New Paper on the Shroud of Arquata

not produced by apparent drawings or painting

used sophisticated optical and spectroscopic non-invasive technologies


The paper by P. Di Lazzaro, M. Guarneri, D. Murra, V. Spizzichino, M. Missori, V. Piraccini, A. Mencattini and A. Danielis is available at:

Academia   &   ENEA’s Open Archives.

An English version is in the works. In the meantime:

1)  There is an English abstract:

In this report we summarize the main results of the first in-depth measurement of the Shroud of Arquata, a 1:1 copy of the Shroud of Turin which dates back to 1653. The most peculiar feature of the Shroud of Arquata is the front and back human footprint which is not produced by apparent drawings or painting as in the other copies of the Shroud. In the frame of an agreement between the City of Arquata, the Technical Unit Application of Radiation of the ENEA Centre of Frascati and the Institute of Complex Systems of CNR, we used sophisticated optical and spectroscopic non-invasive technologies, suitable to the study of Cultural Heritage.

The elaboration of experimental results allowed to obtain scientific data apt to suggest the possible origins of the double image, of the stains simulating blood and of the false patches embedded on the Shroud of Arquata.

In addition, the experimental data allowed to develop a plan for the proper long-term conservation of the Shroud of Arquata.

2) and you can translate the paper into English with Bing or Google translation tools by converting it to an editable Word (doc or docx) file and then pasting the text into the translation tool. Here, for example, are three translated paragraphs from the Introduction:

During the restoration of the church of S. Francesco at Borgo di Arquata del Tronto , in the province of Ascoli Piceno , in 1980 is found a double urn of gilded wood , hidden in the niche of an altar . Inside there is a large sheet folded and a scroll. On the sheet is visible footprint front and back of a human body , and the center is the word ‘ EXTRACTVM AB ORIGINAL ‘ (extract from the original, which is sanctified by direct contact with the real relic ) .

It is a copy in 1: 1 scale of the Shroud of Turin , the most valuable and controversial relic of Christendom [ 1 ] . Copying Arquata accurately reproduces the image and stains on the Shroud of Turin : in addition to the double human footprint are noticed reddish spots in the side , feet and head , the drawings that recall the patches corresponding to burns inflicted to the Shroud Turin by fire in 1532 , and even water stains .

However , there is one important difference between the Shroud of Arquata and the other 50 copies of the Turin Shroud survived to our times [ 2 ] : at first glance , the impression you do not recognize human brush strokes , nor drawings , nor anatomy of the face and body . Conversely , the origin of painting and art of the other copies of the Shroud is evident even at a superficial analysis [ 2 , 3 ] .

14 thoughts on “New Paper on the Shroud of Arquata”

  1. Here are the compared images from Dan’s posting (Arquata above, TS below) to which I’ve added a little extra contrast.

    Once again, we see artistic evidence that the TS was viewed all those centuries ago as a sweat/blood imprint, and thus assumed to be authentic. That’s a far cry from the eccentric notion that it was originally designed and/or seen merely as a painted prop for mere liturgical use.

    1. Colin, am I correct in thinking that you see this as evidence against Charles Freeman’s theory?

      1. This has to be a hasty reply, Julian, since I’m about to head off to a medieval hill village while the sun is shining here on the Med.

        The answer to your question is a resounding YES. But has Charles Freeman still not got his head round the difference between a negative image and a mirror image? We know for certain that the TS is negative, thanks to Secondo Pia, and some assume it’s also a mirror image, based on dubious (lack of) scriptural evidence for the position of the spear wound – left or right. In fact, the negative proprties alone should be sufficient to be 99% certain (at least) that the image is a passive imprint from a shaped template (animate, living or dead, OR inanimate) , not a free hand painting or freehand anything.

        I’m preparing a new post right now that spells out the differences between negative and mirror images, showing that the two CAN be independent, since they arise for different reasons.

        The starting point will be this mock-up of a rubber stamp, which will serve as my initial (pseudo)3D template.

        It will then be reverse-processed as per Secondo Pia, and then 3D-enhanced to a pseudo-pseudo version of the original, with or without correction of the left-right reversal that accompanies any IMPRINTING mechanism where the template has to be turned away from the operator through 180 degrees in order to make the imprint. The light/dark reversal occurs for entirely different reasons, needless to say, independent (in principle) from mere left-right reversal.

        1. Thanks, Charles. I won’t pretend that I understand what you’re talking about for your new post. But if I understand Freeman’s theory, then I agree that the Shroud of Arquata is evidence against it. Or at least shows that the process happened 263 years sooner than he proposes that it did.

        2. Oops! I meant, Thanks Colin. Sorry about that. I’m at that age where I have trouble remembering my own name.

  2. Where are the poker holes?

    I assume that like STURP the scientists who make this claim will publish there back-up data and the methods they used to examine this copy.

    Also, Colin was able to sharpen the image of the Turin Shroud. Did he try do the same with the image in question or satisfy himself with the image at hand?

  3. Colin was able to sharpen the image of the Turin Shroud. Did he try do the same with the image in question or satisfy himself with the image at hand?

    John: I used the image(s) that accompanied this posting, but have just repeated the exercise with those shown by Di Lazzaro et al in their paper:

    Note the reversal of order: the TS is now on top.

    I raised contrast in MS Office Picture Manager from 0 to 77 (max +100), accompanied by a modest intensifying of dominant colour by reducing mid tone value from 0 to -21 (minimum -100).

    I’m finding the midtone setting a handy probe for Shroud images, it giving a visual indication of chief colour component(s) by splitting the RGB mix. My earlier claim for the Halta Definizione image on the BBC’s site (2008) is two-tone I now realize to be mainly the result of a strengthening of a red component in the faint sepia image achieved by lowering the midtone setting. One can see a similar effect by deconstructing “sandy brown” – a standard web shade.

    I’ll shall keep quiet for now about the working hypothesis that is presently being explored except to say that Ray Schneider’s Ohio conference paper is proving a mine of useful information, albeit heavy going for a mere biochemist. His references to “apparent blood” on beard and elsewhere are interesting.

    Click to access p08.pdf

  4. You’re not wrong there, Colin. Way over my pay grade, but I’m discovering a lot more about digital imaging as I go along, so I dare say I’ll get there in the end. Cutting directly to the conclusions, I note, as you probably have yourself, that: “The image area shows a strong affinity with the interstitial blood modes” and “The observation that it is hard to distinguish image pixels from interstitial blood pixels may have some image formation implications.” I think this means that where the blood has eroded away, the cloth has the same colour as the rest of the image, which implies that the image is not surpressed under the bloodstains, and therefore that there is no reason to suppose that the blood arrived before the image.

    1. That’s an interesting interpretation you have there, Hugh. I now have two possibilities to consider. It won’t be easy, not with present resources (Shroud Scope, 2008 BBC/Halta, Shroud 2.0) valuable though the first two have been in the past.

      How much longer must we wait for that high-resolution 72GB Haltadefinizione file, still under wraps according to Mario Latendresse, become available to researchers one wonders? Any chance that you could use your BSTS/ clout to get it released?

  5. I am not sure you understand the importance of this paper.

    For the first time, we have a scientific study of a unique 1653 copy of the Shroud.
    This copy is unique for many reasons.

    More later…

  6. I wrote: “more later…”

    Back to the 1653 shroud of Arquata (and there is no doubt about the date)

    I have translated the whole paper (via Google), I have seen the powerpoint presentation from Bari and I have discussed with Paolo Lazzaro.

    How do you interpret the following facts:
    – The contours of the body, the bloodstains, the hair (and the letters) are clearly seen and made with pigments.
    – The inside of the “body image” do not show any kind of pigment. It shows ONLY some kind of mechanical “abrasion” of the warp threads only and probably a sponge-like passage for the “face” (which in fact do not show any kind of anatomical feature).

    Whatever the mean used by the artist, his purpose is obvious: to show or imitate the very faint color of the body image of the TS in 1653.

    This is linked to this discussion:

    Comments are welcome.

Comments are closed.