Home > Image Theory > A Shift-Drift in Colin Berry’s Thinking?

A Shift-Drift in Colin Berry’s Thinking?

March 17, 2015

To misparaphrase Dylan Thomas: Do not go gentle into that good night
but rage, rage against the dyeing of the cloth (dying of the light).


imageI remember many postings to the Shroud Science Group to and by Ray Rogers. One didn’t need to agree with him to please him. He liked new thinking if it was based on real science. At the same time, however, he was tolerant of dolts like me who did not know science very well but were willing to listen.

He liked it when people were willing to hypothesize and experiment. Propose any method for image formation that was based on real science, and you had his complete attention. I think, from what I read over the span of many months, Ray would have truly enjoyed Colin Berry’s latest blog posting, Is the Shroud of Turin image really "enigmatic"? See this straightforward, no-nonsense modelling exercise:

Colin begins with a bit of prefatory stage setting. In reacting to people who call the image enigmatic. He writes:

…  it’s perhaps not surprising that some have read “enigmatic” to mean not just "mysterious" but “supernatural”.

Personally. this retired science bod is quite happy to entertain the possibility of certain phenomena being supernatural, but only if non-supernatural explanations have been carefully considered and rigorously excluded.. Thus I’m minded to think that the "Big Bang" was the work of a supernatural entity – though that has not prevented me proposing a non-supernatural explanation (see margin notes) that uses conventional physics.

Rigorous filtering out of non-supernatural explanations is sadly not the case where the Turin Shroud is concerned -  there being little real science and a surfeit of pseudo-science aka tosh.. One has only to peruse the headlines that have appeared from scientists ("scientists"?) in recent  years.  Try googling  turin shroud to find entries like this one which as it happens was what sparked my own (renewed) interest in the Shroud, after lying dormant since the 1988/9 radiocarbon dating.

Which sets us up for a fascinating shift or drift in thinking:

What if the image layer were a faint  scorch, or, better still me(currently)thinks Joseph Accetta’s DYE imprinting (now this blogger’s preferred hypothesis in place of a previous fixation with thermal imprinting aka scorching.) 

Actually, going beyond Accetta…

Addendum: as stated here and elsewhere, this blogger now aligns himself with Joseph Accetta in  thinking that the TS image was probably dyed onto the linen, rather than heat-scorched. (I would not have rated dyeing per se very highly, but for the fact that dyeing onto linen is difficult without use of a mordant, that the most common mordant – alum – is highly acidic, and that sulphuric acid from slow alum hydrolysis may explain the faint ghost image we see today (so I’ve gone beyond Dr. Accetta  somewhat). So how does printed fabric respond to the conversions outlined above?

The posting, on Colin’s blog, started March 8th, has been growing. There is this from additional material added just yesterday:

Note: either of the two hydroxides can easily rearrange to make the hydrated oxides, like, er. McCrone’s iron oxide, accommodated within a "painted image" scenario. (Did he ever consider dyeing, as distinct from painting?).

Speaking of which – dyeing that is -  the so-called "dye-rot" that degrades some ancient printed textiles has been attributed to iron-based mordants, especially those that use iron sulphates, as distinct from iron chlorides (sulphuric acid being non-volatile, unlike hydrochloric).

Heaven help us:

Note the current focus on dyeing,  with initially soluble pigments, as distinct from painting with insoluble ones. Hat tip again to Joseph Accetta, assuming the problem of reverse-side (aka obverse-side) action can be resolved. If it can’t, this blogger may need to revert to instant thermal scorching….

Or supernatural?

Note:The image shown above is accidental. It is of a drop cloth used below a plastic grid while dyeing other pieces of cloth as discussed in Lisa Kerpoe’s blog having nothing whatsoever to do with the shroud or the topic at hand.

  1. Julian Stroh
    March 17, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Did the UV light people succeed in duplicating the right type of image formation?

  2. Louis
    March 17, 2015 at 7:06 am

    At least Colin keeps an open mind. Important scientists like Hawking also do, although apparently influenced by Dawkins. It is biology influencing physics.
    As for the discussion about the supernatural when it comes to the Shroud, it is between the “naturalists” versus “miraculists” in the pro-authenticity camp, involving Maillard versus Radiation-like processes:
    https://www.academia.edu/11355553/Dr._Paolo_Di_Lazzaro_explains_his_research_on_image_formation_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin

  3. March 17, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Wonderful stuff from the sciencebod! Now, this seems a rather complex dye job. Do we have precedent in the medieval period for the application of the method – whether in art work or commercial use? And are we still speaking of a contact image (dye was placed on a model then pressed on the linen) or was the dye applied by an artist – because it would have taken a master artist working with such an ‘enigmatic’ medium.

    • March 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Please see David Accetta’s St.Louis paper for an answer to your question, DavidG.

      http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/stlaccettapaper.pdf

      Yes, we are still talking about a template, needed to account for the negative image, non-directional character, 3D properties etc. The beauty of Accetta’s model is that the template for dyeing can be woodblock, which is easily carved and smoothed to make a bas relief or even a more fully 3D resemblance to a life-sized effigy of a deceased man in repose. Where Accetta and I would perhaps differ is that he seems to envisage the present TS image as being the primary dye imprint.That seems unlikely in view of superficiality and lack of obverse side image. I suspect that the TS now displays what initially was a slow-forming secondary ‘ghost’ image, the primary one having disappeared a long time ago, with or without assistance. Might it be the well-known acidic etching effect of certain H2SO4 acid-releasing dye mordants (alum or iron sulphates) that produced the present ghost image, acting in a chemical manner not dissimilar to that of thermal scorching, i.e. by chemically dehydrating sensitive linen carbohydrates? It’s not easy to test experimentally, knowing nothing about time scales. but that has not prevented this blogger from parking dozens of treated linen offcuts in his home airing cupboard where they are being kept cosy at 18 to 27 degrees Celsius 24/7, except holidays. Or might that need to be 24/7/365n?

      • March 17, 2015 at 10:46 am

        Correction: It’s Joseph Accetta, of course. And it should have been 24/7/52n at the end.

      • March 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

        Right, I refreshed my memory on the woodcut theory. I found this comment you’d made in one of the discussions:

        “If a woodprint had been used as template, would it not have been possible to get a more realistic differentiation, say between hair and skin?”

        That’s still a very good question. The woodcut method actually should have produced a much sharper image, even allowing for fading. Or did the artist realize, as do Bigfoot hoaxers, that you must leave the image deliberately out of focus for best effect.

        • March 17, 2015 at 11:12 am

          The primary Mark1 imprint may well have been sharp, David, and the hair more hair-like. But what if the image we see today is a Mark 2 ghost formed under the initial dye-mordant imprint? Had it been produced by slow-release sulphuric acid and the associated ‘chemical etching’, then we have a ready explanation, do we not, for the fuzziness of today’s image, to say nothing of faintness and extreme superficiality, but relative permanence (“scorches”, chemical as well as thermal, being resistant to further fading).

      • March 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

        I have one tiny problem with the man-made contact print theory (woodcut, scorch, etc). It’s the in the fold. Who folds a death shroud from top to bottom? In all my years helping my dad collect corpses (he was a mortician I should add lest you think we were graverobbers) we never placed a blanket over a body from head to toe. It was always from side to side. It’s the most logical way to cover a body that has been placed on a linen.

        Unless of course one was forced to use a linen that was not meant for this kind of purpose.

        Why would a medieval forger use the head to toe method? Was this the common burial practice of the time? Perhaps a historian could provide insight there.

        The Gospels mention the burial linens Jesus was wrapped in — unless ‘wrapped’ is a bad translation, do we not usually associate wrapping as something done side to side? Would that not be the expectation of pilgrims looking at the relic?

        It may seem a rather minor detail, but it’s one that perplexes me.

        • March 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

          Answer: maybe to make it instantly obvious, say to a medieval pilgrim, within seconds of his or her first laying eyes on the dual image, that the two images were of the same man, proto-photographed (via contact imprinting) from both sides. Indeed, is that not part of the ‘photogenic’ appeal of the TS, that it’s not only a proto-photograph, but a proto-Hans-Eysenk-test-your-own-IQ puzzle as well? Spot the up-and-over geometry and chronology!

          Side-by-side images might be more funereally-correct, but might they not be confused, if only momentarily, with two different subjects? First impressions (literally!) count.

        • March 17, 2015 at 12:48 pm

          I’d think a side-by-side image would be even stronger in making the direct link that these images belong to one man — here’s his face, here’s his buttocks.

          However, for displaying the relic, the current linen allows for a much grander, panoramic view. This would have been a logical decision for whoever created it for the purpose of massive pilgrimage displays.

          A curious pilgrim asking “Why’d they put the linen on Him like that for?” could easily be dismissed by a cleric with “You ignorant sod, that’s how the Jews buried their dead!” Who’d have known?

          It’s not an insurmountable question, and yet it’s one of the many little questions about the relic that leave me scratching my head. Odd fold, odd fold…

  4. Hugh Farey
    March 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    It seems that Quem Quaeritis shrouds were ceremonially brought from the ‘tomb’ to the altar and laid on it (see, for example, “The Easter Sepulchre” by William H. Forsyth). Some time ago I suggested that the Shroud might have been designed as an altar cloth, which at a stroke would explain a) why it is long and thin and b) why the images are head to head. The centre of the altar would carry Christ’s head(s) rather than his feet, which would hang over the sides of the altar.

  5. anoxie
    March 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    “It’s not an insurmountable question, and yet it’s one of the many little questions about the relic that leave me scratching my head. Odd fold, odd fold…”

    David, what do you notice immediately if you put the frontal and dorsal images side-by-side?

    • March 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      They are not the same height. The dorsal is ‘taller’. One wouldn’t notice that with the current linen of course. That would support the reason a forger might have went with that configuration, assuming a side-to-side imprint produces the same size mismatch.

      • anoxie
        March 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        This is quite paradoxal if you consider a gifted forger, the anatomical precision is exquisite but the size mismatch is obvious.

        • March 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm

          Quite so. What is the most accepted explanation for the size mismatch?

        • anoxie
          March 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm

          I guess the forger aligned woodblocks side-by-side, realized he had messed up, then decided to align them head to toe.

        • March 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm

          Cheeky.

  6. March 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    “I’d think a side-by-side image would be even stronger in making the direct link that these images belong to one man — here’s his face, here’s his buttocks.

    However, for displaying the relic, the current linen allows for a much grander, panoramic view. This would have been a logical decision for whoever created it for the purpose of massive pilgrimage displays.”

    It’s not just a “grander panoramic view” David. The TS image was arresting when first displayed (and subsequently) for a quite different reason: one of the images is ‘upside down’.

    Putting the two images side-by-side does not create the same arresting image. Medieval pictures are full of folk side-by-side, while generally better protected against inclement weather.

    Think “upside down”. That upside-down half is an essential part of the genius of the TS image – centuries ahead of its time in terms of immediate ‘visual impact’. It required the viewer to think and interpret. It created an instant talking point. It spawned this blog – centuries later.

    • March 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Upside down – you mean if displayed vertically end to end. But wasn’t it publically displayed horizontally?

      • March 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm

        Yes, David, it was almost certainly displayed horizontally, as in the ancient woodcuts, lithographs etc, no doubt for practical reasons. But would that not have made for a more challenging puzzle for 14th century news junkies? Making sense of that configuration required mentally turning the image through 90 degrees to appreciate that it was an ‘up-and-over’ image.

        There’s a rationale for the ‘up-and-over’ configuration, btw. It has nothing to do whatsoever with the TS as a purported burial shroud, and everything to do with it as a (visualised) means of transporting a crucified man from cross to tomb in Joseph of Arimathea’s hastily secured bolt of linen.

        Think impromptu stretcher, doubled back over the top surface of the body to hide the victim’s injuries and (probable) nudity from the gaze of spectators. Think a medieval entrepreneur’s desire to create/simulate a pilgrim-attracting sweat/blood imprint, one designed to rival the Veil of Veronica, finally exceeding his wildest dreams of success.

        • March 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm

          I like the creativity in that stretcher idea. Though it seems to be stretching (!) it a bit. I do like giving our forbearers credit for being outside the box (tomb) thinkers.

          BTW, could the dye method have worked with an actual corpse, rather than a woodcut? It is the medieval period afterall…people got murdered for less.

  7. Thibault HEIMBURGER
    March 17, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I have not read the entire Colin’s blog posting. I will.

    But obviously, with time, he introduces more (and more) ingredients.

    Why ?

    • March 17, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      When MDs start to sound like amateur psychiatrists. it’s time to head for the hills. Bye to this thread.,

      Or as my wife says “Above your paygrade, Heimburger”.

      • Thibault HEIMBURGER
        March 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        Colin: “When MDs start to sound like amateur psychiatrists. it’s time to head for the hills. Bye to this thread.,
        Or as my wife says “Above your paygrade, Heimburger”.

        “Amateur psychiatrists” ????
        I do not see any kind of relationship with my post.
        Are you becoming completely mad, Colin?
        I DO NOT accept such insanity from you.

        Colin:
        “as stated here and elsewhere, this blogger now aligns himself with Joseph Accetta in thinking that the TS image was probably dyed onto the linen, rather than heat-scorched.”

        “Rather than heat-scorched”….Interesting. But why do you abandon this hypothesis which, allegedly, explains all the properties of the TS image ?? No explanation.

        “Might we finally have a handle on the Shroud-imprinting technology by assuming Accetta is correct with his dyeing, but taking it a stage further? Suppose alum had been used as a mordant, applied first to impregnate the linen. Then suppose the dye imprinting was done, so that the dye attached quickly to the surface mordant, so there was no appreciable reverse-side coloration.”

        “Surface mordant” is meaningless in this context.
        To apply FIRST a mordant (to “impregnate the linen”) and THEN the dye. Do you know what you are speaking about ?

        And now:
        “I need a name to describe my new modelling of the Shroud image (inspired by Joseph Accetta) using an alternative to his iron/oak gall ink. Mine uses alum-mordanted concentrated aqueous extract of pomegranate rind deployed not as ink, this syrup being deployed as a kind of natural sticky “paint”.

        Dye, alum, alum-mordanted concentrated aqueous extract of pomegranate rind …syrup .” as a paint. etc…

        Nevertheless, STURP DID NOT FIND any trace of dye, alum, iron/oak gall ink… and the observed fact that the image fibers are not cemented together shows that no kind of paint, dye or ..syrup has never been used to make the TS image.

        Your aim is clearly to adopt the STURP conclusions that are in line with your conclusions but to eliminate those that are obviously against them.

        Yes, bye to this thread.

        • March 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm

          What you have done in a few words is to display your ignorance of the three standard options for deploying a dye-mordant.

          I suggest you read up on pre-mordanting (as opposed to meta-mordanting and post-mordanting).

          Frankly I have no further time for you and your never-ending stream of negative caustic comment, Thibault.

          You are a medic, not a scientist. You know next to nothing about the scientific modus operandi – model-building, model-testing and model refinement. Stick to the things you know about.

        • Thibault HEIMBURGER
          March 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

          Colin,
          Do you really think that I do not know anything about the scientific method ?
          You don’t know anything about me.

          Do you really think I know nothing about dye-mordant?
          I studied it several years ago.

          Let’s forget that for the time being.

          I would like to make very preliminary comments about J. Acetta’s hypothesis: the Shroud image as a woodcut imprint:

          “Woodcuts are a technique of printing designs from planks of wood incised parallel to
          the vertical axis of the wood’s grain. It is one of the oldest methods of making prints
          from a relief surface, having been used in China to decorate textiles since the 5th
          century ad. In Europe, printing from wood blocks on textiles was known from the early
          14th century, but it had little development until paper began to be manufactured in
          France and Germany at the end of the 14th century.”

          http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravure_sur_bois

          The oldest woodcut known in OCCIDENT is the so-called ” Bois Protat”
          http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bois_Protat

          ” Aujourd’hui, la bibliographie spécialisée est revenue sur la datation très précoce de Bouchot et s’accorde à considérer que le bois Protat date du début du xve siècle.”

          In other words, the first known woodcut template known in Occident ( the French ‘Bois Potrat” woodcut) was made AFTER 1400 A.D.

          The specialized bibliography demonstrates that there is no example of woodcut imprint in Occident before the beginning of the 15th century in Occident.

          Obviously the shroud (even if it is a 14th artifact) can not be a woodcut imprint.

    • March 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Just when it was getting interesting. Sigh.

  8. daveb of wellington nz
    March 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    First a scorch from a metal template; Actually more of a thermal imprint. Or perhaps a blood and sweat imprint. Now it’s dyed from a woodcut. (Uh … no evidence of dyes, except the radiocarbon sample). How many elephants did the blind Indians need to observe before they came to the truth about the elephant?

  9. don
    March 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    They keep forgetting about the blood. Blood would have to go on the cloth before dye imprint. Can a medieval artist do that? Maybe, but why would he??? If that was the case, the dye would have been mixed in with the blood. We would have detected the mixture.

  10. Joe Marino
    March 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I can’t help but comment that while the St. Louis conference was labeled a “pseudo-conference,” material from that conference was used as a springboard by that labeler for ideas in at least 2 threads. Perhaps the conference fulfilled one of its aims to further research?

  11. Louis
    March 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Colin wrote: “I suspect that the TS now displays what initially was a slow-forming secondary ‘ghost’ image, the primary one having disappeared a long time ago, with or without assistance.”
    Hey Colin, quite right. It is possible that the primary one disappeared with assistance from the Father: https://www.academia.edu/11355553/Dr._Paolo_Di_Lazzaro_explains_his_research_on_image_formation_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin
    The above interview cum paper has details that no one has challenged. There is no Maillard reaction, no scorch, no printing, no dye….

  12. Max patrick Hamon
    March 18, 2015 at 7:44 am

    .. just pre- or light mordanting of remoisened sweat and blood.

    • Louis
      March 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Max
      Can you explain further? How did you reach the conclusion about the mordanting?
      You have at least proffered an opinion. No scientist or anyone else involved in science has taken up the gauntlet when it comes to this interview cum paper:
      https://www.academia.edu/11355553/Dr._Paolo_Di_Lazzaro_explains_his_research_on_image_formation_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin
      What is it? Does it mean that they have been defeated?

      • Hugh Farey
        March 19, 2015 at 3:06 am

        Hi Louis,
        I think Paolo di Lazzaro’s interview is a model of restrained scientific observation, but I am at a loss to find a gauntlet. What in particular do you think he sets as a challenge, and who do you think might have been defeated by not taking it on?

        • Louis
          March 19, 2015 at 7:06 am

          Good morning, Hugh
          What I intended to convey is this:
          — What can those in the field of science say about how the laboratories proceeded in 1988?
          — Can they challenge the demonstration that the image has nothing to do with scorch?
          — What can they say about the Maillard effect, which even Ray Rogers felt was just a hypothesis, and which I challenged?
          — Can they show where paint comes into the picture?
          — Can they write a paper about how dye was involved?
          — Can they write a paper about how some kind of ink was used?
          Lastly,they will have to write a paper, preferably a peer-reviewed one, taking on all the special characteristics in the image, as described in the interview.

  13. John Green
    March 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I like parts of Colin’s and Charles idea, I also dislike some parts. I’m on the fence on this one.
    All these ideas and questions are very important because if the Shroud is ever test again we have more ideas on what to look for.

    I feel we will never be 100% certain what caused it but we will be able to cross out many things. I think that Christans believe that Jesus rose from the grave because of their faith in the Bible so if will not change them, but it may change people like me that’s unsure about that.

    • Sampath Fernando
      March 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      No one knows how “Big Bang” was happened. So there are many hypotheses for it. So far no one has given a reasonable explanation beyond any doubt. Same thing with the image on the Shroud of Turin, no one has given a explanation beyond any doubt. Who can give a correct explanation? No one. But there are so many people publishing articles and misleading the mankind. Is it the biggest sin they are doing?

    • Louis
      March 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      The Resurrection was ambiguous, but not the effect….

  14. March 19, 2015 at 2:26 am

    There arrive moments in every scientist’s life when he has to show his cards, place head on block etc.That time has come for Modified Scorch Model Mark 2.

    It’s still scorching note, i.e. superficial surface modification and yellowing of linen carbohydrates, but happening slowly and insidiously and non-intentionally via chemical rather than instant thermally-induced dehydration, oxidation etc. I recognize that some might prefer other descriptions (pyrolysis, caramelization, etching etc) but prefer the deliberate imprecision of “scorching” for now),

    Here’s the proposed title:

    “Towards a new, more chemically-nuanced scorch model for the Shroud of Turin (with hat tip to Joseph Accetta). Think slow-release H2SO4, and maybe iron catalysis too.

    I shall start composing it shortly, paragraph by paragraph on my own site – that being my preferred blogging MO (yes, quirky I know, but it helps me with exposition of ideas that are new and unfamiliar, not only to readers, but to this blogger as well).

    Having once been accused of attempting to poach readers from this site, coaxing them by devious means to come over to the Dark Side, I’m willing (should anyone request it) to cut-and-paste my content here. Yes, to this very thread, instalment by instalment. One has only to ask.

    • Thomas
      March 19, 2015 at 2:59 am

      Good on you Colin and God bless you in your search for truth.

      • anoxie
        March 19, 2015 at 4:26 am

        “It’s still scorching note, i.e. superficial surface modification and yellowing of linen carbohydrates, but happening slowly and insidiously and non-intentionally via chemical rather than instant thermally-induced dehydration, oxidation etc”

        where is the sticky “paint” he’s just described?

        “I need a name to describe my new modelling of the Shroud image (inspired by Joseph Accetta) using an alternative to his iron/oak gall ink. Mine uses alum-mordanted concentrated aqueous extract of pomegranate rind deployed not as ink, this syrup being deployed as a kind of natural sticky “paint”.”

        it seems CB has just given up his new modelling inspired by Joseph Accetta and is trying to go back (again) to a chemical reaction inspired by Rogers without totally giving up scorching…

        this is a kind of brownian motion, not the scientific method.

    • PHPL
      March 19, 2015 at 7:19 am

      Colin Berry is not (yet ?) a celebrity, but even celebrities can’t boast about so many smart people discussing passionately a “shift-drift” in their thinking.

      P.S Joe Marino should seriously consider organizing a conference about Colin Berry’s uniqueness..

    • March 21, 2015 at 3:58 am

      PS: I could have sworn I had sent a summary of my current posting, with the latent Mark2 image proposal. Must be getting senile. Anyway, here it is again if anyone’s interested:

      Title (still the same): Towards a new, more chemically-nuanced model for the Shroud of Turin (with hat tip to STURP’s Joseph Accetta). Think slow-release H2SO4, and maybe iron catalysis too.

      Summary

      What we see today is not what the putative 14th century fabricator of the Shroud intended us or rather his contemporaries to see.The Mark 1 image was a more prominent dye/mordant combination, essentially as proposed by STURP’s Joseph Accetta, imprinted onto linen possibly to resemble dried, ancient sweat (with blood additions too). (See earlier ideas on this site re the Shroud being an attempt to produce a life-size rival to the fabled “Veil of Veronica”). That Mark 1 Accetta image has largely if not entirely disappeared, as a result of natural wear and tear, bleaching by sunlight, detachment of mordant etc etc, possibly even laundering. What remains is a Mark 2 ghost image, still a negative “photograph-like” imprint, one that formed gradually under the dye mordant via chemical action that mimics the effect of scorching with a hot iron. The chemistry would be similar (dehydration, oxidation of linen carbohydrates) but achieved slowly at environmental temperatures by chemical reaction with or without catalysis.

      The chemicals used in medieval bleaching offer ample scope for modelling of slow superficial “scorching” of linen fibres, especially the acid mordants like aluminium and iron sulphates that easily hydrolyse initially to dilute sulphuric acid. The tendency of the latter to become more concentrated due to progressive evaporation of water and increasing concentration to largely anhydrous H2SO4 with a powerful dehydrating action on carbohydrates is well known. Catalysis of oxidation by iron salts is an added possibility, given the ability of variable valency iron salts (Fe++ and Fe+++) to facilitate organic redox cycles, acting as intermediary electron acceptor/donors between atmospheric oxygen and oxidisable substrate.The traces of “iron oxide” that Walter McCrone and his microscope detected on the Shroud may not have been artist’s red ochre, as proposed, but oxidized iron mordant, e.g. iron (III) oxide-hydroxide, FeO(OH).H2O, more commonly written as Fe(OH)3.

      The posting is now essentially complete, with a brief description of the result of my first experimental imprintings with an Accetta-type formula (substituting a tannin-rich extract of pomegranate pith and rind for oak galls, while containing dye mordant (alum) and gum arabic). These are early days, with much still to do, and with no guarantee that short term storage (whether for months, years or even decades) will duplicate what we see (or no longer see) on today’s TS.

  15. Hugh Farey
    March 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you, Louis.

    “— What can those in the field of science say about how the laboratories proceeded in 1988?”
    I think there is little doubt that the laboratories performed their duties perfectly well and reported their results to their employer, which I believe was the British Museum, acting on behalf of the Shroud’s owner, in as frank a way as possible. The dismissal of the protocol and the selection of the site was nothing to do with them. When the results were collected, “the spread of the measurements for Sample 1 [was] somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted.” Now the statisticians took over, and there has been erudite but inconclusive disagreement of the “my statistician is better than your statistician” type ever since. The Nature authors submitted their calculations to Prof. Bray of the Istituto di Metrologia in Turin, and Remi van Haelst submitted his to Dr Leese of the British Museum and Prof. Jouvenoux of the University of Marseille-Aix. Then Riani and Atkinson carried out their analysis establishing the statistical likeliness of a chronological gradient. But what does all this mean? All the results came out between 1200 and 1400, during the last 50 years of which the Shroud is known to have been in existence. That in itself is sufficient, as all the statisticians well know, totally to rule out a 1st century date (based on the radiocarbon data alone). It is interesting what while several papers have been written saying that the 95% confidence range is wrong, none have suggested a value that might be correct, based on the statistiics at hand. It would not include the first thousand years AD. Prof di Lazzaro is well aware of that and so is careful not to commit himself to a denial.

    “— Can they challenge the demonstration that the image has nothing to do with scorch?”
    The definition of a scorch changes almost daily on this blog, but ultimately comes down to a decomposition of the linen with concomitant discolouration. di Lazzaro sensibly thinks that draping a cloth over a full-size heated statue and removing it again may take too long for merely superficial effects to appear uniformly. The critical factors seem to be the intensity of the ‘heat’ and the duration of its application. Essentially all his experiments are, in fact, attempts to scorch cloth in such a way as to reproduce the discolouration and superficiality of the Shroud image.

    “— What can they say about the Maillard effect, which even Ray Rogers felt was just a hypothesis, and which I challenged?”
    I don’t think they say anything about the Maillard effect at the moment. It needs considerably more verification before there is anything to be debated.

    “— Can they show where paint comes into the picture?”
    Yes and no. If paint or pigment was originally involved, there certainly seems to be very little of it left. McCrone’s iron oxide, and various more scattered particles, may or may not have anything to do with it.

    “— Can they write a paper about how dye was involved?”
    I myself have wondered if the chronological radiocarbon gradient might have been due to a dye applied to the Holland backing cloth to make it match the shroud, especially in the ‘missing corners’ area. I don’t think anyone has said much more, have they?

    “— Can they write a paper about how some kind of ink was used?”
    See entry under paint.

    “Lastly,they will have to write a paper, preferably a peer-reviewed one, taking on all the special characteristics in the image, as described in the interview.”
    No, they won’t. Di Lazzaro is a proper scientist, and rightly points out not only that his experiments do not show the “only” way of discolouring the cloth appropriately, but also that the energy involved in creating the entire double image is “out the realm of science. As scientists, we feel uncomfortable when dealing with a body emitting a hypothetical ultrashort burst of VUV radiation having a peak power and a fluence equivalent to the contemporary emission of, say, ten thousand excimer laser shots. A miracle would be necessary, which cannot fit into any current scientific paradigm.” Di Lazzaro’s are interesting, but are nothing like the last word on the subject, as he himself would be the first to agree.

    • Thibault HEIMBURGER
      March 19, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Hugh,

      – ““— What can those in the field of science say about how the laboratories proceeded in 1988?””
      I agree with your answer: ” I think there is little doubt that the laboratories performed their duties perfectly well and reported their results to their employer, which I believe was the British Museum, acting on behalf of the Shroud’s owner, in as frank a way as possible.”

      Nevertheless a difference of about two centuries in such a small sample is at least amazing. Such a difference can not come from different cleaning methods used by the 3 laboratories (see the results of the other samples tested).

      The best French expert in ancient textiles (Moulherat) was shocked by the fact that the C14 sample came only from a single area.

      The additional statistical analysis (Van Haelst, Riani etc..) clearly show that there is something abnormal in this dated sample.

      “— Can they write a paper about how dye was involved?”
      I myself have wondered if the chronological radiocarbon gradient might have been due to a dye applied to the Holland backing cloth to make it match the shroud, especially in the ‘missing corners’ area. I don’t think anyone has said much more, have they?”

      I don’t understand your answer. Why are you speaking about the Holland cloth in this context ?

    • Louis
      March 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Directed to Hugh since he directed his comments to me:
      Hugh, there’s nothing to thank me for. I can say the following:
      — If you read the parts about the laboratories in the interview carefully:
      https://www.academia.edu/11355553/Dr._Paolo_Di_Lazzaro_explains_his_research_on_image_formation_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin
      you will note that a) part of the sample was retained in Arizona and b) the paper published in “Nature” used the word “conclusively”, insinuated in the “1260-1390!” on the blackboard at the BM press conference. Would you call that correct?
      It was Professor Luigi Gonella who trampled on the protocols, encouraged perhaps by his boss Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero’s “Carmelite spirituality”, and the laboratories were not to blame. The statistics may leave some gaps to be filled indeed, but that is only a part of the story. As you know, there are many other facts to challenge the carbon dating.
      — It’s nice to see that you feel that the Maillard reaction needs considerable more verification. Ray Rogers was open to other points of view, but one can detect that some kind of positivism was being advanced. Other than this, my objection arises because history will also have to be taken into account, as stated in the interview.
      — It seems that paint has to be ruled out, given the STURP examinations. It has already been pointed out by I. Wilson et al that painted copies of the Shroud were pressed on the relic, particles from the painted roof fell on the relic as it was being examined in Turin in 1978
      — I don’t see any connection with the Holland cloth, which is red
      — Yes, if we can say little about paint, much less can be said about ink
      — Correct, scientists have to stick to science as far as possible and there is more research to do.

  16. daveb of wellington nz
    March 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    “All the results came out between 1200 and 1400, during the last 50 years of which the Shroud is known to have been in existence. That in itself is sufficient, as all the statisticians well know, totally to rule out a 1st century date (based on the radiocarbon data alone)”

    That may be true of the single non-representative, highly suspect otherwise untested sample, which we now know included a surfeit of foreign material, cotton, gum, dyes, not appearing elsewhere on the cloth. It can hardly be said to be conclusively demonstrated for the cloth itself.

    • anoxie
      March 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      “It is interesting what while several papers have been written saying that the 95% confidence range is wrong, none have suggested a value that might be correct, based on the statistiics at hand.”

      You’re mixing things up Hugh, but could you give the references of these papers (at least one) in order to clarify this misunderstanding?

  17. Hugh Farey
    March 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Well I can’t agree with that, obviously, and deny that “we now know [the sample] included a surfeit of foreign material, cotton, gum, dyes, not appearing elsewhere on the cloth.” However, you are perfectly correct that my comment above was purely statistical, and referred to the data as presented. Taking all the evidence about the Shroud as a whole, a 1st century date is less improbable, but that is subjective and impossible to quantify.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      March 19, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      You’re obviously in denial of the evidence, Hugh (Raes, Rogers, STURP). I’ll make a stronger comment. The dating of the sample has so little to do with the substance of the main cloth that it is utterly worthless in speculating about a date for the Shroud!

      • Hugh Farey
        March 19, 2015 at 5:18 pm

        “You’re obviously in denial of the evidence.” For any contamination to skew a medieval date to a 1st century one, there has to be at least twice as much contamination as original. This is well known, and neither Raes nor Rogers nor any of the STuRP team provided any evidence for this proportion at all. Benford and Marino, and Garcia-Valdez, had a go, but I do not find their observations convincing. Can you cite anybody else who think that two thirds of the radiocarbon sample was contamination?

  18. Hugh Farey
    March 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks, anoxie and Thibault.

    I think I was wrong, actually, anoxie, as Remi van Haelst does calculate a corrected 95% confidence level in his ‘Radiocarbon Dating The Shroud’ which is 504 – 859 BP. This corresponds to about 1150 – 1440 AD. So a critical dismissal of the competence of the Nature statisticians, and reworking of the data from the start by a more rigorous method still totally precludes a 1st century date for the Shroud.

    Thibault, after reading Rogers’s accounts of gums and dyes and so on, it occurred to me that when the Holland cloth was first attached, it made a brilliant white contrast to the faint yellow of the Shroud, and may have had a small amount of colouration added at the corners, and possibly at the poker holes to try to make it blend in. I speculated that where the Raes and radiocarbon samples were taken from, the Holland cloth underneath would retain its white colour, which indeed is the case, as Rogers’s “Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin”, Figure 18, and “http://www.holyshroudguild.org/uploads/2/7/1/7/2717873/1309358_orig.jpg” illustrate. I still think this kind of contamination is possible, although I have been disconcerted recently by the demonstration by Ray Schneider in “The Flawed Carbon Dating Process” that any such contamination had the effect of making the Shroud appear older than it really is, not younger. Perhaps a mineral oil was involved.

    • anoxie
      March 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      His conclusion is the opposite: “It is clear, that such large errors are unacceptable for the precision claimed for AMS age rc. determinations.”

      His statistical analysis shows a systematic bias and an unexpected variability in the results pointing to an inhomogeneity of the samples.

      You may disagree with his analysis, but it is a nonsense to use his results to preclude a 1st century date.

      • daveb of wellington nz
        March 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm

        Agree!

      • daveb of wellington nz
        March 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

        Even Fanti’s new pioneering dating methods indicate that a first century date is quite credible,and not at all improbable. .

      • March 20, 2015 at 3:05 am

        Personal translation:
        “It seems to me that, rather than talking about bad luck for the comparison between the laboratories for Turin, we should speak of good luck for the other three tissues, for the averages for each laboratory were very close to each other. A similar correlation was not the rule at the time, if you made comparisons between different laboratories for dating the same finding. The laboratories could be well pleased with the overall result. They could fear the worst”. ”. (Gian Marco Rinaldi: “La statistica della datazione della Sindone”, 2012, I.8. Personal translation).

        NOTE: “The worst” was differences of more than two hundred years.

        And about dispersion:
        “It can be seen that the dispersion of Turin is not the worst. Only one of the other three tissues, Nubia, has a smaller dispersion.
        The difference between the ends of Turin is the smallest.” (Ibid, I.11.) (http://sindone.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/2/0/1220953/nature_statistica.pdf)

        A very conclusive article… in Italian, I am sorry.

  19. Hugh Farey
    March 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    No, you miss the point, anoxie. Remi van Haest does indeed reject the precision claimed, and identifies a lack of homogeneity, but even so he comes up with his own estimation of the precision, namely: “Because THEORETICALLY, any measurement between the limits 606 – 145 = 416 and 795 + 126 = 921 can be the TRUE date, a good estimation of the 95% confidence range can obtained from a DOUBLE statistical analysis based on MINIMUM and MAXIMUM values. Any date between those limits 504-859 can be the TRUE date. Here, about 30 % of this age range will be YOUNGER than the HISTORICAL age of 1355 AD.” This amounts to 1150 – 1440 AD, as I said above.

    I do not disagree with his analysis. I agree with him completely. On the radiocarbon data alone, the Shroud cannot date to the 1st century.

    • March 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Hugh, I’m not sure where I stand on the C-14 dating but if we do acknowledge that the Shroud could be as young as 1150 AD, doesn’t this only cloud the issue of how it was made? The historical record is 1355 AD, how does one explain a gap of two centuries. It’s pushing the bounds of reason to explain how it was made in 1355 AD, move that date back two centuries and you’re into the twilight zone — at least with any hoax theories. Naturalistic theories may still work.

      Sure wish Turin would allow some more non-invasive testing/observation.

    • anoxie
      March 20, 2015 at 1:55 am

      “No, you miss the point, anoxie. Remi van Haest does indeed reject the precision claimed, and identifies a lack of homogeneity, but even so he comes up with his own estimation of the precision”

      I repeat, you miss the point.

      Remi Van Haelst has:

      a/ identified a lack of homogeneity which he deemed sufficient to reject the validity of the C14 dating.

      b/ determined another 95% confidence interval, which btw you seem to have just discovered. BUT, this is a theoretical exercise, assuming the sample is homogeneous (which he has just proven to be wrong), to illustrate that the interval you should get is unacceptable for the claimed precision of the AMS age rc. determinations.

      It is a total nonsense to quote his calculation to preclude a 1st century date.

      • Hugh Farey
        March 20, 2015 at 2:56 am

        I’m afraid I disagree. Even if the three samples came from completely different cloths, there is sufficient data to preclude a 1st century date for any of them.

        It is interesting to speculate how this debate would have taken shape if only one laboratory had dated only one sample.

        It is also clear that if the anomalous dates are due to contamination, then that contamination has had the effect of making the dates younger than they really should be, not older.

        • March 20, 2015 at 3:08 am

          See my last comment above, please.

        • anoxie
          March 20, 2015 at 7:15 am

          “That in itself is sufficient, as all the statisticians well know, totally to rule out a 1st century date (based on the radiocarbon data alone).”

          Remi Van Haelst doesn’t rule out a 1st century date, what he rules out is the validity of the C14 dating.
          According to his article the pb is either an inhomogeneity in the sample OR an unacceptable interval if you assume that the sample is homogeneous.

          “I do not disagree with his analysis. I agree with him completely.”

          Then I’m afraid you don’t understand his point.

        • Thibault HEIMBURGER
          March 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

          Hugh,

          I agree with Anoxie.

          You wrote: “I’m afraid I disagree. Even if the three samples came from completely different cloths, there is sufficient data to preclude a 1st century date for any of them.”

          Your sentence above implies that you seem to think that, in the repair hypothesis, this very small area is comprised of several sub-units with different ages.

          As you know it is not at all the case with the repair hypothesis.

          The repair hypothesis clearly states that the C14 sample is entirely comprised of a blend of new threads and old threads, with a majority of new threads in all of the sample. The proportion of new threads vs old threads being slightly different, which might explain the anomaly.

          I completely agree with Anoxie: “Remi Van Haelst doesn’t rule out a 1st century date, what he rules out is the validity of the C14 dating.
          According to his article the pb is either an inhomogeneity in the sample OR an unacceptable interval if you assume that the sample is homogeneous.

          Does it exist a 95% confidence interval of 3 centuries (1150 – 1440) in any kind of C14 dating performed on a homogeneous small sample?
          Probably not.

          Therefore the sample is not homogeneous.

          What kind of inhomogeneity can you imagine ?

      • Hugh Farey
        March 20, 2015 at 9:22 am

        Is he available for comment?

  20. March 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Have included this passage in my current posting:

    “Nature of the template? Woodcut? Customised one-off, or one that if preserved would be recognized as consistent with art history or early attempts at fabric printing? Did it really need to be wood? Might not easily mouldable clay have been a more convenient material for a one-off, and then quickly hammered into small pieces, destroying the only evidence as to method of manufacture?”

    http://colinb-sciencebuzz.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/towards-new-more-chemically-nuanced.html

  21. daveb of wellington nz
    March 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Nobody introduces such foreign material into a sacred cloth without a deliberate purpose, an obvious attempt at its conservation. The implied repair was evidently so skilfully wrought that the introduction of new linen disguised to match the old is a reasonable conjecture. The deliberate omission of pretesting cannot now exclude this possibility of new linen. It makes any attempt at an assessment of percentages in order to fudge an adjusted date quite pointless, and why I say that dating of the sample “is utterly worthless in speculating about a date for the Shroud!” Even Raes noted a tex difference in the weft threads of his two pieces, yet only a slight difference in the warp threads.

    • Hugh Farey
      March 20, 2015 at 3:01 am

      “It makes any attempt at an assessment of percentages in order to fudge an adjusted date quite pointless.” Well, no, obviously. This is grasping at a straw which simply isn’t there. Your comment seems to imply that all the dates from all the samples can be assumed to be random. This is statistically wholly untrue.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      March 20, 2015 at 4:46 am

      That is utter crap, Hugh, and you know very well that I have not implied that at all. You are the one grasping at straws. First, “all the samples” Hah, there was ever only one sample! And I’ve clearly stated elsewhere, that if the results for this one sample didn’t match, as they morally ought to have, the induction had to be that the labs had inconsistent standards, or that this one single sample was itself heterogeneous. Ironically they did fail a chi square test, as I’ve elaborated on another thread.

      My point is, which you have ignored, that because of the contamination, we don’t even know if new linen thread was introduced and disguised as old thread. Raes’ tex differences between his two pieces might even be suggestive of this. That is why I state that even allowing for known contamination of non-linen elements, the results from the sample are utterly worthless as an indicator of the age of the cloth.

      It seems to me that merely because radiocarbon dating is a fancy scientific technique, you consider it infallible, even when it is shoddily executed. But it requires greater insight to comprehend the principles of science than a mere technical knowledge, Part of it is to comprehend what representative sampling is about! Or as another correspondent has put it, next time you’re purchasing a replacement vehicle, I think you’ll do more than just checking whether the tail-light is in working order!

  22. Hugh Farey
    March 20, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I think we’ll we just have to disagree on this one.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      March 20, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      OK, then just check the tail-light and see what you end up with!

  23. Hugh Farey
    March 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    “Your sentence above implies that you seem to think that, in the repair hypothesis, this very small area is comprised of several sub-units with different ages.” No, Thibault, I don’t think that. What I am saying is that even if the laboratories had inadvertently tested three unrelated pieces of cloth, there is nothing in the results that can indicate that any of them date from before 1150 or after 1440. Actually I think that there is a contamination gradient, as demonstrated by Riani and Atkinson, and that the contamination produced an older date than the actual one, as demonstrated by Ray Schneider. Given that hypothesis, the radiocarbon data still suggest a date between 1150 and 1440, or in this case a little narrower. What I think would be useful would be for a statistician to start from the raw data, accept the hypothesis that the samples were chronologically contaminated, and work out what can be determined about the age. I think he will find that the limits of 95% probability are still 1150 to 1440, and that any date from before 1000AD can be wholly ruled out.

    Incidentally, this is the third time I have mentioned, in this blog posting, that a committed authenticist has clearly demonstrated that any contamination had the effect of making the Shroud appear older, not younger, than its actual age. I did mention it before, and someone (perhaps anoxie or OK?) said they could reply to it. I would be very interested to know what they or anyone else think about this, as in the absence of any explanation it is truly a knock-out blow to the whole interweaving hypothesis and, by extension, to any serious challenge to the radiocarbon date.

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