 at 1:16 am

          Left and right shoulders can’t be directly compared, left one is not as well defined as the right one. It depends on cloth – body configuration. Imprinting mechanism should not be idealized.

          Or you could say right leg is longer than the left one, lower shoulder, lower leg…

          Mike, the dorsal image is misaligned on the shroud. Draw a lign from top of the head to feet, compare frontal and dorsal.

        • anoxie
          July 19, 2014 at 2:23 am
        • Mike M
          July 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

          Anoxie, sorry. I thought you were comparing the right side (of the dorsal image) to the left side. While, you were comparing the ventral image to the dorsal.

  4. anoxie
    July 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    There is a misalignment/twist/rotation on the whole dorsal image. From shoulders to feet, no longer centered.

    Think 3D.

  5. daveb of wellington nz
    July 19, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Further to cryptic comments by anoxie:
    Correspondents should check paper by Mario Latendresse: “The Turin Shroud Was Not Flattened Before the Images Formed and no Major Image Distortions Necessarily Occur from a Real Body”
    Check figures 6 and 7; Here Mario has draped a sheet over a live model, and the sheet is provided with a fine rectangular grid which demonstrates both tenting and how the sheet will become skewed over any 3-D object.
    A concise summary of the paper as slides, also with the relevant figures, can be found at:
    The slides also give some important key measurements.

    Nevertheless, I feel that the sheet has been draped over the model in a somewhat idealised way, in that the sheet has been placed symmetrically over the body. It is not too difficult to imagine that when laying out a real body, that the shroud could easily become wrinkled, off-centre, and skewed; if the shroud was wrapped in any way around the body, then parts of the cloth would also no longer be symmetrical about the centre. These effects may account for any apparent loss of symmetry in the image. Off-topic: Mario shows the top of the sheet loosely draped at the top of the head. Previous discussion has tended to conclude that the shroud was drawn firmly over the top of the head, because of head measurements between the facial and occiput images, even though there is no top-of-head image which requires another explanation (e.g. a head-cloth).

    My fundamental point is that it is not necessary to look for distortions in the body to account for any loss of symmetry. It can be adequately explained by the actual disposition of the cloth that occurred during the burial rite.

  6. Charles
    July 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    If I might add a comment of another sort. In Mel Gibson’s movie about the Passion, Jesus suffers a severe shoulder lesion. That wasn’t just artistic license on the part of Gibson- It was taken from the claimed visions about the Passion of Catherine Emmerich. According to Emmerich, the worst and most painful wound that Jesus suffered, of myriad, was that shoulder sprain or dislocation. If you believe it, that could explain the misaligned shoulders on the shroud.

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