Why Didn’t I Think of That

Had there been that iconic double image – both sides of the same man, aligned
head-to-head – in someone or other’s possession for 1300 or years prior to Lirey,
it would have leaked out into the public domain

— Colin Berry

imageTypically and daily, well over three thousand people see each and every new posting to this blog. It may arrive in their inbox as one of the 787 emails that go every time I post something. It may arrive via Twitter and Facebook. On average, one thousand people access a posting from search engines or subject-specific news feeds like Yahoo.  Hundreds type in the URL or click on a book mark.

Some will skim the first few lines, if that. Some will read the whole posting before chucking it. There is, however, a hardcore group that reads the posts carefully and writes comments. These comments often lead to wonderful discussions by several people, almost all of them people better informed and a heck of a lot smarter than me when it comes to the shroud.  Often, the topic drifts. That’s fine.

Now and then someone writes something that grabs your attention.  For instance, this morning I saw the following by Colin Berry. It made me stop and think. I don’t like what Colin wrote because maybe it’s true and I am hoping someone smarter than me will respond:

Had there been that iconic double image – both sides of the same man, aligned head-to-head – in someone or other’s possession for 1300 or years prior to Lirey, it would have leaked out into the public domain, if only as a rumour. It would have required just one quick sketch, scarcely more than graffiti, to become an instantly recognizable logo, signalling the sheet that enveloped the crucified Jesus, leaving his supposed faint bloodied imprint of BOTH sides.

But there’s no record pre-1355 of any such iconic double image. So why not just accept that the double-image did not exist before the mid-14th century?

imageAnd then the topic drifts; call it a two for one comment from Colin. I wonder why Colin thinks what he thinks:

… Why not regard it as an ingenious artefact that has (allegedly) perplexed the brightest and best of modern day scientists? Or has it? Which top notch scientists have been invited to examine it? If anyone here knows of any, then please name them and their research achievements. Don’t be content to say they were “experts” or highly regarded in their chosen field. State the discoveries and insights for which they are famous.

I say the TS has never been investigated by a top notch scientist associated with a major discovery, no disrespect to the Hellers, Adlers, Rogers etc, certainly not of Nobel Prize standard. Yet the UK institute where one of my medically-qualified offspring works does immunological research is reputed as having a still-active Nobel Prize winner on every floor! They do exist, and I’ve no doubt some are quite approachable. Why has the TS not been evaluated by someone of that standing? …

To my way of thinking, the acclaim that a scientist is top notch and the nominations for prizes and fellowship usually stem from accomplishments made before fame. I think, for instance, of Jonas Salk. He was not an acclaimed top notch scientist or a prize winner when he saw the possibility of developing a polio vaccine. To quote Julius Youngner, a scientist interviewed for a PBS documentary, “Jonas was a young whippersnapper who came out of nowhere, and suddenly is taking on this responsibility…”

I don’t like Colin’s argument. But others might.  He does have a point, however, that can well be directed at some who make exaggerated claims of credentials for shroud scientists and sometimes so-called scientists.

If you want to read the whole discussion, and you should if you have not, visit A Must Read Regarding the Othon de la Roche Hypothesis.  There are, as of this moment, 40 thoughtful, thought-provoking comments.

218 thoughts on “Why Didn’t I Think of That”

  1. It took a little tracking down, but here’s a posting from this site from February this year that addresses the same question, at least in the comments:


    Nudity was cited as a reason for the double image having to wait 1300 years to register in art, or the public consciousness via less formal means.

    But as I said on that thread, a simple silhouette representation of the iconic head-to-head configuration need have offended no sensibilities, and in art there’s always the strategic location of crossed hands or even addition of a loin cloth – the latter being blatant artistic licence needless to say, given it’s not on the original article. Even the plethora of scourge marks, allegedly 372 of them, could be said to make the nudity less explicit, less controversial, via complex patterning of the otherwise bare skin.

    1. Hey Collin, sorry I don’t comment much because of the time it consumes but you referenced an older discussion so I am kinda dragged back into this. I don’t think people were aware of the rest of the image’s existence. I lean towards the hypothesis that the Shroud was folded into a Mandylion type of display (because of the nudity) how many people were given access to the Mandylion and how often? Also who dared to open it up and see the backside of this legendary face cloth and for what reason?
      The nudity was the reason the image was initially folded like this and placed in a reliquary with an opening to the face but I don’t believe subsequent generations had access or knowledge of this fact. This is my 2 cents and what I personally believe.

      1. I might also add, In the Orthodox Church, relics are not readily accessible to the public and no body opens the reliquaries for investigative purposes. Now I have to leave to go to my Orthodox Church for Sunday mass, God bless.

      2. So, for 1300 years or so, the guardians allowed folk to see a framed face only, and told viewers it was a real image of Jesus. But those same viewers would straightaway have spotted it was not a portrait in the usual sense, and indeed an imprint, with hollows for eyes etc, i.e. what today we would call a tone-reversed negative. If an imprint of the face alone, that would make it essentially no different from the Veil of Veronica, but with a difference, namely that the guardians would know that most of the image was concealed from view. How could they bring themselves to withhold that information, knowing they were preventing viewers seeing all the extra information that could be used to describe the image as that of the entire Jesus, and not just on any old sheet of linen, but on Joseph of Arimathea’s “fine linen”, with the visible herringbone weave surely making some viewers make that connection? How many custodians could be relied upon to repress the knowledge that there were scourge marks all over the hidden body, something that could not be deduced from seeing the face alone? How many could repress the information that there was evidence from the blood of nails in hands and feet, and of a lance wound?

        It’s one thing to suggest that a single squeamish owner may have preferred to display an entire body imprint as if simply a “Veil of Veronica”, suppressing a treasure trove of information that backed the biblical account. But to suggest that generations of custodians all conspired for 1300 years to maintain the same pretence, the same ‘conspiracy of silence’ without a single word getting out is frankly asking too much.

        1. PS: have just done a quick back-of-envelope calculation. If the TS had been folded so as to expose just the face with a bit of border and then mounted in a frame, anyone picking it up would notice first of all the weight, given that the total linen would weigh approximately 24 times what was expected if a simple single-layer portrait. Their next response might be to tap the stretched linen lightly to explore further and instead of getting the expected springy response expected from a single layer of linen, their fingers would sink into a wad of linen 24 layers thick.

          So they would realize immediately that they were looking at a small part of a much larger image.

          Let’s now suppose that the lowest part of the face terminates at chin and/or neck level say. The natural thing would be to slip in one’s fingers to see what was lower down. Do that and one starts to see scourge marks on the upper torso. That would surely be the cue to investigate further down, or to see what was above the head (though admittedly one has to probe a fair distance to discover the second ‘inverted’ head).

          Sorry, I simply do not buy into the idea that a heavier-than-expected framed face with no image cut-off at chin/neck level would be taken for granted as “just a compact portrait” of the face only, especially given the enigmatic ‘negative’ character alluded to earlier, to say nothing of the reasonably realistic-looking bloodstains on the forehead, hair etc that would indicate that one was looking at something ominously different from a standard portrait, or even a Veronica-like imprint of the face only. What’s the medieval French for “methinks there’s more here than meets the eye?”

        2. As I said there are relics in my church that nobody dares to touch. Those relics were received from elsewhere and again no one dared to touch them over there either and son on. Relics are treated with great respect in our church, the weight difference is a nonstarter for me because the weight of the cloth could easily evaporate in the weight of the reliquary (probably made of solid wood &/or metal). This is not a 1300 years conspiracy theory. It just takes one believer early on (probably in Jerusalem, Antioch or Edessa) to make that decision and hide the body for respect and the Mandylion would be treated as a Mandylion ever since. It was probably unfolded after it was taken into Constantinople, displayed and witnesses by the crusaders (which is documented). That’s what I believe in and will leave it there. Let’s respectfully agree to disagree.

        3. I’m glad you raised the question of weight, MikeM, something I omitted to mention, focusing more on dimensions (and since finding my ”package’ is a lot more compact than the one proposed by Ian Wilson for the Image of Edessa). I gather that that the TS has never been weighed, but from taking samples (radiocarbon analysis etc) and scaling up, the estimated weight is in the region of 9 kilos.

          Imagine going into a supermarket with a hand basket, and loading with 9 bags of sugar, each 1 kg. You would soon be looking for a trolley instead. Now imagine you were charged with the task of making a long-term mount for 9kg of linen. That’s going to require a sturdy frame, and a strong backboard too. Overall, you are looking at something probably in excess of 12kg in weight – a conservative estimate.

          How likely is it that generations of shadowy custodians would observe an initial injunction made centuries ago, indeed close on millennia, to not go peeking, given that a framed face weighs 12kg or more with protective woodwork? The temptation to go peeking would surely get the better of one or other custodian sppner or later, wanting to find what else was in that heavy container. Yes, I know that some churches insist on strict discipline, but 1300 years without a single free spirit or maverick? As much as one is tempted to ‘agree to disagree’ I say “get real”. The notion of an untouchable container, once closed, never to be reopened, not even for maintenance checks, simply asks too much, human nature being what it is (inquisitive, rebellious etc).

        4. However, there are historic references, or at least historic allusions, to the Mandylion being a large cloth and/or comprising a fully body figure.

        5. Colin, you wrote ” I gather that that the TS has never been weighed, but from taking samples (radiocarbon analysis etc) and scaling up, the estimated weight is in the region of 9 kilos.”

          Sorry, not 9 kilos!

          The radiocarbon dating sample had an average of approximately 21 mg per cm^2. The TS has a size of approximately 113cm x 430 cm. For that size, we get 0.021*113*430 = 1020.39 g. This is just slightly above one kilogram. I have a linen cloth of that size and it weighs very close to one kilogram. This is far from the 9 kilos you mentioned.

          But talking about physics of the Mandylion and whether or not it was a single sheet or a folded sheet, please look at the “Abgar Icon”, where Abgar, represented as Constantine VII, is holding the Mandylion. The right hand is under the Mandylion and the left hand is holding one corner.

          Can a single layer sheet of linen of that size be held that way without having the sheet slide down from your hands? It cannot. Can a single layer sheet looks that way? It cannot has the corner would crumple down.

          But, this is the way it looks if you take a sheet of the size of the TS, fold it to the size seen on this icon, and hold it that way.

        6. Thanks to Mario for his comments, but he has not addressed Colin’s main arguments(which I personally adhere to).

  2. “Had there been that iconic double image – both sides of the same man, aligned
    head-to-head – in someone or other’s possession for 1300 or years prior to Lirey,
    it would have leaked out into the public domain.”

    There are numerous examples of relics kept at Constantinople and even closer to us, at the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris, for which we have no clear complete description. The reasons for this is simple when the history of these relics are analyzed: they were kept out of the public domain.

    How many people saw the inside of the reliquary of the Mandylion while it was in the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris (the reliquary was there for over 550 years)?

    I will not answer the question, but I will let the people interested in this subject to READ about it.

    How many people could have seen the inside of the same reliquary while at Constantinople or Edessa?

    As another example: how many could have seen the piece of stone coming from the tomb of Christ and which was kept at the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris? Do we have any drawing of it? None. It was in the Sainte-Chapelle for 550 years.

  3. Well, either it was or it wasn’t.

    If the Shroud had been known to be a full length double image then it is extraordinary that nobody ever clearly reported it as such.

    If the Shroud was folded up in such a way that nobody knew what was beneath the head, then all those early medieval depictions of nude, crossed hands, entombments are clearly not related to it.

    1. Hugh, sorry, but you do not even make a difference between “nobody” and “a few”, which is necessary in this case.

      The inside of the reliquary of the Mandylion of the Sainte-Chapelle: certainly a few saw it. But not a large number of people. The same thing for the Mandylion in Constantinople, the history of it tells us that it cannot be a large number that saw it. And if it were folded, which I think was the case, even fewer saw it unfolded.

      And as I wrote in the description about the Mandylion of the Sainte-Chapelle, it is unlikely that the Mandylion was folded showing the face only. Certainly not kept that way in its reliquary.

      It is therefore not “it was” or “it wasn’t”. It is rather how many people? And who? And who could have seen it unfolded? Very few according to its history.

      1. I see your point, Mario, but I think it is Colin’s contention (and I agree with him) that if anybody at all knew what the image actually looked like, it would have become common knowledge, or at least common legend. “It would have leaked”, says Colin, and I think he’s right.

        1. I see your point, Mario, but I think it is Colin’s contention (and I agree with him) that if anybody at all knew what the image actually looked like, it would have become common knowledge, or at least common legend. “It would have leaked”, says Colin, and I think he’s right.

          IT HAS LEAKED!!!:

          If you really want to see what my face looks like, I am sending you this linen cloth, on which you will be able to see not only the form of my face, but the divinely transformed state of my whole body.

          Codex Vossianus Latinus Q69.

        2. What exactly should have leaked? That it was a double image, or that it was not a face-only image? For the latter, you know very well that many have cited historical documents that point to a not face-only image.

          “Common knowledge” and “leaked” are very different things. You are now arguing that it should have became “common knowledge” but colin started with “leaked”. So we are slipping into a different discussion. Even if some knowledge leaked, it does not mean that it will become common knowledge. We agree on that?

          In any case, I pointed out a couple of examples about relics that were kept at the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris, kept for five centuries, which we have many details missing (e.g., size, weight, color), and in most cases, no visual reproduction at all.

          I am really asking you, why?

          And these relics are much closer to us in time compared to the Mandylion in Constantinople.

  4. I don’t buy the argument that because there is no extant description of a “full length double image” that the Shroud couldn’t have existed through all those years.
    I agree with Mario.
    There may have been descriptions once which have simply not survived that very long passage of time.

  5. Reply to Mario re weight of TS
    Thanks Mario. That’ll teach me not to go googling in the wee small hours under time pressure. The list of returns showed “9kg” in several places, with references to radiocarbon samples. This morning, in the cold light of day, I find they all go back to a single paragraph in the middle of a 1998 article by a certain controversial microscopist, the one that can be found in the middle of this link:


    It begins with “Some STURP authors admit that the Shroud …”

    While considering that 1kg (approx) makes a lot more intuitive sense than 9 times as much, a caveat is necessary. The weighed samples for radiocarbon dating were image-free. What if the image was NOT entirely chemically-modified , i.e. additive-free, linen fibres. Suppose it still had remnants of an applied substance (nope, not gesso or paint, but something more subtle and interesting, like say, er, white flour, er, toasted). Then the weight of the entire TS linen, had it been measured directly, might turn out to be more than 1kg. Even if a mere half or even quartrer kilo greater, that would be a significant new data point that would need to be flagged up to anyone seeking an explanation for the body image. Oh, and there’s also the weight of the blood to be considered.

  6. We have been here before at the link provided in Colin’s first comment above:

    I had attempted an answer in my comment of Feb 8. I even provided some clues as to the presence of the full length image seen in Constantinople and elsewhere. But the discussion then degenerated into some infantile visual lampooning of my comments making sensible discussion impossible, and I do not seek to make the same mistake twice.

    Briefly, it was not only mere prudery that would have concealed the full length double image, but several other factors as well, and indeed it would be difficult if not impossible to identify a time window within the first millennium when the true nature of the Shroud image could have become publicly known.

    Some of these factors included: need for secrecy in face of imperial persecutions until the time of Constantine; continuing need for later secrecy in face of imperial acquisitiveness of Passion relics; early reluctance (based on O.T. prohibitions) to depict icongraphy until about the sixth century; Periods of iconoclasm 726 – 786 & 814 – 842, with icon veneration not being restored until 843; Byzantine reluctance to reveal to the public gaze those relics considered especially sacred (Mike M comment above); Byzantine superstition concerning the use of Christ imagery on coinage and for military purposes; a specific reason relating to fear of earthquakes, and likely implicating the Shroud specifically.

    Prudery also may indeed have played a part. Even early crucifixion scenes showed a fully robed Christ on the cross. The Syriac Gospel Book of 586 shows Christ dressed in a full length sleeveless tunic, and as late as the ninth century he wears a colobium over a loin-cloth or a perizoma.

    In 740 AD Constantinople experienced a series of continuous earthquakes, and this would seem to mark the time when what is likely to have been the Shroud was sealed in a golden chest, and remained closed to all but the emperor for fear of further earthquakes, until about 1201 when it was then regularly displayed in an elaborate ritual. This seems to have been the ritual observed by Robert de Clari in 1204.

    This Byzantine reluctance to expose those things considered particularly holy to the public gaze survive even to the present time. A vestige of it might be seen in the use of the iconostasis during the consecration in the formal liturgy, concealing this sacred moment from the eyes of the general congregation. Even in the Roman church until the 1950s we were taught that only the priest might touch the sacred vessels.

    I mentioned that there were clues. Perhaps the most salient can be found in the Hymn of the Pearl composed by the Edessan Hymnodist Bardesan about 200 AD, probably on the occasion of the baptism of the court of King Abgar VIII the Great. It would seem likely that Bardesan might have had the opportunity to view the full-length image at this time.

    A Prince, the son of the King, is divested of his shining robe, and must wrest a pearl from the serpent; he travels to Egypt, snatches pearl, returns home, but his robe now seems an image of himself; There are several interpretation, but an obvious analogy is that of Christ being sent to redeem humanity from Satan. The hymn concludes:

    “On a sudden, as I faced it, The garment seemed to me like a mirror of myself. I saw it all in my whole self, Moreover I faced my whole self in (facing) it, For we were two in distinction And yet again one in one likeness. And the image of the King of kings Was depicted in full all over it…”

    One interpretation of this strange verse would seem to be: Mirrored image on previously clean robe represents mirrored image of Christ on his clean burial cloth; Robe’s reflecting images suggest ventral and dorsal sindonic images; Suggests that Bardaisan had seen the full body-image at Edessan royal court. Note the particular recognition of a “Mirror Image”.

    Yes, the verse is enigmatic, but recognizable in meaning in terms of the Shroud image. It had to be enigmatic, to avoid provoking the Emperor in Rome.

  7. So we have the lack of written records not opposing but in fact supporting authenticity. Why? Because the Shroud, or at any rate the full length shroud, was seen as so special that it had to be kept out of sight, even to its custodians, except that is for the face.

    With few if any custodians, later ones especially, not having seen the full length shroud, only the face, we are asked to believe they didn’t even know of the double-body image.

    So if they didn’t know of the full length double body image, then why all the secrecy for a face that WAS on display? Why not leave records, or merely an oral tradition, to be recorded later on paper, to the effect that the exposed face was simply a Veronica-like imprint, possibly captured post-mortem, complementing the pre-mortem imprint of legend onto Veronica’s head scarf?

    We are being asked to believe that a closely-guarded secret re an entire double body image was scrupulously maintained for 1300 years by the ingenious ploy of creating and allowing to leak out a semi-secret based on a face-only display. We are being asked to believe that this artifice, instead of weakening with passage of time, actually increased because the face was displayed in such a secure container that later generations of custodians ceased to realize there was more to be seen inside.

    Phew! Wonders will never cease. Correction: Wonders CAN and WILL cease, given a secure enough container, coupled with a total freemasonry style ban of committing ideas and suspicions to parchment or paper, bar some tiny allegedly oh-so-argument-clinching pen-drawn circles on an otherwise obscure Hungarian codex (“They are the L-shaped poker holes, dont you know?”)

    As they say in internet jargon: “Yeah, right”.

    1. Colin, the scenario that the Mandylion would have been shown folded with only the face visible, is most likely false. It cannot have been shown that way for many reasons.

      One of the reason can be found in the texts I quote in the presentation of the Sainte-Chapelle, which I keep repeating in the current discussion. That’s one reason. At least one other historian have pointed out that the image of the face we can see on the cloth held in the Abgar Icon cannot be a direct pictorial representation, but that the face plays the role of a tag: it signals the presence of an image on the cloth that cannot be readily seen. This becomes clear once you consider that several of these faces appear to float over the cloth as if not being part of it (e.g., the wrinkles do not extend on the image) or the image extend beyond the boundary of the cloth.

      Also, it appears rather “uncivilized” for the sophisticated Byzantine to have shown it that way. There is no historical document that points to a showing of the Mandylion that way.

      1. Mario, I have a question for you.

        As you know , the classic Wilson’s theory mantains that the Shroud in mandylion form was folded in tetradiplon form, essentially the way on the picture below:

        This corresponds with several depictions of Mandylion in extended (wider than longer) form, e.g.:


        as well as famous Abgar icon:

        But the problem is that the dimensions of the Shroud folded this way are approx. 110×55 cm. But the Sainte Chapelle Mandylion frame, brought from Constantinople had roughly 60×40 cm dimensions; this far too small for such representation.


        What is your opinion about that matter?

        1. O.K.,

          60×40 cm is not too small for the representation as seen on the Abgar Icon. It is the right side: the distance from shoulder to shoulder of a person is typically in the range of 50 to 65 cm. The piece of cloth shown on the Abgar Icon appears to be as long as the width the shoulder of the man holding it. So, 60 cm appears the right length for this piece of cloth, and the width is smaller looking like something around 40 cm.

          If you were holding a piece of cloth of 110 cm, it would not look that way. As a matter of fact, I have a piece of cloth the size of the TS and folded as described at http://www.sindonology.org/sainte-chapelle.shtml#ans:small_or_large (that is to fit in the reliquary of the Sainte-Chapelle, 60x40cm) , and when I hold it, it looks like on this icon.

          The folding proposed by Wilson would not fit in the reliquary of the Mandylion as described (in size) by the inventories of the Sainte-Chapelle.

        2. Mario:

          If you were holding a piece of cloth of 110 cm, it would not look that way. As a matter of fact, I have a piece of cloth the size of the TS and folded as described at http://www.sindonology.org/sainte-chapelle.shtml#ans:small_or_large (that is to fit in the reliquary of the Sainte-Chapelle, 60x40cm) , and when I hold it, it looks like on this icon.

          The folding proposed by Wilson would not fit in the reliquary of the Mandylion as described (in size) by the inventories of the Sainte-Chapelle.

          The problem is that when folding the Shroud the way described at your website (“One of the simplest way is to fold the Shroud twice widthwise (giving four layers), which gives a folded width of about 28 cm, and thrice lengthwise (giving eight layers), which gives a folded length of about 54 cm. This folded Shroud has a total of 32 layers, for a thickness of around 1.2 cm (32× 0.39 mm ≅ 12.48 mm), but because a folded cloth has some fluffiness, it will be between 2 to 3 cm thick, depending if it is bound in a trellis or not. The folded Shroud is 54 cm long by 28 cm wide, which fits nicely in the reliquary of the Mandylion (about 5 cm deep, 60 cm long, 40 cm wide), leaving a few centimeters all around the Shroud at the bottom of that box, and enough space to attach a trellis lengthwise.”) you don’t get the face visible.

          But the facial image of Mandylion was publically displayed at least in 944 (and perhaps in 1032)! Symeon Magister recounts that while Constantine could see the faint image in its details (eyes and ears: ophthαlmoύς κaι oτα) his two brothers‑in‑law and rivals for the throne could barely make out an outline, see https://shroudstory.wordpress.com/about/acheiropoietos-jesus-images-in-constantinople-the-documentary-evidence/ Document II.

          And take also into account the Jackson’s study on foldmarks:

          Click to access ssi11part4.pdf

          The extended, wider than longer portrayal of Mandylion, is one of the most often featured characteristics of it (although not unique), see the gallery in Wilson’s presentation:

          Click to access wilsonvppt.pdf

          See also the Templar Mandylion from Breton Calvary:


          There are perhaps ways to fit the Mandylion face into the Sainte-Chapelle reliquary (something similar to the way below), but they are quite bizarre, and do not correspond to the known depictions.

          How do you reconcile the dimensions of Sainte-Chapelle reliquary with known depictions of Mandylion?

          In my opinion, this is the only serious argument against the Mandylion-Shroud identity hypothesis.

        3. O.K.,

          As I have written several times now on this blog, and in the conclusion at http://www.sindonology.org/sainte-chapelle.shtml, it is unlikely that the Mandylion was folded in such a way to show the face only. And as far as it is known from documents available to us today, it was not shown in public with any visible image, not including the face.

          See in particular the paragraph:

          “It is doubtful that the Mandylion was folded in such a way that only the face of the image on it was visible, either inside or outside of its reliquary. It was folded in its reliquary with all the image hidden, and when shown in public it was most often in the same state because it was likely bound with a trellis to keep it folded. Some depictions of the face directly on the Mandylion were simply an informative method to remind the observer that an image existed on the cloth, not that it was directly visible. For example, this method would have been used in the depiction of Abgar V holding the Mandylion (see Figure 1).”

          And as discussed in several places in http://www.sindonology.org/sainte-chapelle.shtml
          this conclusion is *based on the documents* describing the Mandylion reliquary and the cloth when it is sent and arrives at the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris. This is not a supposition pulled from the imagination, but from descriptive historical texts and observations.

          You wrote: “But the facial image of Mandylion was publically displayed at least in 944 (and perhaps in 1032)! ”

          Which historical document states that the Mandylion’s face was shown publicly? References?

          The face is seen by Constantine VII and his brothers-in-law, but that does not mean it is shown in public. As a matter of fact, the description is such that this appears as a private viewing.

        4. Mario:

          I have checked Gregory Referendarius’s sermon from 944, and Constantine Porphyrogenitus’ The story of the Image of Edessa, and they do not specify whether the mandylion was publically displayed in 944 AD. When I return back to m house I will check other materials.

          Meanwhile, I await your comment for that illustration:


          Chronography of John Skylitzes, cod. Vitr. 26-2, folio 131a

      2. I’ve often wondered if only the face was displayed, over the course of some centuries, then should we not see a difference in the linen itself of that exposure? Is there any sign on the linen that the face area has received more contamination (light, airborne, etc) than the rest of the ‘hidden’ linen?

        1. I was going to write what David Goulet just posted. 1,300 years is a very long time, even if it was not ‘left out’ and only displayed periodically. One would expect a difference. Just looking at rugs in my house, not even in direct sunlight–a few years is all it takes to change the appearance from where something like a flower pot is setting.

      3. For now, I’m able to respond to your first paragraph only, Mario, needing time to decide what if anything I can usefully say in response to what follows.

        “… the scenario that the Mandylion would have been shown folded with only the face visible, is most likely false. It cannot have been shown that way for many reasons….”

        As it happens, I agree, certainly if one reads the Wilson account with its relatively few foldings being used to isolate the face from the rest of the image (the precise number of foldings depending on how one interprets ‘tetradiplon’). I reckoned on 24 layers of linen to isolate the face, but stand to be corrected (but at least I resorted to your Shroud Scope with a graduated steel rule to arrive at that estimate, so must surely deserve some brownie points for effort).

        But even if Wilson is wrong, and we need to suppose that a few foldings would have exposed much more than the face alone, it doesn’t alter the main point I am making, namely that there is no record of a full length DOUBLE body image ever being displayed prior to Lirey in 1355 approx. What’s more, there is no evidence, at least in the written or artistic record, of such a double image ever being in the public domain prior to Lirey.The latter would not necessarily have required a public display, merely ‘leakage” by a loose-tongued insider of what lay hidden in a frame or reliquary behind the Image of Edessa/Mandylion.

        I shan’t mince my words. I believe it’s time for sindonology to relinquish all the what-ifs and other speculation and fantasizing. The rational position is to accept the TS provisionally at any rate as a one-off 14th century forgery, and concentrate attention on how that remarkable image was achieved using simple and appropriate technology. One should only abandon that position as a last resort if or when something is discovered that definitely lies beyond the realms of known physics, chemistry and biology.

        1. I don’t see the lack of public display as a deal-breaker at this point. The Shroud could have been ‘lost’ for centuries — this certainly is not unheard of with ancient objects (King Tut’s tomb comes to mind).

          I also don’t see why exploration into image formation needs to be an either/or proposition. One can explore both avenues (ancient or medieval) – perhaps favouring one or the other as one sees fit – but leaving the possibility open that the road may taken them to the other side of the debate.

          The medieval provenance has a strong case: C-14, first indisputable public record, lack of bullet-proof evidence to the contrary. Looking for how a craftsman of the time may have achieved the image should be explored more than perhaps it has – by those who have access to the relic.

          But looking for naturalistic explanations that gel with authenticity also should continue to be explored.

          The more fantastic theories — one never knows if something might prove fruitful — are okay but I agree they are currently given much more attention and resource than the more rational theories above.

        2. But Mr.Big of sindonology trots around the globe, peddling his pseudoscience- like the too-red blood being due to biliubin, based on the fantasizing of an alleged “blood expert” (oh no he wasn’t) or the body image definitely not a thermal imprint (“scorch”) given it’s non-fluorescent, unlike that ultimate impeccable all-purpose generic standard for scorches – the 1532 burn holes (we await Hugh’s alternative explanation with interest).

          Sorry, David, but your even-handed approach is not a fair contest. Look at the funding. Look at the publicity machine. Look at the snake oil. (It’s back to premoderation now, methinks ;-)

      4. I doubt that it’s valid to take measurements from the Abgar icon. The story that goes with the event portrayed is that it is virtually a 1:1 scale of the face of Jesus. For the above graphic on my screen, the facial measurements crown to chin are: 2.0 cm for the face on the cloth; 2.5 cm for the man in blue (the apostle?); 2.8 cm for King Abgar (allowing for the beard). There’s some artistic licence here, maybe the king’s face needed to be more prominent in the picture by making it larger, and also it’s not an attempt at perspective. The human faces are some 25% – 35% larger than the face on the cloth.

        1. Daveb, indeed we have to be careful not to take the Madylion representation in this Icon as necessarily very precise. Yet, it could be very close. Second, it is Constantine VII being represented on this icon, playing the role of Abgar (see Kurt Weitzmann, The Mandylion and Constantine Porphyrogennetos, Cahiers Archéologiques 11 (1960): 163–84), which is actually obvious once you have analysed the physionomie of Constantine VII on coins and statues. Constantine VII had a narrow face, and this is what is represented. The face on the cloth is not to scale and it is not even positioned parallel to the cloth edges. I think we can conclude, and from many other such representations, that the face plays the role of an identifier of what is inside the cloth.

      5. O.K., you wrote “Meanwhile, I await your comment for that illustration:
        Chronography of John Skylitzes, cod. Vitr. 26-2, folio 131a”

        I am not sure what specific point you want to raise with this particular drawing of the Mandylion. Its size? It appears small. Is that problematic?

        But the face on the cloth is certainly different to the one on the Abgar Icon, which supports the observation that the artists of these paintings are not reproducing a face they saw on the cloth, but rather that they are making a point: there is an image in the cloth.

        They are many other such miniatures where the faces on the cloth are different from each other. Again, I repeat that it is unlikely that the Mandylion was shown with a face visible. No such public showing was recorded, as far the documents we have today tell us.

  8. The same comments are being repeated here, month after month, and none from a professional historian.
    The whole story is in Ian Wilson’s ” The Shroud: the 2000-year-old mystery solved”.

    1. Ask any serious historian that has no book about the Shroud to sell what he thinks of Wilson… Most of them do not accept at all his point of view about the Shroud… They know that most of his hypotheses are mainly based on assumptions and speculations, which is not a way to do history that is accepted by them.

  9. The double image is one of the most fascinating aspects of the Shroud image and has not been properly researched ( as with many aspects of the Shroud), Of course, double images are common in Byzantine art but these tend to be of mirror images of similar objects, often birds or semi-mythical animals.
    We do have record of double, in this case distinct, i.e. not mirror, images in the Mozarbic rites from Spain – one Easter Collect talks of images on cloth of both Christ dead and resurrected so this would takes us back to the sixth century. I note that one Spanish researcher, Daniel Duque Torres, claims that there are Spanish examples of double images in some Spanish towns that claim to be the originals of the Shroud of Turin. This is one more avenue of Shroud research which needs to be followed up.
    It is not impossible that the Shroud was copied from elsewhere although this will be heresy to many readers of this site. Did not Hans Belting claims somewhere that the Shroud was a copy of an earlier original and we do have many examples of relics that disappear and then reappear- clearly in some cases as newly minted copies of the original- the Volto Santo in Lucca is a good example.

  10. The Tarragon manuscript, datable to ca. 1075-1098, likely composed during the reign of the emperor Alexios Comnenos (1081-1118), names as the city’s most highly-venerated relic, an encased image of Jesus impressed upon linen:

    “This wonderful linen cloth with the face of the Lord Jesus, marked by direct contact, is kept with greater veneration than the other relics in the palace, and held in such esteem that it is always kept in a golden case and very carefully locked up. … ”

    ” … The case that stored the holy object used to be kept open once, but the whole city was struck by continuous earthquakes, and everyone was threatened with death. A heavenly vision revealed that the city would not be freed of such ill until such time as the linen cloth with the Lord’s face on it should be locked up and hidden away, far from human eyes. And so it was done. The sacred linen cloth was locked away in a golden case and carefully sealed up, and then the earthquake stopped and the heaven-sent ills ceased. From that time on nobody has dared to open the case or to see what might be inside it, as everyone believes and fears that if anyone tries to open it the whole city will be struck by another earthquake.”

    Although it refers only to the face, it cannot be the Mandylion which had been frequently displayed since its arrival in Constantinople as recently as 945. This cloth is evidently held in greater esteem than even the Mandylion. The only other acheiropoietos Christ-image impressed upon linen then present in the city of Constantinople was the Image of God Incarnate. The reference to the face can be easily attributed to the writer’s limited understanding of what the golden case actually contained.

    There were two significant candidate earthquakes in Constantinople which might have prompted this seclusion of the relic, the series in 740, and another in 869. Damage was limited in the 869 quake and it could not be described as continuous, but the 740 series of quakes endured for a year:

    “In the same year (740) a violent and fearful earthquake occurred at Constantinople on 26 October, indiction 9, a Wednesday, in the 8th hour. Many churches and monasteries collapsed and many people died. There also fell down the statue of Constantine the Great that stood above the gate of Atalos as well as that of Atalos himself, the statue of Arkadios that stood on the column of the Xerolophos, and the statue of Theodosios the Great above the Golden Gate, furthermore, the land walls of the City, many towns and villages in Thrace, Nicomedia in Bithynia, Prainetos, and Nicaea, where only one church was spared. In some places the sea withdrew from its proper boundaries. The quakes continued for twelve months.” [Theophanes, A.M. 6232, p. 412.6 ff]

    ‘The imperial covenant with God was broken at the turn of the thirteenth century. Nicholas Mesarites’ statement, in 1201, that Jesus’ resurrection was being reenacted in Pharos Chapel ceremonials which involved a sindon that had “…wrapped the mysterious, naked dead body after the Passion” confirms that he, and the other participants in this rite, had viewed the image, very likely whenever they lifted the cloth to a vertical position. Three aspects of Mesarites’ statement identify this sindon as the Turin Shroud: his description of the body as naked, his use of the adjective aperilepton, meaning “unoutlined”, which aptly describes the relic’s blurry image, and his claim that the cloth had defied destruction, alluding no doubt to the fire damage evidenced by the relic’s so-called “poker holes”. ‘ [Markwardt, St Louis conference paper]

    The covenant was evidently broken by the disreputable emperor Alexios III Angelos (1195-1203). He was deposed by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade at the instigation of the newly-installed Byzantine co-emperors, Isaac and his son, Alexios IV. His serial treachery and flagrant desecration of the tombs of his imperial predecessors amply demonstrate that he cared nothing about loyalty or honor, and that he would have thought nothing of breaking a centuries-old imperial covenant with God.

    So that for some 460 years from 741 to 1201, the Shroud had been consigned to utter obscurity.

    1. Daveb, you wrote “Although it refers only to the face, it cannot be the Mandylion which had been frequently displayed since its arrival in Constantinople as recently as 945.”

      The Mandylion was frequently displayed in Constantinople since 945? Which references do you have to support this statement?

      1. I think that it is stated in the “Narratio de Imagine Edessena” that this relic was displayed once a year for a certain feast (I don’t remember the name of the feast)… It’s evident that if this is an historical fact and that this relic was in fact the Shroud, people in Constantinople would have easily noticed the bloodstains in the face area of the cloth and would have understand that this was a relic of the passion! People of this time and place were not dumb! In that context, since every lists of relics made in Constantinople never placed the Mandylion under the tag “relic of the passion” (on the contrary to many other relics, including a shroud of Christ), we’re lead to conclude that this relic was exactly what it was reported to be, i.e. a small towel showing only the face of the living Christ, which would have been miraculously imprinted there after Jesus would have washed his face with water.

  11. The Narratio de Imagine Edessena, which can be read from Mark Guscin’s book (https://books.google.com/books?id=IdtHuGi6szgC&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=many+different+opinions+have+been+handed+down+to+us+about+the+divine+form+of+Christ&source=bl&ots=pKUIBQDqGX&sig=WMHJOKW2llk7bqn8bWBzeuD-FvQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_qIvjrNDJAhUD-GMKHQcrDAYQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=many%20different%20opinions%20have%20been%20handed%20down%20to%20us%20about%20the%20divine%20form%20of%20Christ&f=false)

    relates stresses the opposite of public display of the image itself, reinforcing the observations that very few could see the image on the Mandylion and that the face would not be visible even when kept in its reliquary.

    For example, we can read (using Guscin’s translation from Greek)

    “A throne was set up and the sacred image of Christ and God, which was not made by human hands, was wrapped in white linen and placed on the throne.”

    “When the sacred procession was over, they took the image to the sanctuary, while the people followed behind singing Lord have mercy. The holy and undefiled image was placed in the innermost recesses […]”

    “[…] only the bishop was allowed to draw near the holy and undefiled image, to revere it and to kiss it, and then to take off the white linen cloth that was covering it and wrap it in another, purple one.”

    “The ancient chest containing the divine image was enclosed behind doors so that it would not be visible to everyone whenever they wanted, although these doors were opened two days every week, namely Wednesday and Friday, with fine pins of iron, that they called sceptres. The image was beheld by all the congregation, and everyone propitiated the image’s limitless power in his prayers, although nobody was allowed to draw near and touch the holy form with his lips or his eyes.”

    I do not see any display of the image. Only the chest could be seen and only in a limited way. The cloth itself was hidden during the procession.

    1. Only the chest could be seen? Nope. I think you’ve misread the location of those “doors” Mario. They were doors on the chest which when opened revealed the contents. In other words the image WAS on display two days a week when those doors to the chest were opened, but your hoi polloi off the street were not allowed to scrutinize it at close quarters for fear they might go and do something unthinkable, like trying to kiss it. That’s different from them having to take on trust the survival of a sacred image that they were never allowed to witness with their own eyes, albeit at a safe distance. Just think what their salivary amylase (“ptyalin” enzyme) would have done to any surviving starch coating. It’s enough to have a dear departed explosives chemist turning in his grave.

      1. Colin, sorry, but the English translation reads “the ancient chest containing the divine image was enclosed behind doors”. It is the chest that is enclosed behind doors. The image is already in the chest. You would need to go back to the original Greek text to argue otherwise.

        1. As has already been pointed out (“Joe”) the version you quote makes absolutely no sense, Mario. No one goes to watch doors being opened twice a week that simply reveal a closed chest.

          Don’t be too quick to rule out an error of syntax or translation in the source you cite.

          Instead of that oh-so-yawn-inducing “the ancient chest containing the divine image was enclosed behind doors”, I suggest the real intended meaning was “the divine image was enclosed behind doors in the ancient chest”.


        2. What was the tradition of the time for such relics of this magnitude I wonder? The Ark of the Covenant was the type of relic that no one save the high priests would have been allowed to see the tablets within. Yet the ark itself was venerated. If this chest did house the image of God perhaps it too was treated similarly to the ark. As such, I don’t see Mario’s assertion as ridiculous at all.

        3. “If this chest did house the image of God perhaps it too was treated similarly to the ark. As such, I don’t see Mario’s assertion as ridiculous at all.”

          Some might think that what this site needs most urgently is a total embargo on deployment of the word “perhaps”, especially if intended to mean “just conceivably” or “not totally ruled out of contention” and fielded with gusto as an argument clincher.

        4. “The ancient chest containing the divine image was enclosed behind doors.” You are quite correct, Mario.

          and, after the doors were opened, you quote the text going on to say:

          “The image was beheld by all the congregation.”

          Your statement immediately following this quote:

          “I do not see any display of the image. Only the chest could be seen,” is a little difficult to reconcile with this, don’t you think?

    2. Thinking that during a public display of an holy relic, the Church was only showing the reliquary and not the relic is completely ludicrous and show quite clearly the important bias of Mr. Latendresse about this whole issue.

      Fortunately, that’s not at all how real serious historian are working!

    3. It’s not because people were not allowed to check the relic with a microscope that they wouldn’t have been able to note the bloodstains if the Mandylion would have been the Shroud. We must remember that these particular stains are the things that are the most easy to see on the Shroud and even at a pretty good distance.

  12. It seems clear enough that the Mandylion was not the cloth that was sealed in a golden case, such that all but the emperor were forbidden to view it, as reported in the Tarragon manuscript.

    [In 1995, a Byzantine scholar, Krijnie N. Ciggaar, published a French translation of the anonymous Tarragonensis 55 (generally known as the Tarragon manuscript), datable to ca. 1075-1098, written in Latin, and maintained in the Public Library of Tarragon, Spain: Ciggaar, Krijnie N., Une Description de Constantinople dans le Tarrogonensis 55’, Revue des Etudes Byzantines 53, pp. 117ff. (1995). ]

    Nor would it seem were there any disastrous earthquakes in Constantinople following the Mandylion’s arrival there in 945, that would have prompted such an action. But there were such earthquakes there in 740 and a lesser one in 869.

    Prior to its departure from Edessa, the Mandylion had been viewed several times during the preceding centuries, its container had been opened and the cloth had been viewed by the clergy and the faithful. Bishop Abramios of Samosata had closely inspected it on its acquisition by the Byzantine Army. On its arrival in Constantinople it had been viewed by the emperor’s sons after having been carried in procession. Symeon Metaphrastes recites that, upon the arrival of the Mandylion in Constantinople, “everyone was looking at the marvelous image of the Son of God on the holy cloth … “. John Skylitzes’ Synopsis of Byzantine History recites that, in 1036, the Mandylion was carried in procession through the capital in an attempt to end a six-month drought, and Abu Nasr Yahya, a Christian-Arab writer, claims to have viewed the icon within the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in 1058. It is virtually certain that some Byzantine artists were given access to the Mandylion in order to produce the copies which are dateable to 944-ca. 1090.

    This is in stark contrast to the cloth described in the Tarragon manuscript, hidden from all eyes except that of the emperor! So, what was it?

    There is little mention, if any, of the Image of God Incarnate after the iconoclasm periods of 726 – 786, and 814 – 842. Some had therefore concluded that this Image had been destroyed during the iconoclasm. However there is no known report of this image having been destroyed. In fact, as it was acheiropoietos, “not made by human hands” its destruction would have been deemed a sacrilege, as opposed to those images that had been made by human hands, and so deemed legitimate targets for destruction. Fr Heinrich Pfeiffer believes it was not so destroyed, but possibly adopting a Mandylion = Shroud thesis, he associates it with the Veil of Manoppello. I have been unable to discover his justification for this conclusion, but perhaps someone else might know his reason.

    Note that the 740 year of the severe continuous earthquake coincides with the first iconoclasm period, and might well be deemed a justification for ongoing iconoclasm, if depictions of icons were deemed to prompt divine wrath such as in the form of earthquakes, or incidentally even military defeats.

    However the fact that the Image of God Incarnate, aka Image of Camuliana, was deemed to be acheiropoietos, would be sufficient to shield it from iconoclasts, and so the solution of sealing it away in a golden casket hidden from all eyes would be adopted.

    There are several problems in the attempt to identify the Mandylion with the Shroud, as many have reported. But it seems that a Shroud-like image was being displayed in the Pharos chapel in 1201 accoring to Nicholas Mesarites. And yet the Mandylion continued to be separately identified in the inventories.

    A good case can be made for the survival of the Image of God Incarnate from the iconoclastic period, that it was the cloth sealed away in a golden casket for some 460 years, hidden away from all eyes except those of the emperor, and this was the cloth that came to be known as the Shroud of Turin.

  13. Returning the plot back to Colin’s main observation, that being the glaring lack of artistic representation (of the non-allusion type) in the historic record, we have to acknowledge this is a very curious fact. But as I’ve mentioned in other comments, it’s not without parallels to other objects.

    If the faithful truly believed the Shroud was ‘an image not made by human hands’ but a miraculous gift — an imprint of the Son of God — this would make it more than a relic. It (and it’s reliquary) would be akin to the Ark of the Covenant that held the Commandments. The Shroud — sign of the New Covenant.

    To this day the Ark, supposedly housed in a small chapel in Ethiopia, is not opened for anyone. Such is the power of superstition and/or faith.

    Given the superstitious nature of the faithful of the turn of the millennium (as DaveB has commented upon), led to believe whatever the clergy told them, is it difficult to imagine that the Shroud was kept from direct viewing? For who can look upon on the face of God and live?!

    No doubt this will all seem like fanciful authentist claptrap, but God is both Science and Narrative. The enigma of the Shroud is proof of that.

    1. If in fact any man-made artistic copies of the Image of God Incarnate had been made before it was sealed away in a casket around 740 AD, due to fear of divine wrath, then any such copies would likely be destroyed during the periods of iconoclasm 726 – 786 or 814 – 842. This might account for the absence of any representation of the Shroud double image from the first millennium. On the resumption of iconography in 843, the likeness of the Image of God Incarnate would have been long forgotten, until the casket was re-opened around 1201. But with one possible exception: Bela III, as heir apparent to the Byzantine Imperial Throne, might well have been entitled to view the image. Upon returning to Hungary, after his betrothal was annulled, his recollections of what he saw may have informed the illustrator of the Hungarian Pray Codex. Prior to the iconoclastic period, we have the Shroud-like facial images of the Justinian coins, the Homs vase, and the Pantocrator.

  14. Colin, you wrote “As has already been pointed out (“Joe”) the version you quote makes absolutely no sense, Mario. No one goes to watch doors being opened twice a week that simply reveal a closed chest.”

    Thousands of people visit the Cathedral of Turin every year to only view the case containing the Shroud (and the case is covered by a cloth) place behind a glass. The Shroud is hidden away. If something is considered very precious and holy, people are ready to see only the case, it makes sense to them. Likewise for the chest of the Mandylion.

    The Mandylion was not even shown during the procession in Edessa. This is taken from the text itself. You have to read the entire description to realize that only taking out the cloth out of the ancient chest was special, and it was done only once a year, during Lent. The cloth could not even be seen (it was wrapped inside two different cloths during the ritual), much less the image. The general public could not have been able to see the image twice a week afterward, during the whole year, that would be quite incoherent.

    1. What bothers me right now, Mario, is not the defensive and self-serving narrative that says an image was too sacred to be displayed openly, except maybe once a year, and then only the face of something that was a spectacular entire double body imprint. What bothers me is the constant resort by pre-authenticity proponents such as yourself, a founder member as I recall of the SSG, to that most baleful debating ploy known as the “qualifying assumption”. Indeed, we now have not just one but two qualifying assumptions being fielded to explain the non-appearance of the double body image until the Lirey badge – first, that the face only was ever displayed, the rest being hidden, and now we’re told that even the face was not displayed on the ritualistic two days per week (non) showings but only once a year, and then only viewable from a distance (a third qualifying assumption).

      I need hardly remind you that science has a standard response to an argument, any argument, that is hedged about with qualifying assumptions. It’s called the yawn…

      In the absence of positive sightings of a double image pre 1355 or thereabouts, and the tedious intrusion of what might be termed negative evidence, it’s reasonable to infer that the double image was in fact unknown before 1355. The radiocarbon dating supports that reasonable inference.

      If just 1% of the brainpower presently devoted to proving the TS existed pre-Lirey had been applied instead to the question: “How might the TS image body and blood imprints have been created by one or more inventive medieval artisans, probably working under direct and secretive commission from King John 2nd and his close confidant Geoffroi de Charny, both of the newly-formed chivalrous and distinctly Catholic Order of the Star (see full name in wiki for the inclusion of Mother Mary)?” we would probably have solid progress by now instead of all this endless sterile, futile and ultimately agenda-driven speculation and wishful thinking..

      1. Your speculation, Colin, is as much speculation as anything about the so-called double image. In the years to come the canons of Lirey proved that they had the legal right to ownership of the Shroud. It is unfortunate that accounts of the various ecclesiastical courts that found in their favour against the de Charny family have not survived as they would have filled us in on the origins of the Shroud in Lirey.
        If you research the life of Geoffroy de Charney’s in tHe 1350s to his death in 1356, you find no evidence that he ever visited Lirey as he was completely tied up with the diplomatic and military business of the king as a time of acute warfare in Northern France. I suspect that it was Jeanne de Vergy who actually started putting the Shroud up as a relic. Unfortunately she was not canny enough to create a back story to give it some claim to authenticity as was usual in these cases- or if she did it has not been recorded.
        In her unsuccessful attempts to prove ownership of the Shroud, Margaret de Charny did at one point claim that it was given to her grandfather as a spoil of war. As he was fighting in these years against the English in Northern France this is presumably how he might have obtained it- there was a mass of Jerusalem relics around in this part of France ( see my other posts on documented relic routes!) However, this does not explain how the canons, not tHe de Charny family were registered as the legal owners
        If you have any documentary evidence for tHe creation of the Shroud in Lirey in whatever form that relates it to the French royal family, please provide it. If not we should stick with the evidence from the courts that it was in the ownership of the
        canons who may or may not have been embarrassed by the attempts of Jeanne to pass it off as authentic.

        1. P.s.Colin, I assume that if you are going for the French royal family link, you have dropped the papal Veil of Veronica link. There were indeed thousands of copies of vernicles, as the Veronica images were known. Chaucer even mentions one and a cache of them has been found hidden in a German monastery. However, as the Lirey Shroud was always referred to as a burial shroud and not as a vernicle I think we can be confident that there is no possible link.
          Still you move on so fast that some of us who try and keep to the documented evidence can’t keep up!!

  15. So what does this mean, Mario?

    ““The ancient chest containing the divine image was enclosed behind doors so that it would not be visible to everyone whenever they wanted, although these doors were opened two days every week, namely Wednesday and Friday, with fine pins of iron, that they called sceptres. The image was beheld by all the congregation, and everyone propitiated the image’s limitless power in his prayers, although nobody was allowed to draw near and touch the holy form with his lips or his eyes.”

    This “image” “beheld by all the congregation” is clearly the image, not the chest, and this sentence, in this paragraph, must refer to “every week, namely Wednesday and Friday”.

  16. Pictorial history in 3D takes a lot of beating, like the Lirey Pilgrim’s aka Cluny Badge and the Machy mould with traces of adhering lead/tin alloy, presumed to be used for a Mark 2 version. Both show the coats of arms of Geoffroi de Charny, Lord of Lirey, and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy. Why would those heraldic arms be there unless one or both were joint owners of the linen up until Geoffroi’s death in 1356 at the Battle of Poitiers (corresponding with the approximate first display of linen according to the later d’Arcis testimony?

    The modest timber-built collegiate church was built in Lirey in the early 1350s to house the Shroud, we are told, presumably on the initiative of either the Lord of the Manor (Geoffroi) or his wife. It’s hardly surpising that the clerics charged with its upkeep and display should have felt some rights to ownership following the death of Geoffroi, especially if they recognized him as the original owner, not his widow.

    There is no need to make a big thing of Geoffroi’s absences from his rural home base during the critical years. In fact, it underlines just how important he was as a figure in the French court, as is said earlier, a close confidante of the King himself.

    Why do Shroud historians, with the notable exception of Ian Wilson, pay so little attention to that key figure, Geoffroi de Charny and/or try to belittle his role?

  17. Time methinks to take a break from this thread. I’ll look in again this evening, and respond to anything that looks relevant to my own lonely furrow (as distinct from other people’s furrows). I’m only here to show I’m not just a “chemist” as Charles Freeman described me a day or two ago. In fact I’ve never been a chemist, but that’s just another tiny detail that’s been overlooked. This long-retired biomedical scientist regards his role as detective, searching for relevant clues, not worrying unduly about whose specialist territory is being encroached upon. Detectives are not expected to touch forelocks, nor write pdfs and/or magazine articles.

  18. Colin “The modest timber-built collegiate church was built in Lirey in the early 1350s to house the Shroud, we are told, presumably on the initiative of either the Lord of the Manor (Geoffroi) or his wife. :

    While Colin is resting we just need to get the record on this straight. It was as early as 1343 that the French king, Philippe VI, granted de Charny permission to raise the money for building by amortizing feudal land. With the money in hand, de Charny then petitioned the papal court at Avignon for the right to have masses said continually for his family and to have a family burial ground near to the church. None of these documents mention a shroud. Lirey was essentially a church in which prayer would be offered for Geoffroy and his family after his death. There are many cases where indeed a church was built specifically to house a relic (usually in a place on an existing pilgrimage route!) but remote Lirey was not one of these.

    I suppose it is possible that the de Charny family gave the Shroud to the canons of the church perhaps after pope Clement VII declared that it was not the authentic burial shroud but no surviving document mentions this. Yet Pierre d’Arcis claiims that the Dean procured the Shroud and this could only have been after the official election of the canons on October 1354. When Margaret’s second husband , Humbert de Villersevel, removed ‘a cloth, on which is the figure or representation of the Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ’, presumably our Shroud, he promised it would return to the CANONS when peace had returned. But as we know, Margaret grabbed it, tried to fight off the canons when they wanted it back and then passed it on to the Savoys in 1453. The canons eventually gave up but they, not the de Charny family, were certainly seen as owners at the beginning of the fifteenth century and, according to Pierre d’Arcis, as early as the 1350s.

    No problem in ploughing your lonely furrow, Colin, and doing whatever detective work you want but you do need to provide documentation if you are going to be an effective historical detective. As you say, unlike those of us who write articles read by fellow professionals and thus have to defend our reputations and work publicly, you have no responsibility to anyone and can put out whatever you want!
    Good luck to you!

  19. Around a month ago I questioned Dan why one particular blogger, despite warnings, continued to direct personal attacks at me, with the blessings of two other bloggers, while others had been pushed out of the blog after warnings or hints because they were doing similar things.

    That was it: the troublemakers are back on the scene, one of them sending out a feeler via a third party to check if he could get back.

    I do not see how this blog can be left for posterity at this rate. Is what is going on here useful for them to read? Perhaps… for those interested in Freud, not in the Turin Shroud.
    The same sort of procedure is employed by a Shroud website. How? With all the talk about the insistence on peer-reviewed papers and warnings against personal attacks, one person, who is not scientist, and who has posted comments here using around half a dozen pseudonymns, had one paper he authored, not peer reviewed, posted on the site, while indulging in character assassination against well-known scientists on this blog.
    It has been stated here that Turin reads what is posted here. Great. But then don’t question why petitions to the Pope are ignored.

    There is one academic historian, one biochemist who has conducted scientific research, one expert in computer sciences who is at an university who post regularly here. The rest are mostly amateurs who disrupt the blog by aiming their attacks at the professionals.

    As a journalist and one who has been a Religion Writer for twenty years, I see no reason why pdfs, whether they contain published articles or other papers, cannot be put out for readers interested in serious research to read.

  20. Daveb, you wrote “It seems clear enough that the Mandylion was not the cloth that was sealed in a golden case, such that all but the emperor were forbidden to view it, as reported in the Tarragon manuscript.”

    I do not see any text that was discussed here or that you cited that supports such a claim.

    Perhaps, you are thinking that the discussion on this blog about the “Narratio de Imagine Edessena” implies that the Mandylion was regularly taken out from its chest in Constantinople. This is not the case because that particular text under discussion refers to the processions of the Mandylion in Edessa, not Constantinople.

    Furthermore, in the text you cited, “Symeon Metaphrastes recites that, upon the arrival of the Mandylion in Constantinople, “everyone was looking at the marvelous image of the Son of God on the holy cloth … “, the “everyone” does not refer to the masses at Constantinople, but rather of the people at a private viewing of the Mandylion where the two sons of Romanos, Constantine VII, and some other officials are present. Some historians even consider that this text is metaphorical because it refers to the inability of the sons of Romanos to distinguish important features of the face. But in any case, only a few people are present at that viewing. The procession that occurs at Constantinople in 944 does not state that the Mandylion was shown to the population. It was carried around the city, and it does not imply that it was shown.

    Furthermore, the Tarragon manuscript that you cites, written by a pilgrim, does not necessarily recount the locking up of the a cloth up to the 12th century.

    In all appearances, the golden case mentioned by that pilgrim refers to the case containing the Mandylion, not another relic.

    1. Mario, the extract from the Tarragon manuscript I quoted at Dec 7, 2:46 pm, refers to the cloth being locked up as a result of continuous disastrous earthquakes. There was only one series of earthquakes in Constantinople that fits this description, and that is the series that occurred in 740 AD which lasted a full year. Another set of serious earthquakes occurred in 849 AD, but could not be described as continuous. There were no such earthquakes following the Mandylion’s arrival in Constantinople in 945 AD. The cloth in the golden case referred to in the manuscript cannot refer to the Mandylion. It must have been some other cloth. No-one but the emperor was permitted to open this case. I presume you are aware of the paper written by Jack Markwardt presented at St Louis, whether or not you agree with it.

  21. Louis wrote: “There is one academic historian, one biochemist who has conducted scientific research, one expert in computer sciences who is at an university who post regularly here. The rest are mostly amateurs who disrupt the blog by aiming their attacks at the professionals.”

    As a professional cryptologist, I am conducting research on the TS Man’s burial (reconstruction in light of extant relics or chistolipsology, Hebrew time markers, archaeoastronomy, Talmudic literature etc), possible ghost inscriptions around TS face, HP ms bifolium ilustration in light of Benedictine mon’s medieval staganography, idomatc numismatic extration of most uncompleted coin patterns on the eye areas etc. When Louis is referring to amateur who disrupt this blog who is he refferring to? Does he consider himself an amateur in term of Shroud research and free lance journalist? Is he attacking as a professional cryptologist?

    1. Sorry for all the typos.

      Is Louis attacking me as a professional cryptologist, which would mean he is unconsciously sel-accusing himself of being the very one of the disturbers on this blog?

        1. I will not respond to the man above since he is trying to provoke me. My responses will be restrited to recognised professionals and others who know to behave themselves and havê something useful to contribute.

        2. Louis C. de Figueiredo (sole judge and blog arbiter of Dan’s blog): “My responses will be restrited to recognised professionals and others who know to behave themselves and havê something useful to contribute.”

          How insulting and ungrateful of you! Behave yourself before asking other to behave themselves!

          I still remember a time while writing up some of your “academia papers”, you kept asking me information about the Talmudic literature (I studied the Talmud), the Veil of Manoppello (I made direct examination of the relic in its monstrance in 1998), the TS-Knights Templar connection (I deciphered enigmatic Templar graffitis and even found a baphomet-TS-like face Templar graffiti of Christ) etc. Reminder: I am a professional cryptologist (cryptology applied to natural therapy, criminology and archaeolgy), I was NOT kicked out of Dan’s block (as I first thought, Dan’s settings were a fault) and Dan did confirm I was welcome to post my comments on his blog. Stop telling untruths and insulting a professional cryptologist for a change, please.

          Besides, what are exactly your findings in sindonlogy? You’re just compiling and compiling what enlightened amateurs and professionals actually found. You’ve never made real Shroud-research per se in your whole lifetime. Now you’re posturing as a sole judge and blog arbiter, which you’re not, complaining about all the amateurs “who disrupt the blog by aiming their attacks at the professionals.” The fact is YOU are disrupting the blog with your personal attacks ON THE SLY aimed at both enlightened amateurs and professionals studying and researching the TS.

        3. Dan:
          Since there is no moderation on the blog and you are allowing Mr. Max Patrick Hamon, a Polish emígré living in Rezé, France to continue with his nonsense, having insulted Barrie Schwortz and and a renowned biblical scholar not long ago, now you cannot delete the following:
          Look at his tastes on his facebook page:
          Mr. Hamon has had the support of Mr.David Belz, of Wellington, New Zealand and who most engages with him is Mr. Hugh Farey, editor of the BSTS newsletter, who is head of science at Saint Richard’s School, England.
          Next step: Please announce that he has identified the Turin Shroud face as “Baphomet-like”. That will put all the “Shroudies”, including those at STERA and HSG, as well as others, out of business when it comes to selling reproductions of the Shroud face —- identified as Jesus, not as Baphomet.

          If Mr. Hamon is looking for trouble he will have it
          and since there is no moderation this will be just the start. Don’t blame me if the matter goes beyond the blog.

    2. “The rest are mostly amateurs who disrupt the blog by aiming their attacks at the professionals.” I hope that, on behalf of the mostly amateurs, I can say that we do not aim our attacks at anybody, professional or not. We aim our attacks at other people’s interpretations of the facts, sometimes at errors in their ‘facts’ themselves, and sometimes at their over selective choices of facts to bolster a particular argument, but surely not at the people themselves.

      Incidentally, I’m not sure that the word ‘professional’ is very useful in Shroud studies, is it? What does it mean? I’m a professional teacher, he is a professional preacher, she is a professional doctor or plumber or author or journalist… but a professional sindonologist? Is there such a thing?

      1. Hugh, do you have the right to say something on “behalf of the mostly amateurs” and also “we do not aim our attacks at anybody”? Who appointed you spokesman? I have received many complaints about you from top “Shroudies”. Now don’t tell me that I was “sworn to secrecy”. No, it has something to do with ethics.
        Around a month ago, on this very blog, I called your attention to the fact that you were engaging with those who made the nastiest attacks, encouraging them in the process, demonstrating no ethics. You then admitted that you were wrong and now you start all over again.
        Worse, you made some very nasty comments,questioning the dailies, monthlies I wrote for and that was when I warned you that you could have problems with authorities in England.
        I regret to ask, Do you suffer from amnesia or do you love mischief making, poking fun at others?
        A Shroud website recently said that you were “having fun” at Jalsa Salana. I can see that you are having fun here too. How nice.
        Remember, you are the BSTS newsletter editor.

        1. I have no right to any such position, Louis, you’re quite correct. But I don’t need a ‘right’ to defend the amateur when I am one myself. Not do I need to be ‘appointed’ spokesman. I do not believe you have received many complaints about me from top Shroudies. Nor did I admit I was wrong to ‘enage’ with anybody I like. Nor do I admit that now. Nor did I make any nasty comments, I hope. I did ask, fairly I thought given your insistence on professionalism, what your profession was, and you told me. I did not denigrate any of the journals for which you write; I know nothing about them. I have had no problems with any authorities in England or anywhere else. I had a lot of fun at the Jalsa Salana last Summer, and have huge respect for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which invited me there. I have a lot of fun in whatever I do.

          Sorry to be so negative, Louis, but your entire post is incomprehensible to me. I wish you, and all studiers of the Shroud, nothing but well, as I have said before, and will probably say again. I am certain that almost everybody who reads this comment feel the same.

    3. Max, Be assured that you are not the only target. I know who Louis’ first paragraph above is aimed at, and it’s not you. However, many of us on this web-site have even more life experience and a broader perspective than any 20 years of free-lance journalism in a narrow range of subject matter might yield. This will no doubt be taken as yet another personal attack. But it’s not. It’s a mere statement of fact! One single correspondent is not the sole judge and arbiter of what may be written here. That privilege belongs to the web-master.

      1. I will not respond to the man above since he is not an historian and continues to pit one blogger against another and indulgênce in flattery.

      2. I have just spent some little time scanning through the various comments from the Archives, beginning with those in August 2008. I note that the vast majority of them were generally written by amateurs, all with various interests and perspectives. No doubt each one had his/her own particular skill or specialty, whether or not this was evident in what they wrote. But it all made fine reading even if occasionally off-beam. But I also did appreciate the occasional contribution by true specialists writing knowledgeably in particular disciplines.

        Anyone is free to set up their own blog site on whatever topic or perspective they choose, or they can offer papers to be presented at conferences, or they can indulge in vanity publishing, such as on the academia web-site. They may moderate input to their heart’s content if they have the time to spare, such as that exercised by Stephen Jones on his own site.

        Personally I appreciate Dan’s general approach on this web-site, where open free discussion and interchange of ideas is permitted and encouraged. I for one have certainly learnt a lot more that I hadn’t known from many correspondents, whether or not I happened to agree with their conclusions.

        During my expedition into the past, I happened to come across a piece I had written in 2011, which one or two claim they took offence at. In retrospect, I now consider it was particularly well written, and even restrained, and I don’t believe I should have cause to change a single word of it. But that need not apply to everything I’ve written of course, because I’m only human and just as fallible as the next person.

        1. How odd that Louis should choose the work of a totally professional highly qualified very experienced forensic anthropologist with several peer-reviewed papers to his credit to illustrate the failings of pro-authenticity amateurs…

      3. Louis the article about what Jesus may have looked like is interesting but to think the Shroud could not be authentic because Jesus has long hair in it is rather silly actually. While Jesus likely had shorter hair during his early ministry, at the time of his execution Jesus was anything but an observant Jew. He had spent time in the desert, like The Baptist, and had become counter-cultural in so many aspects of his life. He may also have seen himself as something of a Nazarite at this time, like Samson he would have to die to save his people. Paul of course would not have been privy to any of this, for he never met Jesus during that time.

        1. David I couldn’t agree with you more. I posted the link just to let readers know how Shroud studies have fallen short of the mark.
          You can be sure that Jesus and John the Baptizer shared some features and, like Jeremiah, were single. There will be more on this later.
          By the way, last month or so you asked me about the biblical archaeology article I was working on in October.
          It is ready: https://www.academia.edu/18994343/The_key_role_of_Biblical_Archaeology_in_Exegesis_An_Interview_with_Professor_Israel_Finkelstein
          The time is coming when some fine tuning will be needed when it comes to faith. There will be more on this shortly, but in the field of theology.

  22. Forgive me if I decline to get into debate with a historian who fails to recognize that the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge and its two mid-14 century commisioners (man and wife, as indicated by their separate coats of arms) is THE prime historical ‘document’.

    Why? Because it is the first appearance in history of the iconic double body image, completely naked, as we see on the TS. Attempts in a magazine article to invest the Lirey image (receiving scant attention) with a loin cloth that is NOT on the badge, NOR on the TS, may have helped to ‘sell’ a dubious hypothesis, ie. that it’s just a painting, conscious of finer sensibilities, and thus originally prudish, or so we are led to believe, but from where I’m standing his thesis looks to me like dud misguided scholarship – a hunch lacking any kind of solid backing evidence.

    I’m willing to view book-writer Charles Freeman as a Shroud ‘historian’ – but not as an ‘academic historian’. Has he ever published anything in a scholarly journal, as distinct from his books and magazine article?

    1. My previous comment on the topic said “academic historian” because he has lectured at Cambridge. I recognise Ian Wilson, who I had occasion to interview for a leading daily (not in English), as a good historian and researcher on the whole, willing to admit that something he has proposed can be a hypothesis, not recorded history.
      That is much better than amateurs writing on history.

    2. Colin – why don’t you look me up online under Charles Freeman Yale University Press and you will see that I have no less than three books published by university presses, including one on medieval relics. Each one had to go through an academic review committee before it was accepted and then had to be read by two academic referees before it was finally accepted.
      You can access Yale on their website to see the reviews of my Holy Bones and you will see that I am taken seriously by academic historians on the specific subject of medieval relics.
      If you had actually read my article you would see that my argument is that the loincloth was added to comply with the decree of the Council of Trent against religious nudity. The images are shown nude as late as 1559 but by 1571 they are covered with a loin cloth . It is Iikely that Carlo Borromeo who was a stickler about these things ordered it the buttocks to be covered over.
      It appears that one can see a lighter patch on the buttocks where the paint once was.
      But I quite forgive you if you don’t want to debate further.
      Ian Wilson is obsessed by the Shroud and does not seem to have bothered to have read in the wider world of relic cults. Once you follow up a text cited by Wilson you often find it says the opposite of what he implies he says , as in the tetradiplon Acts of Thaddeus.

      1. I would not have taken issue with the observation that a loin cloth was added to later portrayals of the Shroud. But your section on the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, taxing, indeed mind-numbing as it is to anyone attempting to extract any meaning, finally seems to say that the makers of the Lirey badge chose to show the body as naked, implying there was a loin cloth on the original TS (which you claim has since selectively worn away, along with crown of thorns). That suggestion is TOTALLY without a shred of evidence, and has to be seen as a self-serving attempt to embroider a junk hypothesis.

        Here’s the passage in question. I leave folks here to judge for themselves.Enjoy!

        “There is one more fascinating feature of the painting of the Shroud and it concerns the loincloth. A Pilgrim Badge of c.1355 shows the images on the Shroud as naked. Two hundred years later, in a depiction of the Shroud taken from a prayer book of Marguerite de Valois, dated to 1559, the images are still naked. Only 20 years later, when the Shroud was exposed in Turin in 1578 after its transfer to his new capital by Duke Emanuele Filiberto I, the loincloth was on it: an engraving of this exposition by Giovanni Testa shows it clearly. It continues to be shown in depictions of the next two centuries, with enough similarity between portrayals to suggest that artists were copying from the original. Why was it suddenly there?
        While I was researching depictions of the Shroud I was shown an engraving from the Royal Library in Turin. Engraved by Carlo Malliano in Rome in 1579, it had been reproduced in different formats with the Shroud as a template, always with a loincloth in place, although with different figures and backgrounds associated with it. In the Turin Library example the presiding clergyman was Francesco Lamberti, Bishop of Nice (which was then within Savoy territory). Intriguingly, Lamberti had been present at the Council of Trent in 1563 and had signed the decree banning lascivia in religious art, the same decree that had led to the nude figures in Michelangelo’s Last Judgement being covered up. Had Lamberti insisted on placing the loincloth on the Shroud? Possibly: but there was another candidate.
        The exposition of 1578 was important because the star guest welcoming the Shroud’s arrival in Turin was none other than the archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo, a devotee of the Shroud, who visited it not just in 1578 but in 1581, 1582 and 1584, the year of his death. One of the most powerful figures of the Counter-Reformation, Borromeo had been secretary to his uncle, Pius IV, in the closing sessions of the Council of Trent of 1562-63. He approved of the decree on lascivia and insisted that Milanese artists followed it. It is likely, therefore, to have been either Lamberti or Borromeo who insisted that the naked buttocks of the image be covered up with a painted loincloth. Today the loincloth has vanished and only a lighter patch over the buttocks suggests its previous existence.”

        As for peer-review, the process for books, intended for popular consumption, is ENTIRELY different from that of paper submitted to a learned journal.


        1. No, I don’t imply there was ever a loin cloth on the original Shroud. The Holkham Bible of 1330 which shows bloodstains on its illustrations of Christ’s head strikingly similar to those on the Shroud also shows Christ naked. The issue ,it appears, was not to show his genitaliia and the hands were crossed to cover these, but the bare buttocks were just too much for St.Carlo. We have evidence that he ordered other nude figures to be covered up.
          I am quite happy with the support I have received from academic historians and others who have contacted me over my article. I can assure you that with so many odd theories about the Shroud around, any Shroud articles are given very rigorous assessment before they are published in serious journals! Well ,that is my experience at least. My article .in the Church Times in June needed an Oxford professor of medieval Christianity to OK it!

      2. P..S. Colin, how can you be sure that this is the first appearance of a double image when there are apparently places in Spain which claim to have originals from which the Shroud is copied? I have never followed this up but I hope someone will as it is possible that it is here that one finds tHe origin of the double image.
        There is ,of course, no evidence that the Shroud was made in or near Lirey but I think we would have had some documentation if it had had a past elsewhere. My own suspicion, no more than that, is that it came from the Rhineland but that is another issue which I need to accumulate a lot more evidence on.
        The Lirey badge has two clerics holding up the Shroud in front of the empty tomb. This is what is laid down in the Quem Queritis ceremony with the two clergy representing Peter and John who found the empty tomb and the grave cloths. The ceremony was a re-enactment of this with the two holding the burial cloth in extenso in front of the tomb and the
        congregation early on Easter Monday.
        i suspect that the Shroud is too big to have been made for a small private chapel as Lirey but I found an interesting reference to the fact that the altar in Cologne is the same size as the Shroud and cloths were displayed on it at Easter,. It was not suggested that the Shroud came from Cologne but that the Shroud was a typical size of those that were. There is a lot of German scholarship,on such matters which does not seem to have penetrated the English speaking Shroud world. Alas my German is schoolboy level.

        1. ” how can you be sure that this is the first appearance of a double image when there are apparently places in Spain which claim to have originals from which the Shroud is copied? I have never followed this up but I hope someone will as it is possible that it is here that one finds the origin of the double image.”

          Hearsay evidence is worthless if not checked out. Why expect others to follow it up? Why don’t you research it, and then tell us what you find?

          Prediction: you will NOT find double body images that predate the Lirey badge.

        2. Colin, I enjoy reading and debating about the Shroud which is a minority interest. It is common practice to suggest avenues of research that one might not be able to carry out oneself in the hope that someone with the right linguistic skills, professional expertise and time might pick them up.

          In many areas, research on the Shroud has hardly begun. Too much time has been spent navel gazing at the Shroud images and virtually nothing on the painted linen possibilities although to be fair it is only in the last fifteen years that serious work has been done on these and scanners are able to show what the original painted surfaces and primers below them were made of. I hope that one day an expert will simply fit the Shroud into the research, just as the horses of St. Mark’s, Venice can now be seen,from work on the gilding of similar statues, to be second or third century AD.
          Unlike some I am happy to wait for the origin of the Shroud to become clear probably in the next five to ten years. I am keeping a watching brief on work on painted linens and will certainly let everyone know if the Shroud Turns out to be a typical of other ‘once painted now decayed’ linens. The Zittau Veil is the best similar example I know of ( original pigments steamed off leaving images similar to the Shroud on discoloured linen) but no doubt more will come to light and some expert in formerly painted line cloths will be able to make effective comparisons with the Shroud.

          I cannot really start retraining as an expert in the conservation of linen so I will have to leave this to the existing experts! Patience needed but with the enormous strides in scanning techniques in recent years I am sure that the Shroud will yield its secrets or other cloths so similar will be analysed and make it obvious how the Shroud images were created.

          The calcium carbonate found by STURP seems an important clue as it was used in the sealing gesso and, as in medieval times, this was mined for this purposes in Northern Europe, this is one small pointer to the origins of the Shroud there.

        3. Dealing briefly with two points, in reverse order:

          1. Where is the evidence that STURP found calcium carbonate? Finding calcium was not surprising, given that flax has Ca++ in counter-ion association with the negatively-charged pectin, i.e. calcium pectate. Since the pectin and assoiated Ca++ is not completely biodegraded in retting, there’s still calcium pectate in linen. I repeat: where’s the evidence for calcium carbonate specifically? I have yet to see any., or even recognition that calcium does not equate with calcium carbonate unless one has hard analytical data in support of that contention.

          2. Let’s consider for a moment the prominent bas-relief nature of the figure on the Lirey badge, and the need to fashion a complementary sunken-relief mould from the soft stone. That’s sounds like a lot of intricate work, especially given the small scale. I shall try and find what tools and/or techniques were needed to end up with smooth sunken contours in the stone mould, making the reasonable assumption that the Lirey badge was produced from a Machy-type mould. For now the key question is “Why would anyone go to all that trouble if merely wishing to represent a painting in miniature? They could simply have engraved, ie scratched lightly, as per the herringbone background, if wishing to portray a mere painting.

          Yup, someone here seems to have overlooked the fact that a medieval artisan must have gone to a great deal of time and trouble to link the Shroud double-body image on its very first display with 3D properties, reinforcing the idea of an IMPRINT left by a real 3D person, albeit recently deceased, on the authentic or proxy Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ (take your pick). One picture, or in this instance, 3D bas-relief artefact, is worth a 1000 words, especially as words in the wrong or inept hands can so easily be misrepresented or misconstrued..

        4. Calcium carbonate. Read the STURP report on physics and chemistry which you no doubt have at hand. Also referred to in Heller ‘s book on the Shroud. They talk of ‘ large’ quantities and across the cloth. No doubt you can assess this for yourself but it is indicative of a Northern Europe gesso. South of the Alps they used calcium sulphate.
          I am not qualified to say that they actually found something else altogether but the ‘ frosty’ appearance of the Shroud surface that they noted might also be the remnants of the calcium.
          What was clear was that STURP having never examined any painted linens or understood the techniques of sealing linen for painting thought it was just accumulations of dust. It may or may not be evidence of gesso but they did not even consider it might be.

        5. ” Read the STURP report on physics and chemistry which you no doubt have at hand. ”

          But there is no single and detailed STURP report on physics and chemistry. There’s the brief 1981 Summary but it makes no mention of calcium and/or calcium carbonate.

          The detailed STURP findings are scattered through a plethora of conference contributions, published papers or personal memoirs by its individual collaborators. So I ask you again: where is the hard analytical evidence to be found for calcium carbonate? Please tell me precisely where you came by that information, and in passing how you were able to distinguish between calcium carbonate as used in artists’ gesso, and randomly scattered contamination by calcium carbonate in adventitious dust (rock particles).

          Heller’s book, which I have, does not qualify as a scientific paper, having no hard scientific data.

        6. P.S. Colin, you can find whole books on pilgrim badges which show the different ways different relic shrines advertised their relics. I think the Lirey badge is a very strong one but perhaps you should look at the other examples to give comparisons.
          I am pleased to introduce you to some of the work done on medieval relics. It is a fascinating and absorbing subject and it kept me very busy for three years of research for my book.

        7. You have not responded to my question re the the trouble taken to represent the figure on the Lirey badge as a bas relief instead of a simpler engraving. Instead I get the usual evasive patronising waffle, yet another instance of your refusal to be pinned down on matters of detail. I leave it to others to judge whether the details I have alluded to are important or not. Naturally I think they are, or I would not be taking the trouble to set them out here. But it’s clearly a futile exercise. You, Charles Freeman, do not do detail. You are content with your broad brush approach, influenced no doubt by an artistic approach called freehand painting that is totally irrelevant to the Shroud of Turin (see STURP 1981 Summary).

        8. Colin , the book you need is Brian Spencer’s Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges, Boydell Press, second edition, 2010. Although it is based on badges excavated in medieval London there are lots of foreign badges. Most of them are 3d- I assume that it was easier to cast them that way if you want to accentuate the image so there are lots illustrated for you to compare the Lirey badge with (although no example f this badge has yet been found in London). The Lirey badge seems really quite crude compared to some of the better examples (e.g. the pilgrim plaques from St. Denis in Paris of c. 1280 which are very intricate but this was a top-level shrine linked as it was to royalty)- I assume that once you had your mould you could produce them by the hundred.
          However, Lirey was not a major shrine so one would hardly expect them to have got a top engraver to make the mould.
          The vernicles of the Veil of Veronica are discussed on page 252
          Delighted to help you on your way but I do think you need to read more widely before you make speculations about the history of the Shrine.

        9. Colin, I am referring to L.A. Schwalbe and R.Rogers, Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin, Analytica Chimica Acta ,135 (1982) , pp.3-49. P. 17 refers to a study by Morris which suggests ‘natural calcium carbonate’. As I only read this paper after I have been studying painted linens and read of the use of calcium carbonate in gesso ( as it still is today), this jumped out at me.
          Again I am delighted to refer you to a paper of which you are clearly unaware. Much of it is way over my head but it will be obvious to you as a scientist and Hugh no doubt has also mastered it.

          My main complaint as a historian who has long been interested in ancient objects and has even dug some up is that nowhere in this paper does anyone seem to consider that the Shroud now is not as it might have been originally. From my limited experience as an archaeologist this seemed amazing.

          I had to use a university library connection to get through to this article but it is downloadable as a pdf.

          Heller, p. 136., on Roger Morris’ paper presented at a conference at Santa Barbara. ‘Finally the results were presented. There was calcium on the Shroud-lots of it, It was evenly distributed over the entire length and width, I wondered where in the world it come from . It was not concentrated in the image areas, so it could not have anything to do with paint , dye or stain.’

          Thiink medieval gesso sealing the cloth prior to painting, Heller!!!

        10. A reference by one pair of authors to another paper by a different author that merely “suggests” calcium carbonate does not constitute hard analytical data. Indeed, the use of the word “suggests” is probably because the calcium that was detected was simply (and lazily) imagined to be calcium carbonate, but lacking analytical proof. That interpretation is supported by the passage you quote from Heller. It refers only to calcium, not calcium carbonate, making no claims specifically for calcium carbonate. I shall check my copy later for the full passage.

          In short, no one need doubt there is calcium in the TS fibres, and/or adventitious particles of aragonite rock etc, but the “calcium carbonate” that you and others assume to be present would appear to be nothing more than a casual uninformed guess, with no attempt to place on a scientific footing.

          That’s really all I have to say on matters of detail re the TS double image (which is where we came in). However there’s a small housekeeping detail that needs attending to. Earlier on this thread it was stated that my previously expressed views on a Veronica-like sweat/blood imprinting provenance of the TS were at odds with those regarding the TS having been commissioned by King John II and Geoffroi de Charny.

          No, there is no conflict whatsoever, as any brave soul who is prepared to wade their way though my 300+ postings and postscripts to postings will find, notably in connexion with the Machy mould and Wilson’s thought-provoking essays. If anyone’s interested to know where I’m at currently re the big picture, expressed in legitimate broad brush style, say in 750 words max, I’d be happy to oblige here later in the day. But I’m not here to bludgeon anyone with my views, least of all because they might change tomorrow with the discovery of a new or possibly neglected detail. The truth is to be found in the detail.

        11. Colin, you wrote: “The truth is to be found in the detail.”

          Most exactly!

          Too bad you still haven’t found all the details that behave like a crucial evidence the TS was kept in Constantinople!

          Too bad you have no sight-and-brain for steganographic forms and details that build up into crucial evidence when it comes to Benedictine monks’ medieval illustrations (see the Stuggart Psalter and Hungarian Pray ms bifolium) seen in light of both the 950s-1200s CE literary testimonies and the burn holed pierced herring bone weave patterned TS bearing its double
          bloodied body image.

          Too bad you haven’t a sight-and-brain coordination system for numismatic palaeographic forms (TS eye and orbital areas), you would have found most uncompleted Pilate coin patterns rather accurately dating the TS image 29-32 CE.

          Too bad you dismiss the possibilty of the TS having been in-soaked with the Red heifer waters. Reminder: they were essentially animal and wood ashes mixed with living waters that is not alike lye waters. They were not only a great cleaning agent for corpses covered in shed innocent blood but also insect and worm repellent. As such, shrouds in the Second Temple period could be soaked in with the specific water solution. Do note the latter was slightly corrosive and allowed a white linen fabric to have a yellowish colour too… Ring some bell for “characteristic details”?

          Had you, you would have changed your views with the discovery of such details pointing at the real thing.

        12. Typo: Had you not, you would have changed your views with the discovery of such details pointing at the real thing.

  23. Can I be clear about your new stance Mario? You now accept that the Image of Edessa was available for inspection by the whole congregation every Wednesday and Friday while it was in Edessa, as unmistakably described in the De Imagine Edessena, but became much more restricted once it arrived in Constantinople. Is that it?

    1. Hugh, I have already answered that: no, the Mandylion could not be inspected by the “whole congregation” in Edessa, we have no historical documents to support that. On the contrary, such text as the Narratio (written in Constantinople under Constantine VII), states the opposite. In Constantinople, it became even more restrictive under the first emperors who received the Mandylion. Hugh, have you read the Narratio?

      1. I really don’t get this. The Narratio explicitly states that twice a week “The image was beheld by all the congregation,” and you’re saying that it wasn’t? As it happens, I have read the whole Narratio, and checked that the words for image and chest are as distinctive in Greek as they are in English. I can’t ask you to explain your point of view more clearly, because it couldn’t be clearer, but can you understand why I am confused?

        1. Hugh, you wrote: “I really don’t get this. The Narratio explicitly states that twice a week “The image was beheld by all the congregation,” and you’re saying that it wasn’t?”

          Yes, the full analysis of the context let me conclude that the image was not directly visible by the crowd (i.e., congregation).

          The translation made by Guscin does not appear precise for that passage. Indeed, other translations are possible, and Nicolotti published another one, which essentially does not state that “The image was beheld by all the congregation”. See it in Nicolotti’s book, “From the Mandylion of Edessa to the Shroud of Turin”, p. 77.

          The pertinent text reads: “And since the ancient chest of the divine form was covered by shutters, so as not to be visible by all whenever they desired, on two days of the week, namely Wednesday and Friday, it could be seen by all the gathering crowd through very fine, studded irons — that among them were called “scepters” — when the windows were opened [ or: when the windows were pulled open by very fine, studded irons that among them were called “scepters”]; and everyone, with prayers, propitiated its incomprehensible power, although it was not permitted to anyone to approach, let alone to touch, the holy image with the lips or the eyes.”

          As you can see, in that translation the word “image” (or “form”) occurs at the beginning and end. Indeed, on this particular aspect, this translation corresponds to the Greek text. Guscin instead of using “it” used “image” in the segment “it could be seen”, but Guscin was over specific, because the text does not use the word “image” in that segment.

          The main point is: what does “it” refer to in the segment “it could be seen by all the gathering crowd[…]”? I think that the specific context of that text and the overall context of the description of the ritual at Edessa makes “it” refers to the chest, not the image. Nicolotti appears to also think that way, because on pages 78-79 (of his book) he argues mainly to prove that the bishop had seen the image on the cloth, but never argues that the crowd saw the image.

          I think that the Greek text has to be analysed carefully to understand this text and that also the general history of that text has to be understood to interpret it properly.

          Hugh, does it convince you that the Narratio does not state that the crowd, at Edessa, could not see the image of the Mandylion?

        2. Oups, my last sentence used incorrectly a double negative. It is rather

          “Hugh, does it convince you that the Narratio does state that the crowd, at Edessa, could not see the image of the Mandylion?

        3. Guscin is perfectly clear that it was the image that was seen by the whole congregation, but Nicolotti, it is true seems to say that it was only the chest. I can’t translate the Greek accurately enough to know which is a better translation. It was yourself who used Guscin’s translation first, or I would probably have accepted your thesis from the start. Now I am simply uncertain.

        4. Hugh, I thought you had analyzed every occurrence of “chest” and “image” in the Greek text to make sure that they were distinguished, but you missed then the fact that a greek word for “image” was not present when applied to “beheld by all the congregation”. I think that from the general context the image cannot be seen by the crowd on these two days, otherwise the entire liturgical text does not make sense to me.

  24. In Rogers and Schwalbe’s ‘Physics and Chemistry’ paper, the uniform distribution of calcium is indeed at first ‘tentatively interpreted as dust accumulations, probably natural calcium carbonate’ which Charles attributes to gesso, but which I think the authors would like to have attributed to the limestone of the tomb. However, the same paragraph goes on later to say that “Heller and Adler have since postulated that the calcium and strontium were absorbed into the linen during the retting process”. The retting process has been used a convenient source of so many anomalies of the Shroud that 1st century linen seems to have been steeped in a kind of mineralogical soup, carefully composed of whatever ingredients need to be accounted for. Actually it might just as probably have been dew retted, and absorbed no local geology at all.

    1. Thanks Hugh. You beat me to it. Here’s the relevant passage from the Rogers & Schwalbe paper verbatim:

      “Morris et al reported relatively uniform concentrations of calcium and strontium in all of their spectra. The large quantities of calcium (200+/- 1.0 mg per cm squared were tentatively interpreted 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’s interpretation, subsequent microscopic examination of the tapes showed little or no calcium 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. They draw support for this hypothesis from both an experimental demonstration of the ion-exchange process and the observed presence and the observed presence of iron and calcium in several other antique linen samples.”

      Would you agree that there is simply no experimental basis or justification for our historian friend to bang on endlessly about “gesso” when there’s no evidence, at least that I’m aware of, or which he has been repeatedly challenged and failed to produce, namely that there is calcium carbonate specifically on the TS, excluding occaional flecks of wind-blown or otherwise acquired dust? As I said earlier, here and many moons ago on this site, calcium is expected to be present, admittedly more before than after retting, because it’s a natural constituent of flax bast fibres, being an essential component of the pectinaceous cement matrix. But NOT as the carbonate.

    2. Colin, the gesso is not proven but has to be checked out. What Heller reports of the Morris paper, the impression is that the calcium is there in good quantities and spread over the whole surface and this is just what you expect if the cloth was coated according to the prescriptions laid down in medieval manuals, such as Cennino Cennini. Cennini as a Tuscan ,would have used calcium sulphate in his gesso, the northerners had access to calcium carbonate in their local mines and used this So don’t you think that the next time the Shroud has a scanner applied to it we should check this out further??

      I have also been told that the aragonite found near the feet might actually be part of the original calcium carbonate. As it appears to have been mislaid we may never know and I certainly know nothing about the relationship between aragonite – which is spread throughout the Mediterranean – and calcium carbonate so cannot assess this. Any mineralogists able to help here?

      The calcium fits well with the other evidence of paint and also with the evidence of animal proteins ( the gesso binding) which the professor of physiology I consulted over the Heller Adler papers thought they had confused with blood. So it is one part of the picture but fits with a lot else including two direct accounts of the Shroud being painted ,1389 and 1449, and references (De Beatis 1517) to being able to see the images from a distance. So I am taking it as number one hypothesis. From what you say you would not even consider it- which suggests something a closed mind

      The retting scenario means nothing unless there are comparative examples in linen which should be fairly easy to check out. It gave the impression of being a rather desperate solution picked out of the air especially as flax was often retted in the open air (!). As so often in Shroud research, no one ever seems to think of relating what is found to comparative examples whether pilgrim badges, other formerly painted linens, etc. yet this is almost certainly where the solution to the Shroud’s origins will eventually be found. I may be biased in favour off unfolding research being helpful but this is just how the dating of the horses of St.Mark’s, on which I have written a book ,was settled and fixed conclusively to the second century AD when the previous big study had said 4th BC. We shall wait and see but it would be so good to have a state of the art scanner look at the surface of the Shroud again.

      I seem to be on a limb here in that I just assume that developing technology will offer totally new insights into the Shroud as time goes by. Others clearly think we have enough evidence to be certain as to what it is and when it was dated and so we can close the books. I am taking a bet on my solution and will cash in if the Shroud is shown to be a fourteenth centUry painting. I shall have to eat humble pie if science proves that it is not! But the question remains open in the present state of knowledge.

  25. My problem with Charles’s painting hypothesis is the complete uniformity with which the gesso and pigment has been eroded away. The lententuch of Zittau, which had several panels obliterated by being used as a sauna canopy, of course has degrees of obliteration, but none of the panels is completely free of the original paint. You can see them in detail at http://www.zittau.eu/fastentuecher/grosses_fastentuch_bild.htm. The same applies to every old eroded picture I can find. If Charles is correct, which is still possible, then I think there must have been a deliberate, and successful, attempt to erase all traces of the original paint, by washing, rubbing or whatever. Maybe it did begin to erode away, exposing the ‘negative’ underneath, and a decision was made to erase the superficial pigment completely, but I find it difficult to accept that not a shred of paint would remain anywhere simply as a result of continuous usage.

    Pursuing Charles’s loincloth idea, the particular sensibilities of Charles Borromeo, and that extraordinary dichotomy of depiction (either crowned, loin-clothed and with feet apart, or uncrowned, naked and with feet together) I wonder if there wasn’t a ‘standard form’ for public depiction, set down by the church authorities, which all painters were commanded to adhere to, regardless of whether they knew what the shroud image actually looked like or not. Actual copies of the Shroud – ex extractum – could, of course, be as close to the original as the artists could make, but the engravers of ceremonial occasions had to produce the ‘official’ version, which they knew, and no doubt many of those who saw it knew, was more of a symbol of the image than a depiction of the image itself.

      1. Yes. I have always thought Charles was grasping at straws to suggest that a loincloth was painted on and stripped off as occasion demanded, although that is not wholly impossible (it could even have been appliquéd on for that matter), especially as that feature does not explain the similarly sporadic appearance of the crown of thorns and the different arrangement of the legs and feet, but he does have a point in his insistence that all those depictions of a loin-clothed, crowned image must have derived from something. I even suggested a while back that there may have been two shrouds, the real one and a display copy, although that was grasping at straws on my part. However if the ‘publication’ version was not an actual copy, but a kind of list of required characteristics which an artist had to include, either written or sketched by the ‘nihil obstat’ and ‘imprimatur’ authorities as required, that might be a realistic compromise.

        1. Returning to an earlier posting, what did cause the burn holes, making necessary all those patch repairs, if it wasn’t the official version (accidental 1532 fire) Hugh? We’re dying to know. Will your idea prove equally incendiary?

  26. Hi Hugh,
    Charles is neither the first nor the last to say that the image is nothing more than an old painting. That was Walter McCrone’s opinion for example. McCrone reached this conclusion after careful analysis , “presence of pigments, of types commonly used in medieval paints, on the shroud” I’m afraid.

  27. Feel free, Dan to revert to your previous settings. OK, they would lock me out this site for another indeterminate period, but you know what they say: every cloud has a silver lining (or in this case, platinum ;-)

  28. I am pretty certain there was no loin cloth on the original- I have seen no example of any in any depiction- the first with a loin cloth that I know of is the banner standard from the battle of Lepanto now in the church of San Domenico in Turin, it is c. 1571 and as the decree from the council of Trent on the covering up nudity was 1563 and we have a prayerbook of 1559 in the Royal Library in Turin which still shows the figures nude, it fits quite well.
    As a study of the many depictions in the Savoy catalogue of images shows it on into the nineteenth century it was certainly not stripped on and off! But as a later painting on the earlier figure it may have been the first to have come off . We need a linen conservation expert to help explain why the buttocks today are lighter than the rest- as noted by the art historians in the 1973-6 examination ( that was suppressed!), one would expect the buttocks to have been darker if an actual body had laid on the cloth ( and the back view to show a heavier imprint than the top).

    ‘Not a shred of paint’ MacCrone anyone?

    The lithograph that Beldon Scott shows on p.296 suggests that the painting of the front figure had largely faded by 1868. Did the rest come off in the next thirty years? The Zittau Veil was used to cover a steam bath by some Russian soldiers- where the steam penetrated in the centre the paint came off, round the edges at the bottom it did not, hence the contrast. Still I take Hugh’s point- we need to get the linen conservationists who have studied painted linens that have deteriorated onto this. The Shroud was kept well past its image date- usually these linens appear to have been thrown away when the painting disintegrated.

    There is a possibility that the Shroud was repainted before its transfer to Turin in 1578. This fits if you take a chronological sequence of the depictions which the legs apart painted over an earlier painting. I was surprised to find that repainting a treasured linen was actually quite common- modern scanning of some painted linens has shown up different layers from repainting. However, we can get nowhere on this until someone brings together all the known depictions of the Shroud- as it was displayed- not copies. Even modest exploring dug up two ones I had never seen, one lurking in the British Library of 1608 and one sent to me in error by the Royal Library in Turin when I ( or rather the picture researcher) had asked for something different. Once again there is tons to uncover about the Shroud’s history ,
    especially of how it looked at different moments in its history.This is an unfolding story.

    On pilgrim badges. The Lirey 3D is actually very conventional. Brian Spencer has an excellent section on moulds and metals (pp.7- 13). Mould making was a skilled occupation and ,as I mentioned earlier, the Lirey Badge is crude compared to some of the star finds. Original moulds for pilgrim badges have even been found- one from Yorkshire is illustrated on p. 9 of Spencer. The metals varied from lead to pewter to gold at the top end of the market. An amazing amount of work has been done on all this and it seems that the Lirey badge is totally typical of mass-produced pilgrim badges from minor (and in this case short-lived) shrines.

    Repeat-this is an unfolding story. We have not got there yet although I think the evidence of a medieval origin is overwhelming. For me the iconography of the all-over scourge marks both front and back, not known before 1300, is the clincher ! (As well as the evidence that was woven on a medieval treadle loom.)

    1. Charles

      Would your opinion change if that was real blood was on the shroud? How about real human blood?

      1. John, not necessarily as there was a great surge of blood cults in thirteenth and fourteenth century Europe and many monasteries/churches claimed to have phials of Christ’s blood .e.g. one was found in the same chest that held the Sudarium of Oviedo and Hailes in England had an enormously lucrative one -they rebuilt a large part of their monastery from the proceeds. Then there was dried blood such as the miracle of Bolsena – a host which bled to show that it was truly the blood of Christ- and the blood was kept on the floor.
        Where did all this blood come from? The incentive to add some to a relic must have been strong. So when you read the 1449 eye-witness account of the Shroud by a Benedictine monk, Corneille Zantfliet, in which he describes a shape of the body of Christ that was miro artificio depicta, ‘admirably or skilfully painted’, and goes on to say that the wounds on the hands, feet and side of the images were so bloody that they looked as if they were recent, one does wonder.
        Still ultimately anyone who has a piece of the Shroud or a sticky tape with blood on it needs to have it tested in an independent forensic lab to test out the blood. The testing methods of 1978 have long been superceded and, in any case, those tests have never been independently replicated.
        For further info. see Caroline Walker Bynum’s Wonderful Blood which has a mass of information on these blood cults in Germany.

        1. Charles

          It’s one thing to have something they believe to be the blood of Christ it’s another to paint a picture and use real blood in spots rather then just paint it like the rest of the picture.

          I just don’t see why anyone would do that. They had no way of knowing that 100’s of years later we would be able to detect blood from paint. It makes no sense.

          I have red paint here, no let me go kill an animal or cut a human because someone will find out if I just painted it on. I mean you yourself once posted they wasn’t trying to fool anyone in thinking it was really the real shroud that Jesus laid on.

          Do you have any evidence of painting from that time where they mixed paint with blood?

          PS I’m not a Christian, just someone seeking truth.

        2. I agree with you, John that it is unlikely to have been added although the ‘blood’ seems to be separate from the paint – or if it is paint it is vermilion which is the normal pigment used on medieval cloths for blood( and this is just what MacCrone found,of course) .

          My own attempts to have the Heller Adler papers read by an expert physiologist ended in me being told that there was almost certainly no blood on the Shroud. As the 1978 tests have never been replicated we certainly have no proof in the scientific sense that there was blood. Problems such as the lack of potassium and the redness of the ‘blood’ convince many that this is not blood. I was just making the point that the presence/addition of human blood in an era where blood cults were everywhere and very lucrative is not beyond the bounds of credibility. Many such things went on in the relic cults!

          The question of being or not being a Christian is really irrelevant in relationship to the authenticity of the Shroud. If Jesus lived ,was crucified and was buried, a burial shroud existed at one point. THe question is whether the Shroud is it or not, or if it perished ( as statistically would be the most likely fate) or is one of the many other shroud relics or perhaps is hanging around somewhere totally unrecognised for what it is .

          Many Catholics do not believe that the Shroud is authentic and the Church despite presiding over the carbon-14 dates is not clear either!

        3. “My own attempts to have the Heller Adler papers read by an expert physiologist ended in me being told that there was almost certainly no blood on the Shroud.”

          This not how scientific issues are settled i.e. by privately consulting a nameless “expert” (in this instance with no guarantee that the physiologist in question has specialist knowledge in the area of blood testing, modern or ancient).

          Consultations that are conducted verbally behind closed doors or on the phone, anonymously with no written record, is emphatically not science. Indeed, it devalues and belittles the open and democratic scientific method.. Am I the only one here who suspects that to be Charles Freeman’s true agenda with his patently absurd “just a painting” dogma – namely to devalue and belittle science and its practitioners in the most cavalier and contemptuous manner imaginable? Yes, strong words, but they need to be said. This nonsense has gone on for far too long.

          The suggestion that all the blood could be explained away as due to the presence of a simple easy-to-test inorganic compound like mercury(II)sulphide (vermilion) is frankly a non-starter. McCrone detected mere traces of HgS, with suggested contamination from other artworks that had been ‘blessed’ by brief physical contact with the TS.

        4. Colin, I have never suggested that I have settled it. If you had read my posts you would have realised that I would like to see the tests replicated by an independent forensic laboratory- what’s wrong with that? It is just that an informal survey of the Heller Adler papers by an expert in these things did not believe that they had shown that there was human blood. Nor, as I remember from an early post of yours, do you think it is blood. It is because an expert is unconvinced that we need further testing but would the samples ever be handed over to an independent laboratory?

          Here I am being very courteous towards you, feeding you tons of information about pilgrim badges and the documentary evidence for Lirey, all of which can only expand the context of your theories and you treat me as some sort of ignoramus. That is your privilege but you certainly cannot call my painting hypothesis absurd until you can show definitively that there has never been gesso or paint pigments on the Shroud or that those who recorded the Shroud as painted or who depicted the images as much stronger than they are now were also deceived. There is a lot of evidence to overthrow but so far I have never seen any significant evidence for any of your theories. They seem to come from your head without any awareness that there is such a thing as evidence needed to support them.

          For a brief number of years, Lirey was a minor shrine which is largely known to us because the Church authorities quashed its activities and only allowed these to resume some years later on the understanding they they dropped their claim that they had the authentic Shroud. It was one of many such shrines, hundreds of them are recorded, which had a brief moment of popularity but then failed. Yet you treat it as if it were somehow unique or different from its many competitors, some of whom were much more successful at ‘selling’ their relics. Compare Lirey with say Hailes and its phial of Christ’s blood to see what a really successful shrine was like!

  29. Even if there was real human blood … so what ?? There’s all kind of reasons for the eventual presence of real human blood on this old cloth.

    1. I agree with PHLP that I shall not be the first nor the last to say that this was originally a painted linen. MacCrone ,of course, and then we have the late and lamented expert on painted linens, Caroline Villers, who talks of the Shroud as ‘one of the best-known surviving medieval images on a textile support’. Would that she was still with us to expand on that!

      The real point is that I can accumulate evidence but in the end it will be a professional conservationist who has worked on painted linens who will make the call, preferably with some examples that are very similar to the Shroud. I have had several responses that say that my views are plausible or that i seem to be on the right lines so I can only sow seeds . One day I hope some expert will come up with the watertight evidence! With so much more attention being given to painted linens it may be sooner rather than later.

    2. PHPL

      I don’t see the Pope allowing anyone to cut the Shroud again for C14 testing so we have to work with we have.

      Many time when you try to solve something there is no, “smoking gun.” You have a lot of clues and you try to put them together and see where they point.

  30. There’s a new and as yet unread comment from Charles Freeman in my email inbox, and unread it shall stay, unless or until I find myself wishing to indulge a fit of masochism. What’s the point of reading endless permutations of the man’s “painted linen” fixation when he fails to provide a scintilla of supporting evidence, claiming that a phalanx of painted-linen experts of the future will one day prove he was right?

    Is this his idea of scholarship?

    1. ‘ is this his idea of scholarship?’ Yes, it is. I am not an expert on painted medieval linens but I have read a significant amount about them that suggests that the Shroud was originally a painted linen. I am aware that there is an increasing number of expert conservationists who are working on these linens, which have really only become of interest in the past fifteen years. They will be qualified to judge whether the Shroud was originally a painted linen or not. I am simply waiting to see what their expertise brings up. I am quite ready to accept that those with more expertise than I may prove me wrong.
      Colin has already decided that the Shroud was never a painted linen. For him the case seems closed. Fine. Let’s see what the next few years of research on painted linens provides us with. My hunch is that it will solve the problems of the images and the origins of the Shroud.

  31. Am still refusing to open any more email notifications from you-know-who, and will do so indefinitely from this point in time. Why?

    Here’s an analogy. Imagine you have joined a coach party visiting Pompei. Imagine that the courier and those keen to hear his or her words is constantly interrupted by a particular individual declaring loudly that the volcano story is a myth, that Pompei is really Atlantis risen from the waves. Imagine that when questioned, that individual responds with “Look, there’s the sea, Pompei is on a slope, it’s Atlantis I tell you. Plate tectonics will one day prove me right.”

    Suppose that same mantra is repeated, over and over and over again.

    What is one supposed to do? People do not come with an off-switch, but my email inbox does.

  32. Colin wrote: “But there’s no record pre-1355 of any such iconic double image. So why not just accept that the double-image did not exist before the mid-14th century?”

    Actually there is record pre-1355 of the dorsal and ventral images of the TS. It took a Shroud researcher and scholar with a very good descriptive knowledge of the TS and well-versed in late 8th c. – mid-14th c. CE Benedictine ‘iconosteganography’ to spot it (see “The flogging of Christ, Carolingian iconography, early 9th c. CE, Stuttgart Psalter, fol. 43v, Wurttenmbergische Landesbibliothek, Germany” IN CONJUNCTION WITH “The unction of Christ and The empty tomb”, Byzantine influenced Roman iconography, 1162-1195 CE, Hungarian Pray Ms bifolium, fol. XXVIII, Budapest National Szechenyi Library, Hungaria). Indeed, the double image did steganographically leak out into the Benedictine domain. However it demands an astute enough observer just to piece the two depictions of the stark naked Christ together and detect their steganological connection with TS both as cloth and double image. It was not “an instantly recognizable logo” then yet it was hidden in full view.

    Les enthousiastes soulèvent le monde, les sceptiques purs et durs le laissent retombé.

      1. Reminders for archsceptics: Absent the Baptism of Christ iconography, the depiction of a stark naked Christ is very rare as far as Christological iconography is concerned prior to the 12th c. CE. From 1200 to 1350 CE, it is still rather uncommon.

      2. Reminders for Colin:
        “A 10th century codex, Codex Vossianus Latinus Q 69, found by Gino Zaninotto in the Vatican Library contains an 8th-century account saying that an imprint of Christ’s whole body was left on a canvas kept in a church in Edessa, it quotes a man called Smera in Constantinople: “King Abgar received a cloth on which one can see not only a face but the whole body” (in Latin: [non tantum] faciei figuram sed totius corporis figuram cernere poteris).”

        In c. 730 CE, John of Damascus tells us Yeshu’a had impressed his image on a himation, that is a sindon about 4x1m reminder not so much of a kerchief as the Turin Shroud.

        Literary testimony one piece together with literary testimony two reads as follow: Yeshu’a impressed not only his face bit his whole body on a sindon/canvass about 4x1m i.e. alike the TS.

  33. Reminder: the issue is not about a whole body imprint – whether reported sightings can be trusted or not. It’s about the iconic DOUBLE body image.

    How could such an image have existed before the mid-14th century – yet have left no trace whatsoever in the historical record – written or artistic? Single body imprints, no matter how well documented, lack essential star quality. Audition terminated prematurely. Don’t call us. We’ll call you.

    1. What do you make of the illustrations (that of the Stuggart Psalter and those the HP ms). NOTHING. Now when read in conjunction, they gives aways more than FOURTY to FIFTY shroud or shroud-like characteristics that is far more than YOUR Lirey Pilgrim Badge! Do your steganological homework first (if as a biochemist-chemist, you can understand the phrase “medieval Benedictine steganography” ) and once you’ll get the right sight-and-brain coordination system to “see and get” what I mean, call me.

      Besides the Abgar legend, the (double-)image of a whole body has left cryptoliterary traces too in several Late Antique and medieval legends (mainly hagiographic and arthurian) + in a Knight Templar’s cryptic testimony: Hugues de Payraud reported the bearded ‘Head’ in semblance of a baphomet ( = the Bocca della Verità) to have “four legs: two at the front and two at the back”. Actually the Shroud image does show a bearded head (that can remind us of the Bocca della Verità mask) and the frontal imprints of two legs and feet (the latter apparently ‘missing’ for a few Shroudies though) AND dorsal imprints of two legs and feet.

      Do your cryptological homework first, then call me.

      Nope if you’ve a cryptological deaf ear-and-grain and a steganological blind eye-and-brain.

    2. Re Colin’ s illustration. Lie down on your back in the privacy of your own home with a gap between your elbows and your body and then try and hold the same position as the Shroud image in the front. Front and back cannot be the same simultaneous image of a body. This gap is typical,of depictions but is obscured today by the spread of the burn marks.
      Note loin cloth- should be a post 1570 illustration.

  34. Besides re Charles’s and Colin’s scenari (gesso vs flour), in light of possible Second Temple burial practices and cleansing products then available to dry out and/or sanitize cloths, most likely once tightly wrapped up in shrouds the TS man’s body all covered in his shed innocent blood was providentially ‘fumigated on’ on his burial.

    Archaeologically speaking, a much promising research avenue than that of the gesso or flour scenario is that of the Red heifer waters. They were a perfect mixture of animal and wood ashes mixed with (boiling) living waters to prevent the resulting lye waters from being too corrosive. Such Second Temple period lustral waters were not only insect and worm repellent and cloth sanitizer but also could be a great cleaning agent for corpses covered in (shed innocent) blood that could not be ‘directly washed’. Thus shrouds could be soaked in with this specific water solution and subjected to a myrrhic aloetic fumigation. Besides, do note the Red heifer waters were slightly corrosive and allowed any white linen fabric to have a yellowish colour too. Ring some bells?

    1. Whatever proposed means of staining, marking, scorching, or whatever one’s preferred name for the surface image coloration–I just wish for one thing in the arguments:
      Please rule out any proposed method that does not account for it now being a proportional image when displayed as a flat cloth.
      If you drape a large cloth over your (or some patient and indulgent friend) and then mark the hairline, mouth, nose, eyes, chin-line and then lay it flat, you’ll see that it looks comically wide and silly. The TS is displayed flat and the image looks proportional like a painting or your image in a mirror. This is not to say it is (or was) a painting.

      But, whatever acidification, plant-based staining (as observed with flat leaves stored in a flat book,) or any type of radiation proposed that does not account for that–does it not stand to reason to stop including or even passively endorsing those things as possibilities?

      1. All is the specific mode of tightly wrapping up (not just drape!) the stiff rigid body all covered in blood. As long inner shroud, the TS in-soaked with an alkali solution was first stretched taut lengthwise and then compressed widthwise with spices (fresh flower heads + objects + granulized myrrh ) in dry shorter shrouds. Then it was laid in extra heights (on two stones or two piles of granulized myrrh bags) to be subjected to a (myrrhic?) aloetic fumigation to dry out (since the inner long shroud aka the TS was most likely soaked with an alkali solution –Red heifer waters and/of limestone dust + ammonium present in salt of human lactic acid). Consequently, the long inner Shroud shrank and sort of get gradually taut again, which could account for a rather proportionally enlarged image when displayed as a flat cloth. most likely it was wrapped in an all enveloping/outer burial shroud (Aramaic sudara, Heb. sovev) not to be mistaken for the TS as long iner shroud, a burial skull cap, a burial face cloth or a pre-burial napkin. (You shall not underevaluate the TS mechanical return force as an alkali water in-soaked twill (3:1) linen fabric on shrinking)

        In a previous common re what is most needed to account for the image formation process, I wrote:

        – imprinting (in terms of cloth-to-body unsticking process = compression and gradual decompression = self-collimation)
        – ammonium (salt of human lactic acid)
        – alkali solution (made of living water + ashes as Second Temple period innocent bloodshed purifying agent and/or limestone dust as insect and worm repulsive)
        – external and/or internal heating source (in terms of aloetic fumigation to temporarily make up for the anointing procedure and/or body/corpse hyperthermia)
        – residual starch (reminder: as imprinting paste it gelatinises at low temperature 55°-85° C) and/or saponaria (soapwort) and/or natron?
        – “opaques” ((in terms of iron oxide and silica particles adhering to the corpse/body and present in the Judean desert and/or Jerusalem limestone or Melche stone dust

        – besides soapwort and natron, a natural detergent can be made from common salt in heavy sweat (as salt residue can accumulate on skin) and Jerusalem limestone dust).
        – limestone dust and/or ashes mixed with water can gelatinized starch at low temperature (55°-85° C).
        – pre- or light MORDANTING conditions are needed (i.e. burial linen cloth in-soaked with AQUEOUS ALKALI SOLUTION such as the slightly corrosive Red Heifer waters and/or Jerusalem limestone/Melche dust mixed with waters + ammonia)

      2. Your point is well taken. One expects to see lateral distortion in a 2D image that has been obtained from a fully 3D person, or effigy thereof, when in fact one sees little of that effect in the TS. But that latter observation has to be qualified. Everyone is agreed that there is no imaging of the sides. In one of the the models you quote, namely radiation, there has to be a quite extraordinary assumpttion made to account for the absence of sides, namely orthogonal projection of emitted radiation as if controlled by the Earth’s gravitational field (one suspects Einstein would have had words to say about that!).

        But these considerations apply less to an image that has been produced by medieval technology to simulate what a contact imprint might look like centuries later, formed by transfer of sweat and blood. The image did NOT have to match that which would really be obtained by imprinting. It had only to match what could be claimed to have been made by natural, unassisted imprinting.

        While I hesitate to mention it, there is an imprinting mechanism that captures as little or as much of frontal v (partial) lateral topography as is desired. It’s one which uses a fine powder (white flour) as imprinting medium which can be applied to the highest, flattest parts of the anatomy that one wishes to imprint, being careful to leave it off ‘sides’ especially. There’s a second safeguard to avoid or minimise lateral distortion, namely that in the simulation scenario with white flour/wet linen, there is manual moulding of cloth to flour-coated subject, allowing further control to be exercised over what is or is not imprinted.

        Thus far, I have imprinted off my hand (easy, satisfactory imprint, negative, 3D enhancible) and my face (total disaster, as expected). Luigi Garlaschelli also recognized the problem, ruling out contact imprinting off the face in his paste or powder frottage model. He concluded that a bas relief was used for the face. I’d certainly concur with him re the face, and a bas relief would account for the arguably mask-like appearance with severe cut-off at both sides, and maybe account too for the somewhat peculiar look where head and neck joins the torso.

  35. It is not possible to impose theory on practice, much more so in the case of the burial of Jesus when Joseph had little time. Only seven heifers were burnt in the whole of Jewish history and the water mixed with the ashes was costly.
    The water was not used on corpses. It was used for the ritual purification of persons or objects defiled by a corpse.

    1. Reminder for LdeF: Firstly the water was used on the shroud (an object) that was about to be defiled with Yeshu’a shed innocent blood while the very aim of the taharah was definitely to purify his very shed innocent blood covering the whole corpse.

      And a question to a free lance journalist (chanting/parroting the old mantra of his favorite biblical scholars and who seem not even to have been aware of the NT Aramaic and Hebrew substratum (e.g. in terms of Hebrew time markers), translation entropy (from Aramaic and/or Hebrew to Koine/translation Greek) and the crucial halakhic issue re the purification of the shed innocent blood in connection with Yeshu’a’s burial and atonement:

      Most likely Yeshu’a’s buriers were (rich as a matter of fact) Sanhedrin members who did not had a hand in his death sentence and thought him innocent of the crimes he was put to death.
      Could they kill all their colleagues who had a hand in Yeshu’a’s condamnation to death?

      How these Sanhedrin members (most likely from the Hillel school of law and thought) and buriers were to atone for the shed innocent blood of their secret master (Yeshu’a) when those who had sentenced the latter to death were their fellow-Sanhedrin members?

      Tell me, how could Yeshu’a rich buriers and secret disciple abide by the Halakha (i.e. purify the shed innocent blood yet without atoning for it)? My answer: they use the Red heifer waters (BTW in the talmudic literature are link to the MesshiaH’s return.Now methinks to elucidate the TS image formation process enigma, Red heifer ashes are most needed.

  36. There’s that haunting line from J.R.R.Tolkien at the start of ‘Lord of the Rings’:

    “And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth”

    For internet sites, there’s now a sad variant:

    “And some things that should have been forgotten were not lost. Fancy became fixation. Fixation became obsession.”

    1. What about your successive allegedly/ “scientific” wild flight of fancy (from mummy baking to flour pasting,via roasted knight Templars –De Molay or De Charnay and Saint Lawrence?

      People in glass house should not throw stones!

  37. Addresses to readers;
    Red heifer ashes were used for the ritual purification of persons or objects defiled by a corpse. Do your own research if you are interested in going further, unwilling to be misled.

    1. Louis de Fegueiredo, YOU ARE misleading and most obviously just CANNOT/DO NOT ANSWER my question about shed INNOCENT blood, taharah and atonement in light of Yeshu’a’s burial particular context/circumstances.

      You are a mere free lance journalist and know next to nothing to halakhic subtleties and debates (methinks you’re still harboring ill-rancor against me are up to mischief making after reading your comments)

      Addresses to reader: The tricky issue here is a case ONLY for a genuine Second Temple period scholar and/or halacha master, which most obviously L. de F.and his favorite biblical scholars are definitely not. I advise him to meet a genuine one for a change before recurring to superficial/overall information while tackling such a tricky issue of which most obviously the man is not even aware.

        1. Reminder for L de F: according to the halacha, innocent blood that has been shed is a pollutant. Since Yeshu’a’s body was all covered in his shed innocent blood, sole the red heifer waters could purify it from such a defilement. Henceforth Yeshu’a bloodied body just could not be buried without his shed innocent blood being purified and the sole cleaning product par excellence tavailable to meet such a requirement was in-soaking his long inner shroud with the ref heifer waters… unless, as a free lance journalist, L.de F. has a better idea to solve this specific halachic issue.

        2. Reminder two: because Yeshu’a died a violent death and his body was all covered in blood, his shed innocent blood should be buried along with him.

      1. Can you suggest any “genuine Second Temple period Jewish scholars” of which you approve, Max? I’ll try to get in touch with them. Do you think they’ll agree that the Shroud of an innocent murder victim was soaked in red heifer waters?

        1. Hugh, don’t waste your time with someone who describes himself as an “archaeocryptologist”, a profession which you yourself questioned not long ago. You followed my advice and did your own research and found out that I was right, while he continues to insist on the rubbish he sometimes posts here, which Dan tolerated. Since the blog will no longer be in existence, we can say “good riddance of bad rubbish” when it comes to his comments.
          He does not respect anyone. Have you had a look at his facebook page? He is now an oldish man with white hair and he has posted a photo taken around 20 to 25 years ago. He is a fan of a dead would-be messiah and is interested in Stonehenge, at the same time talking about “God is one”!

        2. Nevertheless, If his views are corroborated by a “genuine Second Temple period Jewish scholar”, then I would be prepared to take them seriously. If.

        3. Alright, ask the Polish immigrant living in Rezé, France whether he has published a single article on “archaeocryptology” in France’s leading daily. As I said previously, he is a one-man show.

          Dozens of people were executed by the sicarii and the Sadducees. Can you imagine the costly red heifer ashes mixed with water to wash their dead bodies?
          James, “the brother of the Lord” was thrown from the Temple wall and clubbed to death after the fall with a fuller’s club. Do you think his body was washed with red heifer ashes? It is known that the some priests at the Temple were practising witchcraft to reach the rank of High Priest. For more information, and a bit about the Talmud by Francis Schaefer, read the following again: https://www.academia.edu/7556467/Jesus_was_not_buried_in_Talpiot_-_Parts_I_and_II
          There was always a big noise about revelation in OT times, particularly after the Baylonian Captivity. How much corresponded to the truth? That is what is being checked:

        4. To the most respectful, most kind, most obliging and most “Catholic” Louis de Figueiredo, free lance journalist and you so courteously wrote:

          “good riddance of bad rubbish” when it comes to his comments” (meaning mine).

          Who’s really posting “rubbish”?

          YOU ARE!

          First you wrote I was a “Polish immigrant living in Rezé, France”.

          Methinks you’ve got to know both my parents were French, which cannot make me a “Polish immigrant”, you freaking idiot!

          Besides what is your problem with Polish immigrants?

          Secondly, you implicitly boast yourself of having published in a leading daily (and monthly?) and I haven’t–have you? Since you’re a free lance journalist, this would the least expected!

          Absent the fact I made a couple of oral presentations or contributions at Shroud conferences (in France, Italy, Poland), had an article on Knight Templars’ enigmatic graffitis published in France in 2010 and I’am about to publish an 80 page monography on my deciphering of the Knight Templars’ egnimatic graffitis in the Coudray Tower.

          I localized the place where most if not all the Christic relics that disappeared at the French Revolution, are buried. Hope to be allowed to make an expedition.

          Besides I can give you a list of my still unpublished discoveries in sindonology along with a list of the research I have been conducting on the TS for now more than a quarter of a century. I did make a few discoveries!

          Could YOU tell me what are your discoveries in sindonology? Methinks you just keep compiling other dsicoveries to write up you’re article but have found NOTHING by yourself!

          I remember a time when you kept asking me information on the knight Templars, the Talmud, the Manoppello Veil TILL I wrote “your” Fitzmeyer could be wrong or the victime of a selective bias, till I wrote “your” Schwortz was wrong (as a 20th-21st Jewish technical photographer) when he left his field of expertise (an no matter how he excels in photography or oral presentation on the TS), to misleadingly assert: “if they did use coins, they certainly would not have put a pagan Caesar coin on the face of the prophesized Messiah!”. Most obviously Scwortz is neither a numismatic scholar nor a professional numismatist that I know of. Besides, he totally ignore whence the Pilate coin offensiveness theory he made his, come from!
          (see my posting COIN OVER EYES AND DIE-HARD MISINFORMATION, Part One, Offensive Coins: Heads Or Tails? (Or the Stauffer numismatic pseudo-evidence)

          Had your read this guest posting of mine, you would have known this is not rubbish at all but for a man like ypu losing it out of ill-rancor against me!

        5. Mr. Max Patrick Hamon
          You do not respect anyone and you are not an expert on the Knights Templar. I know true experts in Europe, including some in France and Italy.Oral presentations do not mean anything and many of them propose rubbish, which is what you must have done.
          You continue to insult barrie Schwortz, a world-renowned biblical scholar and myself. Go ahead, do some more of this, you will see the results shortly.
          I wrote for the same newspaper for 20 years, being the leading writer. Other than this, I have also contributed full-page articles in leading dailies in more than one country and they are being used for reference.
          Please don’t present a false image of yourself. You posted an old, around 20-25- years-old photograph of yourself on facebook and your interests show your inner conflicts, which you also demonstrate here.
          Now that Dan is shutting down the blog you will have to look for another place to post your rubbish. Latest example? Trying to convince readers here that the man of the Shroud was washed with the ashes of a red heifer mixed with water! Further, you said that that is what made the Shroud become yellow! You are indulging in feverish imagination. Why? As I pointed out previously, this water was used on very few occasions because it was very costly. It was not used to wash dead bodies, it was used to purify people who had touched a dead body.
          Who are you you trying to fool? You did not convince anybody, except yourself.

        6. LdeF, You can insult me, mock my profile, underrate my contributions to this blog and elsewhere, distort my opinion, misrepresent and threaten me while still preaching against personal attacks and character assassination and think you’re a good Christian, you just give yourself away for what you are: a freaking idiot and a liar!

          “Le menteur à qui l’on retire son masque ressent la même indignation que si on le défigurait.”
          Jean Rostand De Jean Rostand / De la vanité

          As usual, you misleadingly wrote: “Trying to convince readers here that the man of the Shroud was washed with the ashes of a red heifer mixed with water! Further, you said that that is what made the Shroud become yellow! You are indulging in feverish imagination. Why? As I pointed out previously, this water was used on very few occasions because it was very costly. It was not used to wash dead bodies, it was used to purify people who had touched a dead body.”

          Firstly, I’m not trying to convince anybody, just give people food for thought re a new avenue. My thought experiment or red heifer waters acting as light mordant/fumigation scenario is based on experimental archeological pre-reconstructions (wrapping in shrouds) in light of Christolipsology, philology (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek), achaeoastronomy, the Gospels, Biblical and Talmudic Literatures, Second Temple period burial practices, custom and rites, Ancient Textiles mechanics and chemistry, Paleaoantomopathology, archaeological bloodstain analysis, reconstructive cryptology etc.

          Archaeologically and chemically speaking my red heifer waters acting as light mordant/fumigation scenario, in the hypothesis the TS is Yeshu’a, is far less speculative than the gesso or flour scenarios. It does hold water (British biochemis/chemist, Colin Berry went as far as attempting to sort of recycle my theory and develop a fraudulist scenario that would sort of parallel mine in terms of use of an alkali solution and mordanting).

          Secondly I never wrote “the Shroud was washed with the ashes of a red heifer mixed with water” but Yeshua’ shed innocent blood had to be purified.

          Once you misleadingly wrote: “it is HIGHLY (upper cases mine) doubtful that Joseph, being a member of the Sanhedrin, would have Jesus buried as an innocent man.” Oh really? Just prove it? What say the Gospels?

          reminder for the free lance journalist: Yeshua’s buriers were Sanhedrin members who HAD NOT TAKEN A HAND IN Yeshua’s sentence to death because most likely they were his secret disciples and thought him innocent. Yeshua died on the cross and was INNOCENT i.e. WITHOUT SIN if those words has a meaning for a Catholic as they had for Yeshua’s disciples then.

          Besides, you does seem to ignore SHED INNOCENT BLOOD WAS A POLLUTANT in the Second Temple period, which speaks volume on how familiar you’re with the Talmud literature and the halacha!!!

          Now I’m asking the 21th c. CE free lance journalist, how could Second Temple period Judean allow themselves to keep Yeshua’ burial shrouds had not their master’s shed innocent blood that was a pollutant not been purified via the red heifer waters whether on Yeshua’s burial or after his resurrection?

          In my reconstructive scenario the sindon/himation was first dipped in boiling red heifer waters then stretched taut front and back lengthwise. Then the stiff rigid body was compressed widthwise in smaller burial shrouds prior to being fumigated with aloetic wood. On fumigation, the sindon/himation used as inner burial shroud shrank and get sort of taut again front ad back.

          Methinks you know very little about the red heifer waters as a slightly corrosive purifying/cleansing product! And you indignation is just a mask to hide out your mischief making on the sly.

          Re my expertise on Knight Templars, the Ancient Graffiti Museum Director, the late Serge Ramond, Ulysse , Director of the Château de Chinon, Director of the Château de Loches, Pascal Poirier asked me do make an oral presentation on Knights Templar’s graffitis at the 4th congress of glyptography, Loches, 2006 (see the proceedings published in 2010, ASPAG et le Conseil Général d’Indre-et-Loire).

          What about your discoveries in sindonology and Knights Templar archaology/glyptography?

          Re my FB, I regularly alternate a recent and an older profile picture. What’s the heck are you driving at! You’re clutching at straws and are losing it!

        7. What you say is not convincing, Mr. Max Patrick Hamon. It does not prove your qualifictions, much less that the profession you invented to justify your “research” is justified. Don’t forget that you are a one-man show.
          What do you mean by saying that you “regularly alternate a recent and an older profile picture”? Are you now trying to change that picture, taken about 25 – 30 years go after what I said? You should put that one where you are much older, with white hair. That is your present profile. Don’t fool others, please.

        8. BTW, I can still look 45-50 when in good shape and at times adopt Captain Haddock as my profile picture too. How serious is it, Mr free-lance-doc?

        9. Mr. Max Patrick Hamon mentions that he was called to give an oral presentation about Chinon and I ask, So what? Does that make him an expert? No, it doesn’t. True Templar scholars are Professor Malcolm Barber and Dr. Barbara Frale. I myself have been called to give talks on the Bible, biblical archaeology, existential issues and more and have declined, preferring to recommend books.

          He writes, “…their master’s shed innocent blood that was a pollutant not been purified via the red heifer waters whether on Yeshua’s burial or after his resurrection?” My response: I repeat it is the people who handled dead bodies who had to wash themselves with water mixed with red heifer ashes, not the burial cloth. It is recorded that red heifers were burnt just nine times in all of Jewish history and the bashes were costly. What he is claiming is a figment of his imagination.

        10. Nope with such “an arrognorant” free lance journalist better to be known as FigueireDOC.

          In the hypothesis the TS is Yeshua’s, he just CANNOT FIGURE OUT/ACCOUNT FOR the fact Second Temple period Judeans who were Yeshua’s disciples, KEPT the burial shroud(s) that had been in contact with their master’s dead body/stiff rigid corpse.

          He just keeps parroting the very little he knows about the red heifer (do note how his seven red heifers are now nine, meaning he read a little further than two lines about the red heifers that were burnt).

          Reminder re red heifers: it does seem Samarithans burnt red heifers till the 15th CE (which most obviously FigueiroDOC ignores).

          Besides, he never made any discovery whether it is in sindonology, christolipsolgy (studies and research of Christ’s relics in general) or Templar archaeology.

          You wrote: “I myself have been called to give talks on the Bible, biblical archaeology, existential issues and more and have declined, preferring to recommend books.” You were well advised (for once)!

          The fact is the Late Serge Ramond, Ancient Graffiti Museum Director (the sole ancient graffiti museum in whole Europe), Ulysse Jollet, ex-Director of the Château de Chinon and Pascal Poirier, Director of the Château de Loches had heard about and even read some of my studies and research on the enigmatic Templar graffiti and my paper was peer-reviewed in 2006 to be published in the proceedings of the 4th national congress of glyptography in 2010.

          Mr FiguereiDOC, have you got even one genuinely peer-reviewed paper in Templar archaeology, sindonology or “Christolipsology” published? You’re are a mere free lance journalist who wanst to show off as a Biblical scholar and a Shroud researcher which you’re not. You’ve never made the least discovery in sindonology or Templar archeaology . I have even if most of them are still to be published (I am in no hurry since genuine studies and research work do take time).

          You misleadingly wrote: “True Templar scholars are Professor Malcolm Barber and Dr. Barbara Frale”. This is a bit too short! He does seem you never have heard of Professor Alain DEMURGER who is the leading expert as far as Knights Templar History is concerned! Shall I have to inform “the free lance journalist” about half a dozen more true Templat scholars? Is that all the information you’ve got? Do first your homework as frre lance journalist? Have Dr. Barbara Frale for instance read my Loches paper, and she would tell you whnether or not my paper is or is not the work of a true Templar scholar before passing your most hasty judgment! methinks prove not a vey serious journalist on this!

        11. Continue insulting people, Mr. Max Patrick Hamon. You have insulted Barrie Schwortz and almost everyone on this blog.
          I do not have much time to waste on people who invent professions like “archaeocryptologist” and post somewhat esoteric nonsense. I know many true Templar scholars and can tell you that they will laugh you out of court. Stop being conceited, please.
          You started aiming at me just because I pointed out that you posted rubbish, saying that Jesus’ body was washed with red heifer ashes mixed with water and therefore the Turin shroud acquired the colour it has!
          I know you will continue to attack and insult till the end of the year, when the blog will not accept comments. That is because you will have no other place to post your rubbish.

        12. Don’t forget that you also posted insults on the highly qualfied Oxford scholar’s blog. Don’ t you have any shame? He was driven out of this blog by you and the man who supported you here.

        13. From another thread (the last):
          ‘Dan: “The only reason I’m shutting down the ability to add additional comments after the end of this year is because of the time involved and the problems with moderating them.” ‘

          From the above, it seems clear enough what has prompted Dan’s decision. I wonder if that is what Louis was aiming at all along. The tenor of many of his comments demonstrates how contributions from assorted persons often seemed to disconcert him to the point of annoyance.

        14. daveb of Wellington, has been encouraging atttacks against me on this blog, so he is not the right person to talk about morals.
          I challenged the rubbish coming from France, claiming that Jesus’ body was washed with red heifer ashes mixed with water, that being the reason for the Shroud’s colour! Right in the beginning I pointed out that thix mixture was used to wash people who touched a dead body, it was a purification ritual. The mixture was also very costly, making it unlikely that Jews in general could afford it.
          Hugh agreed with me.

  38. My initial Mark 1 scorch model, producing negative 3D-enhancible imprints (and thus scientific) needed some kind of rationale. Why would artisans choose to imprint onto linen with hot metal template? A rationale was found by supposing that the image was not that of the crucified Jesus, but of the roasted-at-the-stake Jacques de Molay, or his lieutenant, Geoffroi de Charney, claimed by some to have been uncle to Geoffroi de Charny of Lirey, first recorded owner of the TS.TheTemplar narrative served as adjunct to the science – but was not crucial in the sense that disproving the Templar link would not necessarily have invalidated the imprinting technology.

    It was the “Veronica” like imprint on the Machy mould that was the signal to abandon the Templar link, and to see the TS as an attempt to extend the principle of imprinting a face onto fabric with sweat and blood, as per Veronica legend, to imprinting of an entire double body image by the same body-fluid principle, a pretext for which was found with Joseph of Arimathea’s linen being used to receive the newly crucified body from the cross, prior to washing etc. That then led to a search for imprinting technologies that used the real human body as template instead of hot bas relief metal, finally settling on use of white flour as the imprinting medium, and again producing negative 3D-enhancible images (so still scientific), with the fit to biblical narrative still not crucial .

    In short, it’s easy to misrepresent a scientific train of thought as being fanciful, when at each stage there is a concrete imprinting model being proposed. But even if it were fanciful nothing I do has become a fixation, far less an obsession. I rarely mention the current white flour model on this site, knowing that anti-authenticity ideas do not do the business. There’s plenty of pro-authenticity ideas being flagged up on a daily basis (some obsessional, sad to say) that lack for an actual mechanism for imprinting a negative image, and even when one is hinted at, e.g. Di Lazzaro’s uv laser pulses, there is no negative, 3D-enhancible image, only a faint brown discoloration of linen.

    TS studies should ideally be model-driven (something STURP failed to appreciate with its preponderance of engineers over scientists). Almost anything one does with practical hands-on modelling is bound to be scientific – more so than “thought experiments” – usually no more than non-systematic, non-structured fantasizing.

    1. Just one example of Colin allegedly “impeccably scientific” reasoning: forensically speaking, the man of the Shroud was about 35-40 years old. Now for months ney years, the man wanted us to beleive the man of the Shroud was De Molay or De Charnay while just overlooking “a small detail”; the former was in his sixties and the latter in his fifties when they were sent to the stakes, which speaks volume how “impeccably thought” his scenario is! This is “big detective work” indeed!

      1. Few things are more risible in shroudology than expressions like “forensically speaking”. What was being analysed? A real photograph? No. An X-ray or CT scan? No.

        The body image being analyzed has a totally unknown provenance and thus provides few if any clues as to the imaging process, far less real human anatomy, except that the mysterious process seems to have chemically degraded the linen fibres per se.

        It should be self evident to rational folk that there can be no forensic analysis of the TS body image. Yes, I too have seen and previously commented on the video ( David Rolfe’s “Silent Witness”, with that oh-so- earnest “autopsy” performed by Robert Bucklin MD). Few seem to appreciate that Bucklin had in fact been a long declared proponent of Shroud authenticity, going back to the early 60s, albeit with impeccable credentials as a pathologist, yet there he was performing his “autopsy” on the grainy Enrie B/W photograph of the TS (nope, not the actual TS even) spread out on a mortuary slab (seriously!). Sadly Bucklin’s comedic autopsy written up as if a real one in stilted language, was taken as serious state-of-the-art pathology by several STURP members before travelling to Turin, with its influence apparent in the 1981 Summary no less, and visible in the medically qualified John Heller’s book.

        “Forensically speaking”. Forgive me if ROFLMAO (pardon the internet jargon).

        1. Well, I’ve read the paper, but have to say it has nothing to offer regarding “forensics”, being about all those anthropometric length measurements that were used to infer the racial type. It was specifically the age of the subject that was being discussed above, with the suggestion that “forensics” identified the Man on the TS as still relatively young. How can anyone know that, with an image that fails to show either skin condition or hair colour? I doubt whether musculature could be a reliable indicator either except to differentiate very large age differences, as with muscle-wasting of old age, and even then, it’s a real photograph one needs, not a faint and fuzzy negative, one whose mechanism of formation is still totally a matter of speculation.

          One could expand on that, pointing out that a lot of the supposed forensics, e.g. that Bucklin so-called autopsy, are based on inspection of what are called “wound sites”.Yet there is NO obvious imaging of wounds per se, not that I can see at any rate on Shroud Scope, the wound sites being inferred entirely from the location of bloodstains. If the image and its blood is of medieval provenance, then any conclusions re the “forensics” of a 1st century crucifixion become null and void.

          There can be no forensic analysis of the TS body image. Sorry to repeat myself.

        2. “There can be no forensic analysis of the TS body image. Sorry to repeat myself.”

          If you mean that forensic analysis needs the analysis of a real body, you are right.
          Unfortunately, we have only an “image”.

          Does it mean that this image can not be analyzed by experts in forensic science ?
          Does it mean that forensic science has de facto nothing to do with the Shroud image ?
          I don’t think so.

          The document :

          Click to access marineli.pdf

          shows that:” the The tibio-femoral index, one of the most significant, calculated for the Man of the Shroud (equal to 83% ±3%) is completely compatible with the mean one quoted in bibliography (…), the tibio-femoral index measured on three different copies of the Shroud (respectively equal to 115%, 105%, 103% ±4%) showed the incompatibility of the images painted by artists who at that time did not have enough anatomic knowledge”.

          Strictly speaking, it is not about forensic.However it is important.
          Another problem for the painting hypothesis.

          “Yet there is NO obvious imaging of wounds per se, not that I can see at any rate on Shroud Scope, the wound sites being inferred entirely from the location of bloodstains.”

          I never understood that phrase.
          What kind of wound imaging would you expect?

        3. Forgive me if I postpone responding to your reply for a day or two, TH. I spent the best part of the morning going through Heller’s book from cover to cover (no table of contents) looking for any mentions of calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate, chalk, gypsum or gesso. There were none needless to say, merely brief references to the evenly distributed “calcium”.

          Heller did not have much to say about why it was there, except for Adler’s idea that it was picked up in retting by ion-exchange, but I maintain it to be surviving pectin-associated (middle lamella etc). The last few hours have been spent preparing and posting Part 2 of my investigation of uv-fluorescence, now accessible here:


          My model scorches, made in a variety of ways do NOT fluoresce under uv. The STERA President was bang out of order in slating me, back in early 2012, for pursuing thermal imprinting, claiming on the basis of 1532 burn holes that ALL scorches were fluorescent. Since when has it been the job of a technical photographer to lecture a career scientist, albeit retired, on his approach to science?

          Page 217 of Heller’s book, psotponed to the end, with its heart-rending single-sentence 10 semi-colon plea for the TS to be seen as authentic, based on the ‘forensic’ pathology of Bucklin and others is totally out of character with the rest of the book. It frankly undermines the objectivity and final conclusions, given there is no critical evaluation of the pathology anywhere else in the book, especially as regards to Bucklin’s numerous references to “wounds” which are simply not visible on the body image and thus wishful thinking.

          More later perhaps, while the slowing clock still ticks away on this site.

      2. I think you’re unfairly taking the mickey, Colin. One works with what one has, an enigmatic human size image on a long strip of cloth, ventral & dorsal, it looks like a burial shroud. Bucklin might have come to as reasonable forensic conclusions on a realistic well-executed painting of a cadaver, even sketches. But it wasn’t just Bucklin. It was a cascade of forensic pathologists: Delage, Vignon, Barbet, Willis, Zugibe among others; all persuaded that this was an image of a crucified man, scourged, made to wear a crown of thorns that pierced his scalp, a close match with the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, no matter what the provenance of the image. Risible? What a peculiar sense of black humour!

        1. Have you ever seen the Nick Clegg apology song (I’m Sorry”), that took his spoken words and set them to music (wait a few seconds for the latter):

          Hilarious, would you not agree?

          How I wish I had the know how to do the same for that Robert Bucklin so-called “autopsy” in the Rolfe video (also on YouTube). I was being polite in describing it as “risible”.

      3. Just funny how naively ‘Colin the archsceptic al anti-authenticist can all of a sudden mistake Bucklin’s years of medical examinations of the Shroud (both from 2D negative and positive photographs AND 3D images) for a short duration video!

        Indeed, Colin has an inkling to mistake a video for the real thing! AHOY Colin the Buckin video isJUST A VIDEO not the real thing in terms of years’ of medical examination of the TS man’s double image!!!

        1. When I read Colin’s comments above on the Bucklin, video, I cannot help thinking of Trump Donald’s naivety. Harrison Ford had to tell the latter “Air Force One” was just “a movie”. Just pathetic.

  39. Hi, Max! I am a mere science teacher and know next to nothing to halakhic subtleties and debates. The point is – do you? Have you any evidence whatever that red heifer ashes were ever used on shrouds or dead bodies. Just that. No more. No less. Any chance?
    Is Louis correct that only seven red heifers were ever used? Wikipedia says this: “According to Jewish tradition, only nine Red Heifers were actually slaughtered in the period extending from Moses to the destruction of the Second Temple. Mishnah Parah recounts eight, stating that Moses prepared the first, Ezra the second, Simon the Just and Yochanan the High Priest prepared two each, and Elioenai ben HaQayaph and Hanameel the Egyptian prepared one each (Mishna Parah 3:5).” Is that correct?

    1. Hugh, this is quite correct (see Rabba Meyr vs Hakamim) Besides, It is also said the MessiaH shall burn the tenth Red heifer (Yad, Parah adummah 3:4), which is proverbially linked to Sin. It does seem too Samatitans used it during the purification rite till the 15th c. CE.

  40. Reminder: Yeshu’a’s INNOCENT BLOOD was DEFILED by his most violent and most unfair execution on the Sanhedrin’s initiative. It should be either atoned (meaning killing all those who were responsible for his death sentence and execution, which could not be) or purified for the time being (via the sole cleaning product par excellence available then: the Red heifer waters) i.e. till G-od atone for it.

    Thus the use of the Red heifer waters, to soak in Yeshua’s burial Shroud and purify his shed innocent blood, could account for the very fact that Second Temple period Judeans/Notserim did not regard their master’s burial Shroud as defiled but kept it along with all the shrouds that came into contact with it… unless L. de F. can account for Temple period Judeans/Notserim keeping Yeshu’a’s burial Shroud, which I very much doubt…

    1. BTW: (as second alternative) the Red heifer waters could have been used AFTER (not on) burial, which could partially or totally explain too the reason why all Yeshu’as textile relics just cannot be correctly carbon dated.

  41. All very interesting, but not the answers to the questions. I dare say red heifer ashes could have been very useful, had they been available, or had there been any custom for using them on dead bodies or shrouds. But there wasn’t, was there, so your idea must remain speculative rather than probable.

    1. Shall I repeat, Yeshu’a’s case was rather exceptional (his innocent blood was shed on the Sanhedrin’s initiative and it should be purified besides his buriers were Sanhedrin members and as such could have used it). Archaeologically and forensically speaking, the use of this slightly corrosive product or Red heifer scenario is far less speculative than the gesso and the flour scenarios anyway.

    1. Anyway, it could apply to his burial shrouds AFTER his resurrection at least! Some Second Temple period Judeans could have kept Yehu’a’s burial shrouds after a purification ritual (use of the Red heifer waters).

  42. Max came up with the Stuttgart Psalter image of the scourging scene some few years ago. I found it intriguing: the unusual depiction of a naked Christ; the dorsal view; the crossed hands over the pelvis; the flagellation marks; the two executioners either side; maybe even the alleged suggestion of epsilon finger signs.

    However there seems to be a historical problem in associating it with a presumably Byzantine Shroud image. The Psalter is said to be Carolingian, perhaps 800 – 814 AD. At this time tensions between East and West were strained, and there seems to have been little close contact. Note that the Mandylion did not arrive in Constantinople until 945, and it is not until after this that the supposed full image was revealed. There are of course earlier suggestions of a full body image might have been known. The time also coincides with an iconoclastic period in Byzantine history. In the case of the Pray manuscript there is a link through King Bela III, who was for a time heir apparent to the Byzantine imperial throne.

    But there seems to be no such historic link that might support the Stuttgart Psalter as being informed by the Shroud image. I’d like to ask Max if he has any ideas on what any such historic links might have been.

  43. Dave, you wrote: “(…) there seems to be a historical problem in associating it with a presumably Byzantine Shroud image. The Psalter is said to be Carolingian, perhaps 800 – 814 AD. At this time tensions between East and West were strained, and there seems to have been little close contact.”

    Actually there were close contacts between East and West during Charlemagne’s time

    In 798-802, as a token of his esteem, Baghdad Caliph Harun al-Rashid (763-809), offered Charlemagne a brandeum or substitute relic of/a genuine relic of Yeshus’a burial he mistook for the Matthean, namely the “Sindon Munda”/”Sindon Kathara” as gift. Besides,

    About the same time, Byzantine Empress Irene of Constantinople sent a silk relic, the Veil/Holy Cloak of the Virgin (or Sancta camisia) that is believed to have been worn by Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. as a gift to Charlemagne, whose grandson Charles the Bald donated it t Chartres Cathedral in 876.

    1. Main typo: 798-802, as a token of his esteem, Baghdad Caliph Harun al-Rashid (763-809), offered Charlemagne a brandeum or substitute relic of the Matthean, namely the “Sindon Munda”/”Sindon Kathara” as gift.

      Note: Besides the Stuttgart Psalter and HP Ms bifolium are both Benedictine productions (Benedictine monasteries of Saint Germain and Boldva (the latter was built between 1175 and 1180 CE, i.e. just shortly after prince Bela and his court (his monk confessor included) returned to Hungary.

      1. Charles misleadingly wrote in another thread:
        “You (i.e. me MPH) would need to provide a Benedictine monastery which is a pioneer in writing its texts in Hungarian rather than Latin and explain why it did so. So far as I know the Pray Codex has not been linked to any monastery but you obviously know better.”

        Shall I remind you:

        Firstly the bifolium inscribing of the Exultet is in Latin NOTin Hungarian and was written after the completion of the drawings.

        Secondly The HP Ms results of the joining of two manuscripts + the bifolium. Now most likely the second ms came from the Benedictine monastery of Janosi, Hungary (see Rado and Mezey, Libri liturgici manuscripti bibliothecarum Hungariae et limitropharum regionum, new ed., Budapest, 1973, p. 40-76).

        Thirdly the HP Ms is also known as the Sacramentarium Bolvense (i.e. from the Benedictine Boldva monastery). It contains one of the oldest Hungarian text: The Speech at the Funeral, which is not to be mistaken for the Latin Exultet!!!)

    2. Max, Thank you for taking the time to give me a response to my query. I feel I have learnt a lot from your excursions into the more arcane aspects of symbolism and various obscure artefacts you’ve discovered. I’ve often thought it important for one’s sanity to distinguish persons and issues. I wish you well for the future. Kind regards, daveb

      1. Thank you Dave. Re your often thinking it important for one’s sanity to distinguish persons and issues, I could not agree more. Do forgive me if I have ever offended you (you know, I’m a fierce free spirit and thinker and just hate the politically correct!). Thank you again to have allowed me at times to delve even deeper into my own exegesis of the NT. Kind regards, Max Patrick hamon

  44. On another thread David G. cited my views on the problems that occurred in this blog and how it reached the attention of Turin. Dan was always willing to listen and even tolerant with many people posting here and they took advantage of it. These were mainly amateurs posing as historians, scientists, and they were the ones who were disrupting the blog, trying to get those writing in their fields professionally out of the way to impose their own amateurish views and get support from other commenters by means of flattery.

    In one instance, my own comment on a gospel was rehashed and soon after posted by another commenter as though they it was his own view.

    Thank God, at least some professional historians and scientists were able to proffer their views and we able to learn something.

    1. What about a free lance journalist posing as a “true Biblical scholar” and Shroud researcher while he is just an amateur who condemns amateurism while being a sheer amateur himself! It is now three or more days, he keeps disrupting this blog while complaining about “the amateurs” who were disrupting this blog! The man is really losing it!

      1. Really, Mr. Max Patrick Hamon? I will not post here again what and where I have published. You have not published a single piece, a single paragraph in a French daily, let alone a leading French daily. Daniel Raffard de Brienne, who I had occasion to interview, wrote for the leading French history magazines. Unlike you, he was highly respected in France.

  45. TH, quoting me earlier: “Yet there is NO obvious imaging of wounds per se, not that I can see at any rate on Shroud Scope, the wound sites being inferred entirely from the location of bloodstains.”

    TH: I never understood that phrase.
    What kind of wound imaging would you expect?

    Being firmly in the medieval provenance camp, I would not expect the TS body image to have any wound imaging whatsoever, as indeed is the case, or so I maintain after detailed scrutiny of Shroud Scope images.

    Why not? Because the TS body image was designed to simulate a sweat imprint left on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen by a newly deceased body transferred from cross to linen without washing. An ‘executive decision’ was made by the team leader of the medieval modellers to show imprinted intact skin and hair only, with no attempt to represent the open wounds in hands, feet, side scalp and scourge marks (far too tricky and dispensible anyyway). Those sites would be flagged up as wound-sites ENTIRELY by addition of blood. Most observers would give credence to “blood equals wounds” provided the blood was in all the biblically-correct location.

    So the onus is in fact on pro-authenticity pathologists to justify their use of the term “wounds” in their autopsy reports. But they can’t. There is no imaging of wounds. There is merely blood stains or imprints, which they were not entitled to interpret as open wounds, i,.e.torn or punctured flesh unless or until authenticity has been established or, more pointedly, that forgery has been rigorously excluded.

    In short, this sceptic is not the person to whom the question “what kind of wound imaging would you expect” should be addressed, since I did not expect any, and don’t see it anyway.

    Instead, the pathologists should be asked “what kind of wound imaging did you find, and if you didn’t see any, then how can you refer so confidently to “wounds” when all you have to look at are blood stains that could in principle, certainly post radiocarbon dating, disputed or otherwise, have been applied by a medieval artisan to make the observer believe he was looking at wounds that in reality were not there?”

    1. One wound, or blood mark, I would expect to see (if this was a medieval work) is a mark across the forehead where the crown of thorns was traditionally thought to have been impressed into Jesus’s skin. Much has been made of the ‘too perfect’ scourge marks across the back and legs — and the wrist wounds (or hand wounds depending on one’s perception) are well defined. Yet the artisan settles for a singular epsilon blood curl instead of a blood trail across the forehead? That leaves me scratching my head.

      1. Before addressing your points in detail re the crown of thorns, or rather its more or less gorey end-stage manifestations, David G, let me first expand on what I was saying earlier re the strategic decision-making that preceded the simulation of a sweat/blood imprint on a look-alike proxy for Joseph of Arimathea’s linen (proxy rather than forgery, note, not knowing a thing about the motives its creators).

        It was decided, mainly for practical reasons, to keep the basal background body image as simple and straightforward as possible, the only detail being in the face (bas relief?) and the crossed hands. Elsewhere everything else was blurred and ill-defined. But there was a theoretical rationale that could be deployed in the event of a medieval sceptic or know-all claiming the body image was too simple. It would be pointed out that it was created from sweat, and sweat is a mobile and runny substance, even oily sweat, so could not be expected to produce a sharp imprint that incorporated fine details of body anatomy or wound damage.

        Having made that decision to keep the body image simple, there was a price to be paid in the imprinting of the blood. There had to be a compensating overkill – one that would dispel any foolish notion that the figure represented was merely a stylized artwork. Quite the contrary, there had to be a gut clenching paramedical immediacy and impact that in modern day reporting would have resulted in a sensibility-preserving pixellated photograph on the newspaper front page. No, for our secretive goal-oriented medieval imprinters, there was to be no prissy pussyfooting around in the manner in which blood was applied to the image. It had to be done in a manner that looked like the man had REALLY been flogged to within an inch of his life (even if the Bible gives no indication of that) crowned with deep penetrating thorns, nailed, crucified and finally lanced. There were to be no half meaures. Indeed, nothing short of 100% reality-imprinting would do, given the imperatives of what they had set out to achieve, the motives for which one can only guess at (though King John the Good’s Order of the Star offers fertile ground for speculation, especially if he had had a premonition that he would be captured and held to ransom at the Battle of Poitiers,1356. Maybe widowed Madame de Charny (Jeanne de Vergy) had not been fully apprised of her late husband’s and King’s game plan, using the ‘genuine’ Shroud as a down payment, and more concerned post-Poitiers disaster to provide for herself and her orphaned children?

        This comment is already quite long and starting to deviate, so I’ll post this as a prologue and then return with the detailed haematology later this morning (my time zone). King John and his close buddy Geoffroi de Charny of Lirey will have to go onto the post-Apocalypse back burner for now, with maybe a speculative posting on my own site, sometime in the New Year.

        To be continued…

        1. I wonder where Colin dreams all this up. I cannot think of a single piece of evidence that supports this scenario. It assumes that the Shroud is unchanged now from what it was originally and, so far as I can untangle Colin’s speculations, the king of France collaborating to recreate a full scale BURIAL SHROuD which copies the FACE of the Veronica miles away in papal care in Rome.
          However, the story changes so quickly I will leave it to Colin’s ?many fans to follow him on his way.
          Why did the ecclesiastical courts all agree that it was the Dean and Canons that owned the Shroud and not the de Charney family? Why was the Church able to crush the expositions so easily if there was any kind of royal support there?Why use a technique, imagined by Colin, that no art historians have ever heard of? Why did no one think it was exceptional? Etc,etc, etc,……

        1. Second postscript:

          Dorsal head:

          This is no half-hearted representation of what long dagger-like thorns would do if pressed forcibly into a man’s scalp (though again, the Bible does not say that was actually the case). This is X-rated stuff!

  46. This blog having closed, the following information is just too late for Dan to post it (although I bet he’s tempted). At the Shroud Science Group Giulio Fanti has just publicised the publication of the papers presented at a workshop on the Shroud at Padua University last June. Here is his post:

    “Dear all,
    I am happy to inform you that you can read at the link reported above the results of WOPSAS a Paduan Workshop made last June at my University about the results on the TS obtained from an University Research Project.
    Jesus Christ has made this present to me: the presentation of the TS papers just before Christmas and I publicly thank Him!
    Also my thanks to the Rector of my University Prof. Giuseppe Zaccaria who paid the publication of these papers.

    [There follow links to all the papers.]

    Have a good reading!
    I take the occasion to wish all of you Holy Christmas!
    P.S. to Dan: you are allowed to copy this message in your blog.”

    I won’t post all the links here; the papers can be found at:


    And for what it’s worth, the next BSTS Newsletter, which will be posted by Barrie at shroud.com in the new year, contains an actual, recent example of ‘invisible mending’, and the results of an experiment involving the dropping of an iron plate at 1000°C on 32 layers of folded linen cloth.

  47. Reminder for a Catholic named L.de F. : “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
    “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

    Since Mr. Figueiredoc keeps making lies, insulting me (and even a few of his own Catholic brethren) and has been disrupting this blog for more than four day targeting me (and a even few of his own Catholic brethen), I have to reply to the free lance journalist who proves in this blog to be not so much a professional journalist as just a most pathetic self-mud raker and ill-rumor-maker.

    Firstly, Mr. Figueiredoc’s lying tongue: I never insulted Barrie! On June 19, 2015 at 6:14 am, I just wrote:

    “Barrie Schwortz who wrote/told Yannick Clément: “if they (Yeshua’s buriers) did use coins, they CERTAINLY (upper cases mine) would not have put a pagan Caesar coin on the face of the prophesized Messiah!”, is totally wrong. The Pilate coin devices were specifically designed to agree with BOTH Roman and Judean sensitivities (e.g. the lituus once seen through the Judean’s eyes as shevet (“rod” or “sceptre of Judah”) on the contrary can/does refer to the prophesized Messiah!). Schwortz (without even being aware!) bases his opinion on false premises (Stauffer pseudo-theory and unsubstantiated numismatic evidence) and does lack archaeoperceptive ambivalence/sight-and-brain coordination system flexibilty in terms of Romans’ and Judeans’ image and symbol respective reference frame.”

    (Unless Mr. Figuereidoc as sole judge and blog arbiter of this blog considers anybody who thinks Barrie is leaving his field of expertise –technical photography– or totally overlooking whence exactly the Pilate coin offensiveness pseudo-theory comes from, is insulting; unless Mr. Figueiredoc thinks Barrie is infallible and his opinion Gospel Truth even if Barrie is neither a professional numismatist nor an ancient Jewish coin scholar or even a Second Temple period Judean no matter how as a 20th-21st CE Jewish he can excel in technical photography and Turin Shroud oral presentations)

    BTW, Barrie can defend himself all right. He has no need of a Mr. Figuereidoc.

    Secondly, can Mr Fegueiredoc (who is not a true Biblical scholar nor even a true Shroud researcher or Templar researcher, tell me what are exactly his discoveries in sindonology and Templar archaeology? Has he got one duly/genuinely peer-reviewed paper in the respected field? Reference please. BTW I am professional cryptologist with a private office, not a journalist! Why should I be published in a daily or monthly? I mean research paper, Mr. Feguerido only means an artcle in a newspaper! How odd? (to be continued)

  48. Re “rubbish coming from France” (dixit Mr. Louis de Figuereido) and the alleged ‘offensiveness” of Pilate coin, see my paper (as guest posting on this blog) “Turin Shroud: Coin Over Eyes And Die-Hard Misinformation”, Part one, OFFENSIVE COINS? HEADS OR TAILS? (Or the Stauffer numismatic pseudo-evidence) (just a draft I mistakingly emailed Dan for the final version yet it still stands). Rubbish? Really? Mr. Louis de Figuereido just prove it or shut up! (to be continued)

    1. Methinks L e F mistakes misinformation and disinformation for information! A real shame for an allegedly “professional” free lance journalist!

      1. Reminder: the allegedly “professional” journalist presented me as “a Polish immigrant” living in France when actually both my parents were French! It speaks volumes how Mr Louis de Figuerido keeps you “informed”!!!!! He’d better check his information before writing…. rubbish!

  49. Mr. Fegueiredoc misleadingly wrote too: “I challenged the rubbish coming from France, claiming that Jesus’ body was washed with red heifer ashes mixed with water, that being the reason for the Shroud’s colour! Right in the beginning I pointed out that thix mixture was used to wash people who touched a dead body, it was a purification ritual. The mixture was also very costly, making it unlikely that Jews in general could afford it.”

    In the hypothesis the TS is Yeshua’s (long inner) burial shroud:

    Firstly, Louis de Figuereido deliberately distorts/misrepresents my opinion to ridicule it (intellectual dishonesty = a lying tongue) as I never claimed “Jesus’ BODY was WASHED (upper case mine) with red heifer ashes mixed with water”. I just wrote Yeshua’s shed innocent blood should/had to be PURIFIED (since it was a pollutant as far as Holy land was concerned) and the best purifying product available then was the red heifer waters especially for his rich buriers who thought he was the prophesied Messiah and who had not taken a hand in Yeshua’s death sentence (they were his secret disciples).

    Secondly Louis de Figuereido misleadingly wrote (because he is a poor NT exegete: “The mixture was also very costly, making it unlikely that Jews in general could afford it” while totally overlooking the fact Yeshua’s buriers were Sanhedrin members (at least two of them) and consequently were rich men who could afford the costly ref heifer waters (reminder for the alleged Brasilian “biblical scholar”, Louis de Figueiredo: Yossef used his own newly hewn memorial cave-tomb and fine linen sindon/himation on Yeshua’s burial while Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about 100 litra).

    Thirdly: Can Louis de Figuereido account for the Yeshua’s Second temple period Jewish disciples having kept their master’s sindon/himation that was used as inner burial shroud and came into contact with Yeshua’s stiff rigid corpse? Reminder for the alleged “biblical scholar”, Louis e Figuereido: the red heifer waters are NOT ONLY used “to wash people who touched a dead body” BUT ALSO to purify objects that came into contact with a corpse. Now the sindon/himation DID COME INTO CONTACT with Yeshua’s stiff rigid dead body. Can Louis de Figueiredo tell us how Yeshua’s sindon/himation used as inner burial shroud was purified so that his disciples could be allowed to keep it as a memento? Any suggestion Mr. Figuereidoc?

    Fourthly: I never wrote the yellowish colour could be due TO THE SOLE use of the red heifer water (uric acid residues, time patina are involved too). The fact remains though because of the very presence of starch residues, soaking a linen fabric in a mildly corrosive lye water (i.e. animal and/or wood ashes mixed with water) such as the red heifer waters allows them to have a yellowish white colour. On the other hand, it also causes the gelatinized starch not only to make the cloth-to-body unsticking easier but also to form a very thin gel-like texture in order to create a two thousand years old bloodied body image.

    1. Edit: ….to form a very thin gel-like texture in order to create a two thousand years old bloodied body image slightly mordanted on the inner side of the inner shroud.

  50. Reminder for the “arrognorant” Luis de Figereido, moons ago I wrote: Most likely Red Heifer ashes mixed with pure living/spring waters to purify Yeshua’s shed innocent blood were used on Yeshua’s burial or/and afterward to purify his burial shrouds the disciples had kept as mementos.
    Besides red heifer ashes and/or Melche/Jerusalem limestone dust –mixed with warm/hot (55°-85° Celsius) waters with or without lactic and/or uric acid– can gelatinized starch. In the hypothesis the TS is Yeshua’s, low temperature alkali gelatinisation of starch residuals present in ancient linen cloth could account for the bloodied body imprint recording in terms of ultra fine printing paste/medium and be right on the sindonological target center.”

  51. In the hypothesis the TS is Yeshua’s inner burial winding sheet, my theory/scenario/food for thought may be not impressive (the TS image is neither a fraud nor a miracle) yet most likely it is right per se.

    Absent the pre-washing out of the blood (through wearing a woollen tunic in conjunction with heavy sweating on his way to the cross + a pre-burial linen napkin or sudarium placed over his head to soak up and keep his blood oozing from his nose and mouth on the cross and on the way to the tomb) or the Gospel accounts of Yeshua’s burial (in terms of winding, compressing and fastening his body in shrouds), my theory can account for what precisely other theories/scenatios have totally failed to do so far namely:

    – body imprint/image superficiality and blood appearing too reddish in terms of light or pre-mordant joining with the linen fibers and the gelatinized starch (as ultra fine printing paste/medium) to set the straw yellow colour (as thin layer of carbohydrate impurities that makes up the body image) permanently and along with the freshly dried blood (remoistened with aqueous alkaline solution) to set the carmine red colour through myrrhic-woodaloetic fumigation/burning and exposure to carbon monoxide liberated along with smoke in the course of a specific Judean ritual. Reminders: (light) mordant is known to be used for intensifying stains e.g. in cell or tissue preparations. Red Heifer ashes and/or Melche/Jerusalem limestone dust mixed with warm/hot (55°-85° Celsius) water can gelatinized residual starch (alkali gelatinization) present in the ancient linen cloth (if starch was really detected or used on the TS) and could account for potassium giving only a weak signal in Shroud bloodstains while hydroxyproline (a marker for collagen) giving strong signal. Now it is well known gelatin is a breakdown product of collagen.

    – collimation in terms of self collimated light mordanting extended to the back and front of the stiff rigid corpse of the crucifixion victim’s bloodied body (the crucifixion victim’s ‘smooth wet and dust-covered textile skin’ –or ‘second skin’ aka his aqueous alkali solution in-soaked inner winding burial sheet now known as the Turin Shroud–, tightly moulded over his dust-lactic acid residues-blood covered body, acting as an image enhancing membrane for accurately aligning (collimating) compressible and de-compressible vapour flow and orthogonally moving in terms of body-to-cloth gradual shrinking and unsticking front and back by means of the said flow as a thermal actuator.

    – 3D volumetric recording of the crests and valleys of the bloodied body (the clean sindon/himation being used as a long narrow inner winding burial sheet in-soaked with an aqueous alkali solution and tightly moulded over his dust-lactic and uric acid residues-blood covered body) was first tautly wrapped lengthwise around the stiff rigid bloodied body from head to toe and then manually compressed widthwise in shorter dry clean outer shrouds to be subjected to a (myrrhic?) xyloaloetic fumigation and then the inner burial winding sheet slightly decompressed while sort of getting taut again through drying and shrinking).

    Reminder: whether it be 3D printing of a crucifixion victim body between two sheets of linen cloth or small sprigs of fresh herbs, the fresh individual flowers and/or freshly caught fishes between two sheets of (blotting) paper, such a process requires moulding by either manually rubbing, pressing or compressing crests and valleys between the said sheets

    – neatness and tidiness (or integrity) of blood clots (through a cloth-to-body skin sticking and gradual unsticking process) while the very presence of “opaques” from the Judean desert could account for the Body image fuzziness.

    …just to name a few.

  52. Reminder one for the alleged “biblical scholar Louis de Figueiredo: the ashes of the red heifer (mixed with spring waters = water of lustration) were used NOT ONLY in the ritual purification of persons AND objects defiled by a corpse (Num. 19 (BTW Yeshua’s long inner shroud had been defiled by its very contact with his stiff rigid corpse all the more so as it was all covered in his shed innocent blood).BUT ALSO to atone for the bloodguilt of the unidentified manslayer (Deut. 21:3) that is for anyone (be he an unnamed Sanhedrin member who, along with his fellow colleagues had had a hand in sentencing to death an innocent whose innocent blood had been actually shed in the Holy Land).

    Reminder two: In the hypothesis the TS is Yeshua’s long inner burial shroud, in the gospels, it is written Yeshua was buried according to the JUDEAN burial custom besides Yeshua’s stiff rigid body was not just draped but just wrapped/encircled, but COMPRESSED and FASTENED too (see the 3 different conjugated koine Greek verbs used by the 4 evangelists and the koine Greek word for ‘shorter shrouds/pieces of linen’ (othonia). Besides in light of the Hebrew time markers and translation entropy (from Aramaic/Hebrew to koine/translation Greek), the burial time frame between Yeshua’s death on the cross and the apparition of the 3rd star heralding Shabbath is four hours (maximal time frame) and two-two and a half hours (minimal time frame) NOT about half an hour (according to a die-hard misinterpretation LdeF, one among many, keeps parroting unawareas they are of the translation entropy). As to the very reddiness of the bloodstains on the Turin Sindonand the slightly transluscent straw yellow body image, they does imply the idea of (speedy) purification ritual and the use of a mildly corrosive sort of lye wate (the red heifer wters) .in conjunction with starch residues present in old linen. (to be continued)

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