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January 8, 2015

The American Heroes Channel (AHC) is repeating the Shroud of Turin episode of its Secrets of the Bible series, this coming Sunday at 8:00 and 11:00 pm Eastern and Pacific time.

In the meantime:  It is really cold down here in South Carolina where it isn’t supposed to be cold. Water pipes are not well insulated and a lot of plumbers are going to make a lot of money tomorrow fixing broken pipes. I have set the kitchen faucet to drip all night and I just got out of bed to check it.  As I was doing so my iPhone beeped to let me know that a Google bot had spotted something. If you enter Shroud of Turin Fanti site:YouTube.com into Google you might get something that looks like this. (Yes, you can click on it).

image

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  1. January 8, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Proof or evidence?

  2. January 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    This programme is somewhat cavalier with the truth from start to finish, particularly in its exaltation of Giulio Fanti, and its bizarre re-enactments, but we may perhaps allow that mostly as artistic licence. It fairly quotes a couple of medievalist art historians, which is unusually generous, but has little revolutionary to offer until the end, when we learn what exactly Prof. Fanti has discovered. Firstly, by mechanical stress experiments, that there is a 95% probability that the Shroud is from 400AD. Blithely ignoring the fact that this means that its chance of being first century is vanishingly small, the programme goes on to say that by reflectance spectroscopy, the Shroud is from 200-300BC, and that the average of three findings (the third is not described) is 33BC. I wonder what the confidence level of that is.

    The last part of the programme covers Fanti’s coronal discharge experiments, and, if this isn’t a reconstruction like every other fragment of the programme, we see a brief glimpse of a Shroud-like figure apparently produced by draping a mannequin with a cloth and subjecting it to an enormous charge for hours. This is the first I’ve heard of this, and I’ve no faith at all in the ridiculuous re-enactment and breathless commentary:

    “This time, Fanti turns up the power to nearly one hundred per cent…” Wow! Sounds impressive. But 100% of what, exactly? And why does the dial we see being turned to 100 actually go up to 120? Does Fanti’s machine actually deliver more than all of something?

    “… and he bombards the cloth with electricity for more than 24 hours.” And an image forms, which we glimpse a very little of, but which includes skeletonic hands with brightly coloured knuckles. Significantly, although the camera pans towards it, we do not see the face.

    Fanti himself says: “it is necessary to calibrate very well the energy. Only the range 97-98 it is possible to obtain an image. The corona discharge gives us the most number of compatibility between the experiental results and what we see on the Shroud.” This statement, and the image he actually produced, needs to be displayed and explained in a great deal more detail to be at all convincing. It is a pity that such a significant development in Shroud studies, if so it be, has been introduced in such a brief cryptic manner at the very end of this programme. Or is it all too fanciful to be exposed in the cold light of day? I look forward to further clarification.

    • piero
      January 9, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Sorry, Hugh.
      I don’t entirely agree with you.
      I can only agree with you about the mere fact of that wrong “statistical mix”…
      It seems to me that it is difficult to perform something serious about that strange story of Statistics. Am I wrong?
      But your attack against an Italian researcher who tried to do something of new about
      the hard problem of “mechanical dating” is near nonsensical. Using a different technique with respect the bad 14C he was able to show us an early date with respect “the failed test” of C14-1988!
      Then your “criticism reaction” is “too accurate” with respect the fourth century obtained.
      (Year 400 instead of years 20/30 [or 33]).

      In any case that “mechanical dating” was a “Shroud dating”
      which has proven to us to have beaten the results of C14 1988.
      A thousand years of difference are certainly not so few!!
      — —
      I the past messages I indicated the “AFM three-point bending test”.
      But we know that is possible to propose the use of SPM technology
      to obtain the elastic mapping for ancient linen fibrils (coming from areas not involved in the 1532) instead of acting on each single fibril with a single AFM bending test.
      This can be a fast solution, but we have to be careful in our measurements!
      What is your idea ?
      — —
      End of first argument.

      -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

      For the question of Corona Discharge (= CD)… instead you are free to speak…
      I don’t enter in these strange polemics.
      Obviously I cannot save prof. G. Fanti about another question:
      the lack of AFM controls on CD treated linens.
      [= We never saw what are the results from AFM analyses on CD treated linens
      because [in order to obtain the material] he wanted a detailed Plan in order to release CD treated linens… The same question with Paolo Di Lazzaro (= VUV treated linens).
      It is clear that no one can give precious materials in exchange for nothing…]

      So this “rubbish” is only a waste of time = End for the entire question.
      This is not a personal attack.
      — — —
      An alternative: the controls with the use of indentation.
      Now I have just found a vague reference about indentation (unfortunately this is not a work on lignocellulosic material !!!) :
      Nanoscale Strain-Hardening of Keratin Fibres

      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0041814#pone-0041814-g006
      — —
      See you later.

      • January 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm

        That’s OK, Piero, although I do not understand what exactly you think is “rubbish.” I have a lot of time for Giulio Fanti, as I do for anyone who actually carries out experiments rather than guessing what ‘would have happened’ and hope I made clear that most of the programme’s problems were with the production, not with the interview itself, which was a model of reserve and rectitude. However, the statement that the Shroud dates from 400AD with a 95% confidence level is not only statistically hopelessly overoptimistic, but also not what Fanti himself says in his book Il Mistero della Sindone, where he appears to give 400AD +/- 600 years as his 95% confidence level, which is more realistic, but less exciting. (See his diagram on p.102). However even this is part of a dating technique which ignores other sources of mechanical weakness than age alone, and is poorly calibrated against other similarly derived ages from cloths of known date. In short, there is nothing in Fanti’s work which seriously undermines the radiocarbon date yet, although it is possible that further studies might.

        • Piero
          January 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

          Hugh,
          I don’t answered in time … [= “A stitch in time saves nine”!…] Sorry. I beg your pardon.

          I was a bit puzzled about your statement:
          >In short, there is nothing in Fanti’s work which seriously undermines the radiocarbon date yet, although it is possible that further studies might. …
          because (IMO) Fanti was able to work against the “infamous radiocarbon date” and all the results that he obtained testify that C14 1988 was a complete fiasco from the point of view of true “ancient Shroud linen dating”…

          Here I cannot be the judge for all the works by Fanti
          [I had some doubt about certain aspects of Fanti’s approach…].
          He is an Italian prof. Eng. and I have no academic titles… There’s no disguising the fact that he was able to obtain the samples by Riggi and this action permitted him to do the subsequent experiments (etc. …).

          When you wrote “p. 102” you should had better specify in this manner: “of the old book” (or “year 2013” [= first italian edition], or “Rizzoli edition”) because in the new book (Ed. Segno, Italy, january 2014), at p. 102 there are other informations …

          In any case it seems to me that we should think more about the fact that after Raymond N. Rogers (although there are doubts about the exact origin of the samples of Rogers) also prof. Giulio Fanti gave “the hammer blows” to dismantle the uncomfortable C14 dating of 1988 …
          Obviously this is not a final verdict against the “medieval date” for the Shroud, but it is already a big step towards the revision of the meaning of what has been achieved in 1988.
          So I hope that with the application of the future “dating SPM” we will have the real result …
          Now I ask to you:
          is my idea about “SPM dating” just an illusion or not?
          I am convinced that (…applying what I had already indicated in 1998) it can improve what Fanti began to show us …

          -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

          Other vague References:

          Imaging cellulose using atomic force microscopy.
          Ding SY1, Liu YS.
          Methods Mol Biol. 2012

          Abstract
          >Cellulose is an important biopolymer primarily stored as plant cell wall material. Plant-synthesized cellulose forms elementary fibrils that are micrometers in length and 3-5 nm in dimensions. Cellulose is a dynamic structure, and its size and property vary in different cellulose-containing materials. Atomic force microscopy offers the capability of imaging surface structure at the subnanometer resolution and under nearly physiological conditions, therefore providing an ideal tool for cellulose characterization

          Link:
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22843386

          Structure and properties of glycomaterials

          Link:
          http://www.cermav.cnrs.fr/en/node/123
          http://spg.cermav.cnrs.fr/index_GB.html

  3. Stan Walker, MD
    January 8, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Personally, I like Colin Berry’s theory – the scorch theory – better. In this instance, Jesus is lying in the shroud thinking about how he just got crucificied by a bunch or knuckleheads from Rome and that Barabas rascal gets set free. Free! So He gets madder and madder – to the point where he is smokin hot. And poof! He scorches the shroud and gets resurrected. Don’t mess with Jesus.

    • Louis
      January 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Stan, it is not scorch but scorch-like, as you will see in one response here:
      https://www.academia.edu/8841978/Professor_Giulio_Fanti_discusses_the_controversies_in_the_realm_of_Shroud_studies
      Since investigating the image formation process is very important I am preparing more material that will hopefully be ready next month. It will go deeper than the above.

      • January 11, 2015 at 2:27 am

        Yes,it’s not really the “scorch hypothesis” anymore. It’s maybe better described as the faux (or ‘simulated’) sweat imprint hypothesis. While I still consider a superficial contact scorch from a heated template the most plausible mechanism, one cannot rule out the possibility that a contrived “sweat” imprint was achieved by other means, possibly chemical, or a combination of thermal and chemical technologies.

        One of the difficulties in evaluating alternative hypotheses is that we don’t know for certain how the image we see today compares with the one that existed (say) 600 years ago. Was it darker? Were the surface fibres more damaged, less superficial? What’s needed is a proper audit of the fibres from image v non-image areas (reportedly as many as 200 per thread). Are there the same numbers? Or has there been greater attrition of fibres from image areas, recalling the evidence from STURP that image-fibres were more brittle, being easier to strip off with adhesive tape than non-image fibres?

        • Louis
          January 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm

          Colin, we differ in out worldviews but that of course should not prevent us from engaging in constructive discussion.
          I am concentrating on the image formation process to determine how the image could be so extremely superficial. That leads me to wonder how contact scorch from heated template would be an adequate explanation. That also applies to a combination of thermal and chemical technologies. In both cases, the question of the speed with which the image was produced raises questions.

        • January 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

          Sorry. I really have nothing authoritative to say regarding image superficiality at the fibre level, Louis. But then, nor does anyone else still living that I’m aware of.

          “Sindonology” is still intoning its 200-600nm mantra, based on nothing more than NEGATIVE 35 year old evidence from Rogers’ light microscopy of stripped image ‘ghosts’ left on adhesive tape. Entire reviews have since been written on image superficiality at the macroscopic v microscopic level with absolutely no new experimental evidence whatsoever to back up that much-touted 200-600nm ‘guesstimate’. All we’re told is that the figure for image thickness can be rationalized by supposing the image is confined the primary cell wall (PCW) of the flax fibre. Fair enough. But why then are image fibres more brittle than non-image ones. If the image were really as superficial as claimed, then why should the strength of the entire fibre be compromised by a little chemical modification on the outermost part of the fibre which has virtually no crystalline cellulose, the latter providing the legendary strength and mechanical resistance of plant fibres?

          My hunch is that the image is not nearly as superficial as claimed, that the damage is not confined to the PCW, that the core of the fibres is affected too, in a way that was not detected by Rogers’ criterion of crystalline order, i.e preservation of birefringence under crossed polaroids lenses etc. Maybe there was melting and partial re-crystallization, i.e. ‘retrogradation’ to secondary crystallites as suggested to me once by Adrie van der Hoeven.

          Or there again, let’s not forget that the cores of the flax fibres are not 100% cellulose. There are matrix components too – the non-cellulosic polysaccharides (hemicelluloses, pectins etc). Maybe that ground substance became at least partially degraded too on image-imprinting, in which case the fibre is no longer an intact composite material if the ground substance in which the cellulose fibres are embedded becomes significantly compromised.

          Composite materials depend not only on the strength of their fibres, but on their subtle interactions with anchoring ground substance too. the latter allowing a little “give” on stretching, distortion etc. but operating on a Goldilock’s principle – not too little, not too much.

          I hope that helps. No? Darn, I thought as much.

        • Louis
          January 11, 2015 at 2:56 pm

          Thanks, Colin. I am immersed in abstract thinking because of the topics I write on. Yet, one has to get down to earth to make a link between this kind of thought and what science has to say and that is where your comments help. They have been stored for reference.

  4. Charles Freeman
    January 9, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I find it odd that when any standard work on painting on medieval linen, describes, with quotations from texts by medieval craftsmen such as Cennino Cennini, that linens were always sealed with a gesso before the painting was applied (as they still are), programmes such as this go on insisting that a painting would have soaked into the fibres. This is exactly what the craftsmen were trying to avoid as in many cases they did not want to clog up what might be a flag or banner that needed to flutter and often wished to create a different image on the other side which would be ruined if paint seeped through. This is such standard knowledge it annoys me when it is said that no one can understand why the images are on the outer fibrils only. That is exactly what experts in medieval linen painting would expect to find.

    • January 9, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Charles, if the gesso you mentioned was applied to the cloth ahead of time as a preparation to receive the paint pigments, why does the blood soak all the way through? Wouldn’t the same gesso have kept the blood on the surface as well? Blood is no more liquefied than paint. Then of course, if it is not blood at all but only vermilion as McCrone alleged, then again, why did it soak through yet paint forming the body image remained only on the surface? You can allege that that the supposed artist in question applied gesso after the blood, however I would find this to be a tortured hypothesis indeed. Knowing where the blood was supposed to go prior to the application of the image would be nearly impossible and clearly unnecessary for it to function as an Easter prop as you have postulated.

      • January 9, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        I think that’s a very good question, Russ, and gives food for thought. All I can come up with is to suggest that the image was ‘properly’ painted on a damp surface, as Cennino instructs (see my comment below), while the blood was dribbled on over a dry surface, and therefore wicked through. I agree this sounds a bit too much like special pleading though!

    • January 9, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Why does this sound like nothing that can be related to the Shroud? Gesso? I guess not!

      “Gesso”, also known “glue gesso” or “Italian gesso”[2] is a traditional mix of an animal glue binder (usually rabbit-skin glue), chalk, and white pigment, used to coat rigid surfaces such as wooden painting panels as an absorbent primer coat substrate for painting. The colour of gesso was usually white or off-white. Its absorbency makes it work with all painting media, including water-based media, different types of tempera, and oil paint. It is also used as a base on three-dimensional surfaces for the application of paint or gold leaf.[3] Mixing and applying it is an art form in itself since it is usually applied in 10 or more extremely thin layers. It is a permanent and brilliant white substrate used on wood, masonite and other surfaces. The standard hide glue mixture is rather brittle and susceptible to cracking, thus making it suitable for rigid surfaces only. For priming flexible canvas, an emulsion of gesso and linseed oil, also called “half-chalk ground”, is used.[4] In geology, the Italian “gesso” corresponds to the English “gypsum”, as it is a calcium sulfate mineral (CaSO4·2H2O).

      Funny how no binder was found on the Shroud, no evidence of animal protein, and it is certainly not a rigid surface. The notion that gesso was used to treat the Shroud seems far fetched at best. IMHO

      • January 10, 2015 at 2:39 am

        Russ, the skill of applying gesso was so as not to make the cloth rigid, that is why it is only applied on the outer fibrils of the cloth. If it went below the surface it would create a rigid cloth , as if it had been starched. Is would make it impossible to use painted linen as a flag or banner?
        STURP reported a frosty appearance to the surface of the the Shroud, found large quantities of calcium carbonate which is to this day used in making gesso. So we have good circumstantial evidence of an original gesso. A further close-up examination is needed.
        What has to be explained is why the liquid on the Shroud,e.g. The bloodstains,did not not go into the capillaries of the fibres. This is easy to explain if the cloth was gessoed as it was just this dispersal that it was designed to prevent. It is more problematic to explain other reasons why the bloodstains show no sign of dispersal along the capillaries but no doubt someone has an explanation. I haven’t seen much focus on this issue but it is a central one if you are trying to explain the images. The images are not just on the outer fibrils only- they have not dispersed along those outer fibrils. This is compatible with gesso as applied in line with Cennini’s instructions ( early fifteenth century although ,as he was writing in Tuscany , they tended to used calcium sulphate for their gesso ,not calcium carbonate which was used north of the Alps.) lots of work still to be done.
        And there has been the suggestion made to me by a physiologist that what STURP thought was human blood was, in fact, compatible with animal proteins but I am not qualified to make any judgement on that. It needs to be kept on the burner as a possibility though. Goodness knows we are nearly forty years on from 1978 and all those tests must be so dated!

      • January 10, 2015 at 3:22 am

        Mark David Gottsegen’s ‘Painters Handbook’ from which the description above is taken, is a useful book for modern painters, but is not intended to be a comprehensive description of medieval painting techniques. Charles Freeman is right to be slightly frustrated by counter-arguments from Wikipedia, especially one describing the preparation of wooden panels rather than flexible cloth, when his source, Cennino Cennini’s 15th century treatise on painting, is readily available in two different translations and the original, at archive.org. Cennini’s description of “The Way to Work on Linen or Hempen Cloth” is at Chapter 162 et seq. It is not easy to follow, but is clearly designed not to be “rather brittle and susceptible to cracking, thus making it suitable for rigid surfaces only.” The expression “half-chalk ground” an the emulsion of gesso and linseed oil, described by Gottsegen, is not from Cennini.
        There is a good paper on medieval flags at http://destrier.net/astonhall/article_medieval_painted_flags.20070501.pdf, by Rebecca Robynson. She points to another Chapter in Cennini, “Various Ways to do Hangings”, which I have not identified in the archive.org editions, where Cennini recommends omitting gesso altogether. Giorgio Vasari, a century later, says Robynson, also “states that if the canvases are not intended to be stationary, gesso is not to be used because it ‘would interfere with their flexibility, seeing that the gesso would crack if they were rolled up.’ He instead recommends the canvas be primed with a mixture of white lead, walnut oil, and flour after several coats of size.”
        In other books on medieval gesso, it is said that while Italian artists used calcium sulphate, northern European painters used calcium carbonate, which Freeman also refers to.

        Having sorted that out, Russ still makes a valid point!

        It is true that while there is plenty of evidence for calcium carbonate, there is, according to STuRP, none for the protein binder which should have accompanied it. This is something that should be specifically looked for should the Shroud ever be re-investigated.

        • January 10, 2015 at 4:11 am

          Good points, Hugh, but you will also note that Cennini insists that the gesso is applied with a knife so that any excess can be scraped off( hence ,of course, no brush marks). The key skill lies in getting as thin a layer as possible so you could still use the cloth as a flag or whatever. There has been an explosion of technical material on painted linens in the last ten years, a lot of it on how sophisticated the paintwork was with mixes of different pigments, layer upon layer, on the few survivors we have
          As years go by, anything coming from either McCrone or STURP is likely to be so dated as to be increasingly irrelevant. When professors reading the STURP reports today find them completely inadequate, then we know we need to move on. And one always has to remember that STURP did not provide a shred of scientific evidence that suggested that the Shroud was earlier than the medieval period.
          I quoted in earlier postings the essay on the York painted linens that told how easily the surface paint disintegrated- unless they were later placed on a board backing these linen paintings had a very short shelf- life- linen was hardly high class compared to the wonderful silks and other cloths that were produced in quantities for aristocrats and so most were soon thrown away when the painted surface began to crack up. This is why, the expert opinion is, we do not have a single surviving painted linen from medieval England.
          We are all agreed that the Shroud needs more close up examination. What we do have now is a wealth of new material on how linens were prepared for painting and painted on since 1978 ( I.e. from close-up examinations of the survivors rather than just relying on thee medieval texts) that has not yet been transferred into Shroud studies ( e.g. The results of the Zittau Veil restoration were only published in the mid- 1990s and then only in German- with a shortened English version in 2000). So once we do get another chance to examine the Shroud there will be a lot of new expertise
          to apply to it – and one would hope that the Turin authorities would only employ people who do have this expertise. I am surprised that they did not take the opportunity during the 2002 ‘restoration’ as a lot of these issues could easily have been sorted out then.

  5. January 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Yes indeed. There is another interesting part of Cennino’s treatise, where he explains, seemingly counterintuitively, that the linen must be made damp from the other side in order to stop the pigment from migrating through the cloth. Any movement of paint due to capillary action is prevented if all the ‘capillaries’ are in fact already loaded, as it were. I have tried this out, and it is remarkable how well it works.

    • Sampath Fernando
      January 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Yes Mr Farey, today we have all this scientific knowledge. Other than TS do have any other painting to support your claim (painted in 14th or 1st century). TS is a unique image which no one can explain accurately how was created. I am believing in miracles and that is why I am follower of Jesus. No human can explain how Jesus did those miracles including the image printed on the Shroud. Today human’s can give all sort of theories or hypothesis about the creation of the TS image unfortunately no one was able to produce an exact image like TS which was revealing the passion of Jesus.

  6. January 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    That’s fine, Sampath. If you choose to believe the Shroud is of supernatural origin no-one can deny you, and perhaps you are correct. It is true that no one has described a non-supernatural origin that correlates accurately to all its characteristics. However, the fact that something has not been done yet is not evidence that it never will be, and I have faith that one one day it will.

  7. January 9, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    The Zittau Veil is very similar in the way shadowy images were left after the pigments had disintegrated. It is also like the Shroud in other ways in that some pigments went through the gesso, suggesting that finely ground pigments might get through when thicker pigments would not. Again the Zittau veil is made up of strips of linen between 108 and 116 cms wide, typical of treadle loom weaves , cf the shroud 113 cms.
    Hugh is right in that you cannot have sophisticated painting, and some surviving painted linens are very fine indeed, if there is a risk that the paint will disperse across the capillaries. That is why they took care in preventing this.
    Lots more research still to do but nothing as yet incompatible with a medieval origin.

    • Sampath Fernando
      January 9, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Zittau Veil is not a negative image. Furthermore if you take a negative photograph of those shadowy images that will never give you a positive image.

  8. January 11, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I do apologise Piero; I had no idea Fanti’s book had been published elsewhere. I was referring to the original first edition. However, it is far too optimistic to think that Fanti has yet delivered “hammer blows” nor “a big step towards the revision” to the C14 date. Although there may be a gradual oxidative degradation to linen that weakens its mechanical strength over time, its calibration would depend on using material which had been similarly treated over the years. Cloth which had been subjected to extremes of temperature, humidity or stress such as rolling or unrolling, would be expected to have degraded more than cloth kept in a more constant environment, and even if a fair sample of cloths of different ages were compared, their fibres would still have variable degradation, so it would be necessary to obtain them in a similar fashion. Fibres extracted from intact threads would have suffered less degradation than fibres extracted by sticky tape or vacuuming, or fibres which had become separated from the cloth completely by continual abrasion. Compared to all Fanti’s control samples, the fibres he examined from the Shroud had suffered in all the ways mentioned above, and would be expected to give a much older result than they really should if the measurements were properly calibrated. Nowhere in his book does Fanti explain his methods for this calibration (or give charts or tables showing his results apart from the one mentioned above), but if his 200BC-1000AD conclusion is a result of comparing the burnt and battered Shroud to some undisturbed grave cloths, then I suggest that it should carry a serious “environmental weakening” compensatory factor of at least 500 years. 300AD to 1500AD is a much more realistic interpretation of Fanti’s results. In that case, of course, not only does Fanti’s work not undermine the C14 tests, it actually supports them!

    Perhaps I am being over-optimistic myself here, but nevertheless, it remains true that the dating of cloth by mechanical weakness has yet to achieve any kind of archaeological credibility.

    In the same boat, so far, are age-related variations in colour, chemistry or vanillin content. As is mentioned in the video, colour experiments gave the Shroud a date of hundreds of years BC, and although Rogers’s work on vanillin is interesting and suggestive, it is insufficiently comprehensive to be considered anything more, yet.

    It may be that Giulio Fanti’s actual experimental results are more convincing than both his book and his interview, but in that case it is strange that they have never been published, and that his only submitted paper on the subject does not mention them, or the Shroud, at all.

    • January 11, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Farey: “I had no idea Fanti’s book had been published elsewhere.” The 2014 book by Fanti (with P. Malfi) is not another edition of the 2013 book. It is a different book: “Sindone: primo secolo dopo Cristo!”. Here one discovers that the situation is still worse. Among the many fibres of Riggi’s debris, Fanti, after observing them with a petrographic microscope, has selected only a few fbres for the experiments and has selected the most damaged ones. In this way he thought to distinguish the fibres from the Sfroud from fibres from the Holland cloth.

      • piero
        January 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

        Difference Between Linen and Cotton
        – The linen or flax fibres consist of transparent tubes, sometimes marked with lines and having very small central canals
        -The cotton fibres consist of straight or twisted flattened tubes with very large central canals and quite transparent

        Link:
        http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/mechanics/Cyclopaedia/Difference-Between-Linen-Cotton-Wool-And-Silk.html

        See also:
        Atlas of Fibre Fracture and Damage to Textiles
        by J. W. S. Hearle, B Lomas, W D Cooke,
        Elsevier, 14 lug 1998 – 468 pages
        — — — —
        “Cotton can be identified by its tape-like structure and frequent sharp bends”
        John Brown
        in:
        “Microscopical Investigation of Selected Raes Threads From theShroud of Turin”

        Link:
        https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/brown1.pdf
        — — — — — —

        Dear Gian Marco,

        I think you are not a textile expert and then your claim about
        linen samples chosen by Fanti is wrong.
        Your error happened because damaged linen sample are less recognizable with respect good linen samples. So, you created a confusion…
        In other words: Cotton and Linen are more inclined to be in some manner “more similar” when textile materials are more “mechanical aged” (…and then too degraded textile
        fibrils turn in unknown/unrecognizable material…).
        This is an obvious fact and now you have to answer about my remark…

        Have you understood what I have just written?
        For example: we can describe the effects of “cottonization”
        on physical-mechanical properties of flax fibers…

        You cannot write against Fanti in a wrong manner.
        For example: observing the figure A.2, at p.352
        (of the book by Fanti and Malfi : “Sindone primo secolo dopo Cristo!”, published by Segno Ed., 2014) there is a curious
        description …
        In fact a right cross-section for linen is not hexagonal,
        but pentagonal…
        Perhpas flax has a cross-section polygonal, nominally hexagonal but with just as many pentagons and heptagons…

        And then there is a fact (= hexagonal instead of pentagonal) where myself and you can easily discuss…
        Instead you wanted to attack Fanti on his attempt to show that medieval date about Holy Shroud (results obtained in 1988) was a wrong result (and this about the entire relic. Here I don’t discuss particular theories = Lind and Antonacci, Robert Rucker, etc. But IMO the Shroud is not a “nuclear esoteric painting”…)…

        In any case C14 is not some sort of philosopher’s stone.
        The Chosen People of C14 does not exists [and I am curious
        about the future date forecast by Rucker. B.T.W.: How much
        material will be required to do a credible answer? …and…
        Where will be the merit of the Faith after a positive result
        (about an incontrovertible verdict)?].

        IMO you are incorrect in your claim.
        Now, try to show where is my error!…
        Thank you for your attention.
        — — —
        Here another short note…
        I want to add that finding adequate regions of interest on probed linen fibrils we can hope to discover the probable age of linen fibrils (using the SPM way).

        Has Giulio Fanti caused trouble for nothing?
        Reading your messages this seem to be the scenario.
        But I was regarding “vintage mechanical works” by Giulio with some fascination…
        — — —
        Here another vague reference: “Atomic force microscopy probing in the measurement of cell mechanics”
        by
        Dimitrios Kirmizis and Stergios Logothetidis

        … Beyond its usefulness in high resolution imaging, AFM also has unique capabilities for probing the viscoelastic properties of living cells in culture and, even more, mapping
        the spatial distribution of cell mechanical properties…

    • Louis
      January 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      The response to the sixth question in the interview has been misunderstood. The mistake was to publish the results in the book and omit them in the paper, but then it is evident that the topic is controversial and it is the left to the reader to judge for himself:
      https://www.academia.edu/8841978/Professor_Giulio_Fanti_discusses_the_controversies_in_the_realm_of_Shroud_studies
      We will have to wait for more peer-reviewed papers.

      • piero
        January 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

        Louis,
        I have reread your interview to Fanti…
        I appreciated your words about disgusting language
        and quality of scholars…
        — — —
        First of all :
        Fanti admitted that there is not an adequate level of control because
        there was not the use of microscope…
        Here the exact words =
        = “I cannot say much about this topic because it was not possible for me to study
        the microscopic features of this imprint, necessary for a more reliable hypothesis. …”
        I can add that we clearly see the lack of chemical considerations in the words by Giulio Fanti
        (on your interview).
        He indicated the Kirlian effect.
        Well… Here I don’t reject that strange hypothesis,
        but it seems to me that he was not able to do a simple experiment using polyamide 6 materials …
        Why ? (Perhaps) because prof. Fanti is not a Textile Engineer… In fact he answered :
        “…From what I know, the imprint is on the plastic sheet used to cover the mattress. …”
        Here my remark:
        IMO “Plastic sheet” is too generic as description (and then see also: Materials Science and
        Applied Dyeing Engineering)…
        So, believe me, there is other work to do before to speak about that strange repert …
        Then, if you want to improve your knowledges, you have to follow what I underlined,
        instead to reject my observations…

        — — —
        Another little remark (without connections with previous discussion):
        Why you indicated (Adolf von) Harnack and Schnackenburg
        at the end of your “short introduction” (just before the true interview)?
        Now I have at hand the book (2007, Italian translation) of the previous Pope (= “Papa emeritus”) Benedictus XIV:
        “Jesus von Nazareth – Von der Taufe im Jordan bis zur Verklaerung”
        and then
        we can read the name “Harnack” as associated in a papal examination for a line of thought:
        … Adolf von Harnack (a German Lutheran theologian and prominent church historian), the liberal theology of XX century, the message of Christ and the purity (then: Harnack is not on the exact and rigorous line, if I am right …) …

        Instead Rudolf Schnackenburg
        (the other name indicated in your “short introduction”),
        following what wrote Pope Ratzinger,
        was “the right source” (= the “right name”…
        Sorry, here I become near … “ultrapapist”)
        and then we can think that “Ego Sum”
        (= Jesus Christ, the Son of God) was
        the “shape of energy” (emanated from “the Word Incarnate”)
        written on linen fibrils, perhaps in a mysterious
        “incarnate manner”…

        We have to use modern advanced controls,
        as you already know (from my own “SPM sermons”),
        I think that Giulio Fanti worked with
        Multi-parametric mechanical measurements (= MPMM)
        just as a very interesting didactic work…
        In short: a good opportunity to improve our level of knowledges, but not yet “the last verdict” … and we are very far from that, as Hugh wrote [although, IMO, he exceeded in a pessimistic evaluation turning the data, as matter of fact, in a strange manner towards an incredible pro-C14 1988 verdict! …].

        — — —

        P. S.

        According to Benedict XVI, the dehellenization of Christianity has had three waves throughout history.
        In one of these (the second), Harnack was pushing for the simply return to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and, indeed, of hellenization:
        and thus
        it would be this simple message which would constitute, according to Harnack, the culmination of the religious development of humanity…
        — —
        Adolf von Harnack, in full Adolf Karl Gustav von Harnack
        (born May 7, 1851, Dorpat, Estonia, Russian Empire [now Tartus, Estonia]—died June 10, 1930, Berlin, Germany).

        >… Harnack’s most famous work, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (1886–89; The History of Dogma), is a monument of liberal Christian historiography.
        >In this work, Harnack traced the origin and development of Christian dogma, which he understood to be the authoritative system of Christian doctrine that had formed by the 4th century AD.
        >His thesis was that Christian dogma in its conception and development is a work of the Hellenistic Greek spirit based on the Gospel of Jesus in the New Testament.
        >According to Harnack, the process begun at the Protestant Reformation—the overcoming of dogma by a recovery of the essence of the Gospel—should be completed, and the historical-critical approach would achieve this. Harnack defended this position in his most popular book, Das Wesen des Christentums (1900; What Is Christianity?), which was the transcript of a course of lectures he had delivered at the University of Berlin.
        >Harnack’s other major works are Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur bis Eusebius (1893–1904; The History of Ancient Christian Literature) and Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (1902; The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries). He was the chief editor of a critical edition of The Greek-Christian Authors of the First Three Centuries (1891– ).
        >He also published numerous monographs on the New Testament and on the doctrines and institutions of the ancient church.
        >In all these works, Harnack tried to show how the Gospel of Jesus, which in his view has nothing in common with authoritarian ecclesiastical statutes and doctrines, became embodied in the doctrines of the church. He also expressed the conviction that, if Christianity is to retain its power in the modern world, it must be freed from any connection with the dogmas of God and Christ with which it became identified to survive in the Hellenistic world. …

        Link:
        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/255617/Adolf-von-Harnack

        Instead regarding Schnackenburg
        I have found an italian article by Nobile Marco,
        “Recensione: Rudolf Schnackenburg, La persona di Gesù Cristo nei quattro vangeli”, published in Antonianum, 71/2 (1996) p. 357 .

        Link: http://www.antonianum.eu/2/rivista_bibliografiaViewnota.php?id=2070

        Here an excerpt (rough translation):
        >This monograph on the person of Jesus is neither a research on the historical Jesus, how he wanted the Leben-Jesuforschung of some decades ago, neither wants to take up the question about the relationship between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith of the primitive community Kerygmatic . S. performs an act brave and sensible, which implies that the problem around the type of relationship between the Jesus of history and faith, is a false problem. When searching for the historical identity of Jesus Christ, you have access to only the gospels. Now, these are undoubtedly the projection of a truly historical entity and identity, however incontrovertible that basis is available only in the mediation offered by the long and complex tradition of primitive communities and, ultimately, its crystallization editorial work of the evangelists. When, then, we want to answer the question “Who was Jesus Christ?”, We as the only source of the four gospels, which make theologically significant historical event that occurred two thousand years ago with the appearance of the Rabbi of Nazareth, who, no reaction hermeneutics of the early church, it would be a historical phenomenon among others. In short, the component of faith is essential to engage the total person, historical and kerygmatic, of Christ; on the contrary, those who want to satisfy a curiosity biographical, though devoted, will be disappointed … …

        — — —
        But now I (here, with these questions of theology … I’m sorry!) I went really too far from the main issue: the dating of the Shroud of Turin, what he wrote Fanti and what instead appears in the interview.

        • piero
          January 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

          Here I have found a further possible vague reference about the use of the AFM technique,
          title:
          Elastic Modulus of Single Cellulose Microfibrils from Tunicate Measured by Atomic Force Microscopy

          by
          Shinichiro Iwamoto , Weihua Kai , Akira Isogai and Tadahisa Iwata

          Department of Biomaterial Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of
          Tokyo.

          Biomacromolecules, 2009, 10 (9), pp 2571–2576
          Publication Date (Web): July 31, 2009

          Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

          Link:
          http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bm900520n

          Here an excerpt:
          >The elastic modulus of single microfibrils from tunicate (Halocynthia papillosa) cellulose was measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Microfibrils with cross-sectional dimensions 8 × 20 nm and several micrometers in length were obtained by oxidation of cellulose with 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO) as a catalyst and subsequent mechanical disintegration in water and by sulfuric acid hydrolysis. The nanocellulosic materials were deposited on a specially designed silicon wafer with grooves 227 nm in width, and a three-point bending test was applied to determine the elastic modulus using an AFM cantilever … …

          And here’s my first generic comment:
          It is one thing to work with the fibrils at the microscopic level and different thing is to work at the nanometer level …

    • piero
      January 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Hugh Farey: “Nowhere in his book does Fanti explain
      his methods for this calibration (or give charts or tables
      showing his results apart from the one mentioned above), …”

      Hugh, at least you have to read the new book (Chapter 7,
      MPMM= Multi-Parametric Mechanical Method),
      where it is clearly explained that,
      in agreement with what was suggested by W. Hu
      (= “An improved method for single fiber tensile test of natural fibers”,
      by Wei Hu, Minh-Tan Ton-That, Florence Perrin-Sarazin and Johanne Denault.
      “Polymer Engineering & Science” Volume 50, Issue 4, pages 819–825, April 2010
      [Article first published online: 24 NOV 2009]
      Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pen.21593/abstract ),
      has been used a procedure for preliminary selection for
      each individual fiber, coming from the outside threads of
      various tissues of different ages…
      Thus the fiber, before being used in the tensile test,
      therefore had exceeded the following controls:
      – visual test (optical microscopy, at 10x-100x)
      – visual test (optical microscopy, PLM at 100x-600x) and also
      – preliminar flexural tests, that were performed under microscopical control…

      In short, Fanti said that:
      Therefore, with the use of the preliminary selection,
      you avoid to test tensile fibers with obvious defects or
      contamination visible under the optical microscope.

      So, IMO, You wrote a wrong statement:
      >300AD to 1500AD is a much more realistic interpretation of Fanti’s results.
      >In that case, of course, not only does Fanti’s work not undermine the C14 tests, it actually supports them!
      Then I cannot agree with you.
      — — —
      Here there are some more words before closing the question …
      So, I think that the same procedure of control has been used
      not only for the samples of the various tissues of reference,
      but also for the threads “of the Shroud”.
      But now I do not have the certainty of what I
      supposed …
      Actually I still have some doubts.
      Does You could check this?
      — — — *** *** — — —
      Here another “AFM reference”.
      In order to understand what can be done with AFM
      I have found an interesting study:
      “Nanoscale surface property estimation using
      proper orthogonal decomposition in atomic force microscopy”
      by
      S I Lee, S Hong, and J M Lee
      CIRP Annals – Manufacturing Technology 57(1):563 (2008)
      Link:
      http://pubget.com/paper/pgtmp_69377638f51a19340d2e052e16e6d146/nanoscale-surface-property-estimation-using-proper-orthogonal-decomposition-in-atomic-force-microscopy
      Abstract
      >Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in a dynamic mode operation uses a resonating tip to measure the nanoscale surface topography and other properties. The dynamic response of the tip includes the complex tip–surface interactions due to the surface properties. We found that conventional tapping mode had a limitation in the accurate set-point control on soft and high adhesion surfaces. This study employed the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD)-based AFM microcantilever characterization method to estimate the surface property with more reliable control. The POD extracted the dominant empirical modes of the AFM microcantilever during tapping and scanning on the surface. Also the corresponding eigenvalues represented the significance of the empirical modes and the characteristic features of the nanoscale surface property. This experimental approach can offer a new insight on the novel application of nanoscale surface property estimation in dynamic AFM applications. … …

      • piero
        January 14, 2015 at 6:18 am

        I wrote:
        > Does You could check this?

        But I wanted to write:
        > Could you check this problem?
        or …
        Would you be so kind as to check ?
        — — —
        So…
        Did you find this question (about Eng. Fanti and linen threads…) interesting?

        • piero
          January 14, 2015 at 6:21 am

          I believe that … it would have been interesting if Fanti had contralateral parallel fibrils also from Sudarium of Oviedo …

        • piero
          January 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

          I must warn our readers that what had appeared a few hours ago was near wrong … (= contralateral parallel fibrils = !!!?!?!?!)
          In fact I was in a hurry and I wrote quickly.
          So what I wanted to say is that it would be interesting if Eng. Fanti had also checked some linen fibers of the Shroud of Oviedo (although that is a different matter. Thus, it is not the Shroud but of a different relic of Jesus’ Passion ) …
          Since I do not believed in this type of “a bit rough mechanical analyses” (…although I appreciate the hard work of Fanti and Malfi!!!) and I having see that
          were of consistency “a bit rough” (but [now] I have said this phrase, in the sense of comparing this work with the desirable “SPM analyses”).
          Then: excuse me for my previous hasty words…
          — — —
          Also I ask you to pass up (for a moment) about those last vague indications on Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) methods …
          The issue of “right SPM analyses” (to do on linen fibrils) can be already complex enough, so that (…otherwise: what was recently indicated in that rough manner) none can discuss (= the profane… = many ordinary people don’t understand this rough explanation about…
          “…the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD)-based AFM microcantilever characterization method to estimate the surface property”)..
          Instead we can simply say that we can profitably apply the AFM for the surface study of cellulose.

          For example: the order of crystalline cellulose was detected (years ago) with the atomic force microscopy (AFM)…

          Here an old reference:
          Kuutti, L.; Pere, J.; Peltonen, J.; Teleman, O.PUB. Date: January 1995
          Source: Cellulose & Cellulose Derivatives;1995, p69
          — — —
          But my aim is to work on cellulosic chains with AFM
          (in order to detect the cellulosic DP [= Degree of Polymerization]) and the other question to solve is the control on elastic modulus (using indentation or AFM bending tests … or “more simply” mapping the material…).

  9. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Charles Freeman wrote:

    “Russ, the skill of applying gesso was so as not to make the cloth rigid, that is why it is only applied on the outer fibrils of the cloth. If it went below the surface it would create a rigid cloth , as if it had been starched. Is would make it impossible to use painted linen as a flag or banner?
    STURP reported a frosty appearance to the surface of the the Shroud, found large quantities of calcium carbonate which is to this day used in making gesso. So we have good circumstantial evidence of an original gesso. A further close-up examination is needed.”

    “Large quantities of calcium carbonate”

    Is there a value given for what large is concerning the calcium carbonate in STURP’s their analysis, exactly which reference(s) contain this? In the 1980 paper by Morris, Schwalbe, and London, in X-ray spectrometry, measurements for calcium, iron, and strontium are shown. They comment “both calcium and strontium are relatively common elements. For instance we might expect considerable quantities of airborne CaCO3 [calcium carbonate] from the rich marble and limestone regions of northern Italy…Although other explanations are possible, the uniform calcium and strontium distributions might be explained simply as dust accumulations.” Are they other references from STURP that specifically designate large (any) values of calcium carbonate or is this restricted to calcium?

    Are the STURP findings/conclusions specifically linked to calcium carbonate or just calcium?
    (see below)

    In Adler’s “orphaned manuscript”, Chemical and physical aspects of the Sindonic images, published in 2000, it says “All the types of Shroud fibers gave positive tests for only two elements, calcium and iron. However, these elements do not derive from the presence of iron oxides or calcium carbonates in the fibers…”

    Relatedly, In Heller and Adler’s 1981 paper, in Canadian Society of Forensics Science Journal, in discussing the process of converting flax to linen, retting, it says, “During this process the natural ion exchange properties of cellulose operate and two ions found commonly in natural waters that most strongly bind in this way are Ca and Fe, with the former being more strongly bound, as reflected in the relative concentrations seen in the X-ray and present studies.” Ions reflect free calcium (Ca2+) which could be totally unrelated to the presence of calcium carbonate. In their studies, similar elevated levels of Fe and Ca were reported for older (Spanish, Coptic, and Pharaonic) linens as well

    If the high calcium levels are due to gesso, why is the accompanying protein signal lacking?
    A valid theory cannot simply discard what does not conveniently agree. This results is an unbalanced view.

    Are there other STURP references that particularly dial in the amount of calcium carbonate reported for the Shroud that anyone can provide? Would like to have a look at the exact data-thanks

  10. January 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    The amount of calcium carbonate is quantified in the physics and chemistry of the Shroud paper. I shall also provide a quote from Heller when I am in my study tomorrow that refers independently to large quantities of calcium in his book on the Shroud.
    There are two interlocking features of the issue. It is not just that there is evidence of calcium carbonate but that the surface of the Shroud is ‘ locked’ so that the image did not go through. It is this combination that is important as this is what one would EXPECT to find on a decayed medieval painted cloth. Of course, ‘ expect’ can all too easily slant one’s judgement but it is indicative of the Shroud having once been sealed in exactly the way the medieval craftsmen say it should be sealed before painting. I shall also provide a good paragraph on the Zittau Veil that also backs up this approach. The quantities of animal protein they found were actually very small but they were there. So more coming tomorrow!

  11. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Okay-would like to see the original data/wording regarding calcium carbonate-thanks

    Quantities of animal protein on ZV: specific tests/methods and amounts detected, especially as related to the limits of detection as reported for the Shroud

  12. January 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, I had to point out to Charles before Christmas that calcium does not necessarily equate to calcium carbonate unless there is specific evidence. It’s difficult to know where to start when there are publications entitled “Orphaned Manuscripts etc ” (not submitted for peer review?) only parts of which are available online. if someone has seen evidence specifically for calcium carbonate, then let them speak now. I for one am not paying upfront charges on the off-chance that the evidence one seeks is there.

    Relatedly, In Heller and Adler’s 1981 paper, in Canadian Society of Forensics Science Journal, in discussing the process of converting flax to linen, retting, it says, “During this process the natural ion exchange properties of cellulose operate and two ions found commonly in natural waters that most strongly bind in this way are Ca and Fe, with the former being more strongly bound, as reflected in the relative concentrations seen in the X-ray and present studies.””

    Nope. Cellulose is not an ion-exchanger, having no electrically-charged groups. Its use as a chromatography solid support depends on physical adsorption, not ion exchange. As put to Charles late last year (no reply!) the association between linen and calcium probably depends mainly on the pectin content (negative uronic acid-derived anions) and that is weakened as a result of retting, given the latter results in extensive microbial digestion of the middle lamellar pectins.

    Charles is simply not entitled to equate calcium with calcium carbonate unless he can supply HARD evidence to back up that view. I personally doubt that evidence exists, or will ever be found.

  13. January 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Well, so far as I remember without checking the original, the STURP physics and chemistry report said calcium carbonate- it depends on whether you think the report reliable or not. Someone like Hugh may have the report actually to hand but I will tomorrow.
    AFTER I had read up about painting on linen, I read the STURP report on the physics and chemistry for the first time and was amazed to find that they had found the image on the outer fibrils only when it was just this that I had been reading as the method of sealing linen before painting. It is obvious that you cannot paint on unsealed linen and it is hard to see how an actual body placed on an untreated linen would not put its sweat,blood ,etc, into the linen capillaries. I am not sure that I have seen this issue addressed but perhaps so done has an explanation, other than a sealed surface for liquids staying on just the very outside.

    I have also gone back to the comments made by Mike Spyer ,the professor of physiology, who read the Heller /Adler blood papers for me. He was ‘ totally unconvinced’of blood from what they had written and said that in any case the colour was wrong for dried blood. He made the extra point that they had failed to distinguish what were probably animal proteins from what they thought was blood.
    I am not a scientist and am cautious about all this but here is an expert who thinks that , even in what he considered the scientifically inadequate papers of Heller and Adler, there is separate evidence of animal proteins on the Shroud.
    Goodness we really do need some Independent experts to look at all this dated material again!

  14. Louis
    January 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I wonder what Charles meant by saying ” the surface of the Shroud is ‘locked’ so that the image did not get through.”

    • January 11, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Well, the image did not get through! It did not, as STURP found, penetrate further than the outer fibrils.so the word .’ Locked’ seems appropriate unless you can suggest a better word to describe why and how the image, wherever it originated, failed to penetrate the Shroud. I am open to suggestions.

      • Louis
        January 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        Well, Charles, at least what you meant is clear now. As you know, there are two hypotheses to explain the extreme superficiality of the image. One is ‘miraculist’, the other ‘naturalist’ and in both cases the superficiality is not questioned. As a STURP team member Ray Rogers, who favoured the ‘naturalist’ hypothesis, was able to examine both Shroud and threads, others just the fibres.
        It would be more convincing if you could provide a medieval image where gesso was part of the painting process. Better still, what happened to those medieval 3×1 linens you said were preserved at V&A? We discussed this last year on this blog and I told you that some correspondence was exchanged with them years ago and then everything came to a standstill. Surely it does not take that much time to search the storerooms?

  15. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    CB wrote:

    “Yes, I had to point out to Charles before Christmas that calcium does not necessarily equate to calcium carbonate unless there is specific evidence. It’s difficult to know where to start when there are publications entitled “Orphaned Manuscripts etc ” (not submitted for peer review?) only parts of which are available online. if someone has seen evidence specifically for calcium carbonate, then let them speak now. I for one am not paying upfront charges on the off-chance that the evidence one seeks is there.
    Relatedly, In Heller and Adler’s 1981 paper, in Canadian Society of Forensics Science Journal, in discussing the process of converting flax to linen, retting, it says, “During this process the natural ion exchange properties of cellulose operate and two ions found commonly in natural waters that most strongly bind in this way are Ca and Fe, with the former being more strongly bound, as reflected in the relative concentrations seen in the X-ray and present studies.””
    Nope. Cellulose is not an ion-exchanger, having no electrically-charged groups. Its use as a chromatography solid support depends on physical adsorption, not ion exchange. As put to Charles late last year (no reply!) the association between linen and calcium probably depends mainly on the pectin content (negative uronic acid-derived anions) and that is weakened as a result of retting, given the latter results in extensive microbial digestion of the middle lamellar pectins.
    Charles is simply not entitled to equate calcium with calcium carbonate unless he can supply HARD evidence to back up that view. I personally doubt that evidence exists, or will ever be found.”

    Okay, missed it/didn’t catch it-no reply, eh? We’ll see if anything surfaces this go round

    My understanding is that hydroxyl groups (on cellulose) can ionize, although typically very unstable; of course, enhanced under alkali conditions. In pond water, where the flax was left to rot for some time? But fair enough, a designated carbohydrate ion suffices.

    • Louis
      January 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Addressed to Dr. Kelly Kearse:
      Hi Kelly
      With reference to the colour of dried blood you commented on below, I remember that in one of his books Ian Wilson mentioned Dr. Loy of the University of Sydney, Australia who told him that the blood of a person who has a traumatic death can remain red for a very long time.
      Can you comment on this?
      Also, do you know of anyone who has made experiments with blood on linen, subjecting the cloth to heat, radiation and so on. Would there be any noticeable effect?
      Thanks.

      • January 12, 2015 at 3:06 am

        I think the quote of Mr.Loy is not exact. If I remember correctly, Wilson said that Loy said him in an informal talk that he had found some token of red coloured ancient blood. From what I know Loy had never publish this nor Wilson asked him for more precise data. (Why?) From what I know also Loy’s methods were accepted in the eighties, but today are considered obsolete.

        • Louis
          January 12, 2015 at 5:57 am

          David Mo;
          Agradeço seu comentário. Agora vamos aguardar o dr. Kelly Kearse, que é altamente qualificado para comentar sobre o assunto.

          Translation:
          Thank you for your comment. Now let us wait for Dr. Kelly Kearse, who is highly qualified to comment on the topic.

    • January 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Hiya Kelly

      Unlike aromatic (phenolic) OH groups, the aliphatic hydroxyl (OH) functional groups on cellulose are for all intents and purposes non-ionizable, except maybe to a tiny extent in very strong alkali solution, far removed from any realistic real-life situation. There are the chemically-substituted cellulose derivatives like DEAE-cellulose and CM-cellulose that are well known as ion-exchangers, but they have had positive nitrogen or negative carboxyl groups respectively introduced into their structures.

  16. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    CF wrote:

    “I have also gone back to the comments made by Mike Spyer ,the professor of physiology, who read the Heller /Adler blood papers for me. He was ‘ totally unconvinced’of blood from what they had written and said that in any case the colour was wrong for dried blood. He made the extra point that they had failed to distinguish what were probably animal proteins from what they thought was blood.
    I am not a scientist and am cautious about all this but here is an expert who thinks that , even in what he considered the scientifically inadequate papers of Heller and Adler, there is separate evidence of animal proteins on the Shroud.
    Goodness we really do need some Independent experts to look at all this dated material again!”

    “There is separate evidence of animal proteins on the Shroud”
    Like what, specifically? Is there really any substance to this? Is this truly separate evidence? Evidence in this context implies data, sounds distorted relative to the context of being someone’s opinion.

    “In any case, the color was wrong for dried blood” Even many who are rabid authenticists would agree with this.

    • January 11, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Well, we all know we need retesting of all this after nearly forty years. Mike Spyer found the papers by Adler and Heller inadequate so he could hardly use them to say whether there were animal proteins on the Shroud or not. He just felt, as I understand it, that what Heller and Adler described could also been explained as including animal protein.
      I can only pose specific questions I would like further independent and expert research on. The St Louis session on future testing seemed totally unable to suggest anything much. It gives the impression that research is stagnant and needs revitalising by a new group of researchers who are expert in weaving, medieval painting techniques on linen,the iconography of the Passion, the composition of the material on the surface of the Shroud ( are the original STURP tapes still together for further research or not? we never seem able even to find this out, let alone get the tapes subjected to the most recent investigation techniques).

  17. January 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Morris et al., X-Ray Fluorescence Investigation of the Shroud of Turin: “The relatively large proportion of calcium (~1 wt %) is most likely underestimated in these results because no account was taken of its distribution within the cloth. X-ray attenuation by hydrocarbons is greatest at lower energies and in these measurements would strongly suppress the calcium peak. We measured an attenuation of aproximately 75% for Ca K-alpha X-rays through 20mg/cm2 cellulose. If the calcium were distributed uniformly through the cloth instead of at the surface, the actual weight concentrations could be twice as large as the numbers quoted. … Both calcium and strontium are relatively common elements. For instance, we might expect considerable quantities of of airborne CaCO3 from the rich marble and limestone regions of northern Italy. … Although other explanations are possible, the uniform calcium and strontium distributions might be explained simply as dust accumulations.”

    Schwalbe et al., Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: “Morris et al. reported relatively uniform concentrations of calcium and strontium in all of their spectra. The large quantities of calcium (200 +/- 50 micrograms / cm2) and traces of strontium (2.5 +/- 1.0 micrograms / cm2) were tentatively identified as dust accumulations, probably natural calcium carbonate, on the Shroud. Riggi similarly observed substantial quantities of calcium compounds in the samples that he vacuumed from the back-side of the cloth. Although Riggi’s observation tends to support Morris’ interpretation, subsequent microscopic examination of the tapes showed little or no calcium compound debris from the Shroud image surface. Heller and Adler have since postulated that the calcium and strontium were absorbed into the linen during the retting process (in which case the elements would be detectable with X-rays but not with the tape surface samples).”

    i hope this makes everything clear…

  18. January 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Yes, clear as to what the original reports said. But accumulations of dust seems very speculative. Calcium does not just float about in the air in the quantities found here and settle uniformly over a cloth that is held in the way the Shroud is when exhibited. ( If it was left in the open lying down this might have been a more plausible suggestion.)

    There are various ways of preparing flax for spinning and not all of them involve retting so this seems another long shot and no other examples of this happening have been reported.

    As I reported a couple of months ago, the BBC History people talked to me about my article as part of independent research they were doing. I heard later that they had talked to other people as well but I have since heard that no decision has been made as to whether they will do a programme or not. I told them it was absolutely essential that they get the evidence looked at by specialists who were totally Independent of the present debates. If the St. Louis conference could not even come up with a coherent plan for further research, when clearly there are many areas where further research is needed, then we need to move on to a new group of people who are prepared to start again. For a start let’s get it sorted once and for all if there is any known ancient loom capable of weaving a three-in-one herringbone linen of the size of the Shroud.

    • Charles Freeman
      January 12, 2015 at 3:04 am

      Here are the two passages I promised.

      1) From John Heller,’Report on the Shroud of Turin, Boston, 1983. p., 136.

      ‘Finally the results [Robert Morris’s paper] were presented, There was calcium on the Shroud -lots of it. It was evenly distributed over the entire length and width. I wondered in the world it could have come from. It was not concentrated in the image areas, so it couldn’t have anything to do with paint, dye or stain’.

      This is all compatible with the sealing of the entire surface of the Shroud before painting had begun.

      2)From ‘Technical Observations on the so-called Grosse Zittauer Fastentuch’, in Villers (ed.) The Fabric of Images, London, 2000, p, 103. ( A must-have book if you are discussing medieval painting on linen.)
      The Zittau Veil is important as parts have the original paint and parts have lost it leaving shadowy images similar to those on the Shroud.

      ‘The paint did not soak through the fabric and only a few spots of colour can be seen on the reverse between the yarns. Clearly the canvas [it is plain weave linen] must have been prepared with a glue size coating or priming layer and, in fact, protein was detected among the canvas fibres. Technical examination has confirmed the use of such preparatory layers in the Middle Ages . .. the technical treatises describe a range of preparatory applications to the canvas and not just glue size. The Nurnberger Kunstbuch (first half of the fifteenth century) mentioned a size described as stercken (Impregnating) applied with a bath sponge to both sides of the canvas. Alcherius/ Coene described a preparatory layer for gilding, painting and drawing on fabric supports containing gypsum with Armenian bole bound by parchment or leather glue. . .’
      (They go on to describe other sizing materials before going back specifically to the Veil)

      ‘ On the Zittau Lenten Veil both a size coating and a priming layer have been found. In all cross-sections the size can be seen lying directly on the fabric support [N.B.], covered by a thin ground containing chalk [ ?calcium] with a proteinaceous binder. This chalk is particularly finely ground . . .As this ground was found in all cross -sections examined, it is assumed that it was a uniform coating [cf. Heller’s account on the calcium on the Shroud] . . .The ground successfully reduced the absorbency of the fabric and prevented the paint from impregnating the weave. Only the red pigment, identified as madder, has soaked deeper into the structure and can be seen on the reverse’.

      If this does not give suggest avenues for further research I don’t know what will!!

      • January 12, 2015 at 5:18 am

        “Only the red pigment, identified as madder, has soaked deeper into the structure and can be seen on the reverse.”
        Very interesting…

        • Louis
          January 12, 2015 at 5:52 am

          What has this to do with what we see on the Shroud?

        • Charles Freeman
          January 12, 2015 at 6:08 am

          We do have to draw on all the new expertise arising from the growing interest by specialists in painted linen cloths. I assume it is possible that some very finely ground pigments could make their way through the size while other pigments were too large to do so.

          In another article in the Villers book on two fifteenth century Italian painted cloths, authors Dubois and Klaase compare a Durer self-portrait where the paint had got through the cloth with their two subjects ‘where the paint lies on top of the yarns and has hardly penetrated the fibres at all, In the Saint Jerome, apart from the sizing of the canvas, thus could be due to the thicker consistency of the paint, but in the Dead Christ Supported by Mourning Angels, a thorough sizing of the canvas prior to painting must account for this good isolation of the canvas from the fluid paint’.

          Again a lot of pointers for future research of the Shroud and its images. Yet another article in Villers talks of a cloth painting where the images have faded and lost their original sumptuousness.

          Well, it all speaks to me if to nobody else!

        • Louis
          January 13, 2015 at 6:55 am

          Well,I guess scientists will have to examine the Italian painted cloths to make a comparison with the Shroud.

  19. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    So, that’s a no for large amounts of calcium carbonate?

  20. January 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I’m not sure. The expression “~1 wt %” is difficult to interpret. If it means that 1% of the Shroud’s weight is the element calcium, and if the calcium is represented as calcium carbonate, then calcium cabonate would make up about 2.5% of the total weight. What counts as a ‘large amount’?

  21. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    HF wrote “I’m not sure. The expression “~1 wt %” is difficult to interpret. If it means that 1% of the Shroud’s weight is the element calcium, and if the calcium is represented as calcium carbonate, then calcium cabonate would make up about 2.5% of the total weight. What counts as a ‘large amount’?”

    If calcium carbonate, that’s it-Adler (STURP) writes directly that it’s not present in that form. Trying to see the validity of Charles’ statement regarding STURP’s findings-don’t know what would be a large amount.

  22. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    CB wrote:

    “Hiya Kelly
    Unlike aromatic (phenolic) OH groups, the aliphatic hydroxyl (OH) functional groups on cellulose are for all intents and purposes non-ionizable, except maybe to a tiny extent in very strong alkali solution, far removed from any realistic real-life situation. There are the chemically-substituted cellulose derivatives like DEAE-cellulose and CM-cellulose that are well known as ion-exchangers, but they have had positive nitrogen or negative carboxyl groups respectively introduced into their structures.”

    I agree-I think Adler was generalizing on that one a bit, cellulose (OH) not the major (ion-exchange) player, but a charged carbohydrate is present that would explain

  23. Kelly Kearse
    January 11, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Louis-will answer about the blood color tomorrow, okay?

    KK

    • Louis
      January 11, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Kelly, there is no hurry, take your time. I have posed these questions because of your qualifications and seriousness.

  24. Kelly Kearse
    January 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

    KK wrote:

    “Okay-would like to see the original data/wording regarding calcium carbonate-thanks

    Quantities of animal protein on ZV: specific tests/methods and amounts detected, especially as related to the limits of detection as reported for the Shroud”

    Charles, didn’t see either of these in your answer. I’m looking for as you said “The amount of calcium carbonate is quantified in the physics and chemistry of the Shroud paper.” “STURP found large quantities of calcium carbonate”

    The quote you provided from Heller’s book references the work by Morris-which I included in the original post. This refers to a calcium signal. The same group (Heller, Adler) states directly in subsequent work that this signal is not coming from calcium carbonate.

    I don’t think you can mention one without mentioning the other. Similar to saying investigators looked for blood in 1973, but didn’t find it, and STURP found a lack of potassium. and then leaving it just at that. By selective omission, one can make anything support anything.

    And the often played fall back to: My oh my, more modern tests certainly need to be done to get some answers: Way 2 much drama. Of course it would be good. But things return back to supporting your original statements, which I noticed in your earlier reply to Russ. Colin pointed out that he had asked you about this last month (no reply). I don’t think you provided them this time either.

    • Charles Freeman
      January 13, 2015 at 5:45 am

      Kelly. What I have provided is a mass of circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Shroud was sealed ( e.g. the image is one the outer fibrils only) as is typical of medieval painted linens (see my other posting),with the pigments now decayed, leaving only the shadowy images ( compare the images on the Zittau veil). The decay of the images is symbolised by the contrast between the enormous crowds able to see the images in the seventeenth century and the close-up viewing needed today.
      As you may know one of my points is that we should be asking what the images were when the Shroud was originally created, not what they are now – this is the biggest wild goose chase of them all. We need to shift the whole focus of Shroud research and work on the depictions and descriptions from earlier times as one would normally with any artefact of this nature. (Why is the Shroud outside the normal approach to ancient objects?)
      Part of the circumstantial evidence is the examination of the Heller -Adler papers by a professor of physiology who is not convinced by them and thinks that some of the findings are compatible with animal proteins ( this was his unprompted suggestion) and this would provide some evidence for a typical gesso mix. The professor has offered to pass everything on to a top haematologist but I have not taken this up. I will if there continues to be a challenge.
      As my posting on the Zittau veil showed there were many different ways of sizing (sealing) a linen cloth but the way in which the images are on the outer fibrils only are compatible with such a sizing and there are lots of other examples, now tested, that could be examined as a comparison with the Shroud. Calcium carbonate or sulphate is an ingredient of such sizing to this very day.
      So we need to broaden out research by looking at comparative examples- it irks me when people say that the Shroud is unique and then i discover that they have never studied anything about medieval painted linens (as STURP openly admitted they had not!!). The Shroud may or may not be a medieval painted linen but it has many features that suggest that it is one whose images have decayed and to dismiss these out of hand is not serious scholarship. It is the most likely hypothesis for the images and it remains number one until someone provides something better- so it is over to those who can provide a coherent alternative.

  25. Kelly Kearse
    January 12, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Louis,

    The quote from Loy is found on pg. 92 of Ian Wilson’s book. It says, “Low was also supportive of the credibility of Alan Adler’s explanation for the “too red” blood. He himself had come across 300,000-year-old blood of a similarly vivid colour, it always being the circumstances of the deceased’s death, rather than anything to do with the sample’s age, that is responsible for this.” Also on pg. 235, “Quite aside from Dr. Alan Adler’s argument, we have heard ancient blood specialist Dr. Thomas Loy confirm that blood many thousands of years old can remain bright red in certain cases of traumatic death”

    I tried to contact Dr. Loy several years ago to follow up on this and learned that he was deceased. David Mo mentions outdated scientific methods (hence we shouldn’t believe any such results in the “modern age”, some thirty years later). Exactly which specific scientific methods are no longer warranted/useful?

    The blood color question is an interesting one. As you know, various explanations have been put forth: bilirubin, CO, saponaria, paint, etc. Totally my own opinion, but I don’t believe the answer lies (solely) in any of the above. Regarding bilirubin, it’s quite unstable-I would like to see more evidence for this, particularly quantitative-in the Adler studies it is essentially qualitative. I am similarly uncertain about saponaria-fine if its hemolytic, but once the cells are lysed, what prevents the hemoglobin from oxidizing to a brownish/blackish color over time? Is there any evidence that the Shroud contains a saponaria coating? The carbon monoxide hypothesis, originally proposed by Baima Bollone is problematic in that it is expected CO would exchange out with oxygen over time. The spectral data from the Shroud studies is not in agreement with the CO-bound form of hemoglobin. For anyone seriously interested in the question of blood color and the Shroud, I would recommend looking at the 2014 article by van der Hoeven-it offers an alternative consideration from the cloth side of things-it’s not for the faint of heart, over 200 pages, several inches thick. I’ve read it through once, but want to go back through and reread it more carefully. The paper contains some original experimentation, which is thoroughly explained. In my opinion, when the blood problem is considered, the possibility that more than one factor could be at play has to be taken into account.

    Regarding other additional experimentation for some of things you mentioned , Goldini reported that normal blood (with non-elevated bilirubin levels) turned red following exposure to uv light. How long this remains (over time) is unclear. I, myself, have experimented with saponaria-treated cloth (modern linen), extracted under various conditions-I found no difference between saponaria and untreated cloth.

  26. Louis
    January 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Kelly
    Very many thanks for taking the trouble to provide such a detailed explanation. It has been stored for reference. I have just one doubt left. Why do you say that when the blood problem is considered, the possibility that more than one factor could be at play has to be taken into account?
    Thanks.

  27. Kelly Kearse
    January 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Louis wrote:
    “Kelly Very many thanks for taking the trouble to provide such a detailed explanation. It has been stored for reference. I have just one doubt left. Why do you say that when the blood problem is considered, the possibility that more than one factor could be at play has to be taken into account? Thanks.”

    By this I mean it’s an assumption of sorts that only thing is responsible for the blood color: high bilirubin or Saponaria-treatment or ??, that only one variable is the magic bullet. My opinion is that a combination of variables should be considered, including not only the characteristics of the blood but the cloth as well.

  28. Louis
    January 13, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Thanks, Kelly. the doubt has been cleared.

  29. Kelly Kearse
    January 13, 2015 at 11:18 am

    CF wrote:

    “Kelly. What I have provided is a mass of circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Shroud was sealed ( e.g. the image is one the outer fibrils only) as is typical of medieval painted linens (see my other posting),with the pigments now decayed, leaving only the shadowy images ( compare the images on the Zittau veil). The decay of the images is symbolised by the contrast between the enormous crowds able to see the images in the seventeenth century and the close-up viewing needed today.
    As you may know one of my points is that we should be asking what the images were when the Shroud was originally created, not what they are now – this is the biggest wild goose chase of them all. We need to shift the whole focus of Shroud research and work on the depictions and descriptions from earlier times as one would normally with any artefact of this nature. (Why is the Shroud outside the normal approach to ancient objects?)
    Part of the circumstantial evidence is the examination of the Heller -Adler papers by a professor of physiology who is not convinced by them and thinks that some of the findings are compatible with animal proteins ( this was his unprompted suggestion) and this would provide some evidence for a typical gesso mix. The professor has offered to pass everything on to a top haematologist but I have not taken this up. I will if there continues to be a challenge.
    As my posting on the Zittau veil showed there were many different ways of sizing (sealing) a linen cloth but the way in which the images are on the outer fibrils only are compatible with such a sizing and there are lots of other examples, now tested, that could be examined as a comparison with the Shroud. Calcium carbonate or sulphate is an ingredient of such sizing to this very day.
    So we need to broaden out research by looking at comparative examples- it irks me when people say that the Shroud is unique and then i discover that they have never studied anything about medieval painted linens (as STURP openly admitted they had not!!). The Shroud may or may not be a medieval painted linen but it has many features that suggest that it is one whose images have decayed and to dismiss these out of hand is not serious scholarship. It is the most likely hypothesis for the images and it remains number one until someone provides something better- so it is over to those who can provide a coherent alternative.”

    “A mass of circumstantial evidence” Sure you have. What you have failed to provide, though, is support for your multiple statements that “large amounts of calcium carbonate were found by STURP” . This is an important point.. You are making a key claim that is not valid. Moreover, a reference from the same group (STURP) directly states the calcium signal is not from calcium carbonate. Control older linens used by the STURP investigators (Spanish, Coptic, and Pharonic), also showed high levels of calcium. Were these gessoed as well?

    I think STURP considered that the Shroud may be a painting much more than you let on. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s not my job to convince you of any of this.

    “If there continues to be a challenge” [regarding the blood]. I would ask as many people as I could. I do. Some I know, some I don’t. I’ve e-mailed/called on the phone/talked in person to numerous scientists/clinical specialists to get their professional opinion. Some say yes. Some say no. Some say maybe. Consider asking chemists, biochemists, immunologists, cell biologists, molecular biologists, forensic scientists, and medical doctors. Include the other studies as well (esp. Baima Bollone), it’s part of the story, though it’s up to you.
    A lot of the blood characteristics/science interest me apart from the Shroud-I ask as many people as I can about lot of things, for example how old is the AB blood type? This is a very interesting question, irrespective of anything to do with the Shroud.I like to ask. I like to learn.

    Some professional scientists/medical personnel have stated in the past they believe it’s reasonable that real blood exists on the Shroud. Others say it isn’t. There you go.

    No need for any further dialogue with you on any of this.

  30. Charles Freeman
    January 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    ‘Large’ was the word used by STURP and Heller- not by me.
    If the other linens were prepared to be painted on then they would probably have been sized, with gesso or an alternative so we need to know more about them and how the amount of calcium compared with the ‘large’ quantities apparently found on the Shroud.
    Please, even if you consider the dialogue at an end, provide the STURP reference for the calcium not being carbonate and if they suggest an alternative. If the Shroud was sized/gessoed, it might provide a pointer to where it was painted (e.g calcium sulphate used for sizing south of the Alps).
    I haven’t yet found anyone who has seen the ‘bloodstains’ who think they are actual human blood, but I will keep on asking! So far I have asked doctors, a criminal forensic expert and a professor of physiology and have drawn ‘no. it isn’ts’. At least we can agree that there is dispute over whether there is human blood on the Shroud,while in some circles it is still presented as fact.
    The AB information i have is that, probably not much before Ad 900, probably as a result of mingling of A and B on the Hungarian plains but the distributions suggests mingling further along that divide, as well, of course in the Far East (suggested date of emergence unknown). BUT no one can confirm any of this until they have ruled out the possibility of earlier AB. Personally I wonder if it is AB at all, though the blood of Christ is likely to be genetically interesting whatever.

    • January 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      P.S. I am not a scientist so must leave the scientific evaluation of the ‘blood’ to those who are. So far, the opinions I have had is that the evidence is ‘totally unconvincing’.
      However,I am a historian of relic cults and the thirteenth to fifteenth century saw a mass of blood relics ( Bynum’s Wonderful Blood is the key text.) Some were believed to be the authentic blood of Christ gathered from the Cross, some were blood coming from crucifixes that had been struck by infidels, some again were from hosts that bled after transubstantiation to convince doubters or to leave a trail of those who had stolen them. With so much blood around it is not impossible that some was added to the Shroud for some reason or other, even if not as a deception but rather to increase its sanctity.
      That is why I keep an open mind on blood on the Shroud.

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