You’ve got to love the experimentation and impressive results so far

imageColin Berry gives this lengthy title to a blog postings over at his Science Buzz blog: The chemical principles behind the iconic Turin Shroud can now be explained. All that remains is to produce a look-alike copy. Then he goes on to say:

It’s taken over 3 years of almost non-stop experimentation, but this blogger/retired science bod is now able to explain how the faint negative image of the Turin Shroud was obtained (as a feat of medieval technology, aided by alchemists).

The task: produce a contact image that could be claimed to be that left by the crucified Jesus on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’.

It’s incredibly simple in principle (why didn’t I think of it sooner?):

1. Paint an adult human male (alive or dead) with an organic paste …

2. Press linen against the subject (or subject against linen) …

3. Develop the image chemically….


So I maintain that the plausible science is established – at least in principle-  so far as producing a negative  sepia 2D image from imprinting off a 3D subjectis concerned.  Whether it matches all the additional or peculiar characteristics of the TS image (extreme superficiality, lack of reverse side image, lack of uv fluorescence, microscopic characteristics etc.) remains to be seen. However,let’s insert a note of caution: not all those listed characteristics were necessarily there immediately after image formation, regardless of age – centuries or millennia. Some of those characteristics may be a result of ageing. At present it seems sensible to adopt a broad-brush approach, attempting to accommodate  only those ‘headline’ characteristics of the TS that have led to its being described as iconic or enigmatic. Where the latter are concerned, the prize for the most ‘iconic’ must surely go to the pioneering 1898 photography by Secondo Pia, which converted the Shroud negative back into a positive (by innocently treating the TS as a positive and convereting to a negative!).