Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Turin Shroud was not intended to represent the final burial shroud, merely an opened-out BODY BAG for transporting Jesus from cross to rock tomb.

A modern-day body bag.

This blogger/retired scientist has grown weary of arguing a case in detail, only to see "lite" versions appear on other sites, naming no names, that others read and misunderstand (for a typical ridicule-laden example see the appendix below).One has better things to do with one's time than  be constantly re-stating one's case, trying to correct misunderstandings that are NOT of one's own making.

Repeat: the  TS was intended to be seen as an ancient sweat imprint on linen. No, not an actual sweat imprint, as I was at pains to point out, but a SIMULATED, i.e. imitation sweat imprint, an imagined sweat imprint, a fanciful reconstruction of how a whole body sweat imprint (with liberal additions of blood too) might look some 13 centuries afterwards if  "suddenly" unearthed from goodness knows where and immediately placed on public display.

How was the 'sweat imprint' manufactured?  Answer: almost certainly as a faint contact scorch from a heated 3D metal statue and/or bas relief, accounting for the 'negative' image and 3D properties, but that's just a detail. The takeaway message is that the  TS image was a SIMULATED sweat imprint, a larger version of the much venerated Veil of Veronica (the latter having probably served as the inspiration for fabricating the TS to represent as a sweat and blood derived  whole body imprint).

But was it really a BURIAL shroud that was represented in that ingenious thought experiment?

Well, I've now developed that narrative a bit further, but rather than set out lengthy arguments and reasoning here, just to see my mission to explain come to naught, I'll adopt a two step procedure.

Please be content for now with another new claim:  the so-called Turin Shroud was never intended to represent the final burial shroud. It was a makeshift body bag used to transport Jesus from the cross to his final resting place, the rock tomb. It was simply to provide a dignified transport of a blood and sweat-soaked victim pending the final washing and anointing prior to final burial, probably in WINDING sheets.It was the body bag that received the sweat and blood imprint, NOT the final burial shroud enclosing a washed, anointed, perfumed body.

I shall now take my time in composing the next posting. It will explain how these latest ideas came about. The Lirey Pilgrim's badge played a key role in that thinking. There will even be a new explanation for what Ian Wilson described as the "blood belt".

The TS image in sweat and blood was on the up-and-over BODY BAG, not the final burial shroud.

APPENDIX 1 : what the NT has to says on the "linen":

Matthew, Chapter 28:  

57. When the even was come, there cam a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple.
58. He went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded to body to be delivered.
59. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.
60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and departed.

There is no evidence there that the linen cloth was intended to be used as the final burial shroud. Indeed, it's clear it was intended primarily for transporting body from cross to tomb. One is not entitled to assume that a sheet of linen used to transport a bloodied body then doubled as the final burial shroud, implying there was no cleaning of the body. How likely was that? Why would the Marys bring ointments etc the next day, unless it was intended to first wash the body - and then remove it from the soiled 'body bag' prior to wrapping in  fresh clean sheets?

Mark, Chapter 15

43  Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him, the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
45. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46.And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
47. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

How likely is it that a length of cloth used to transport a bloodied body from the site of execution would double as final burial shroud?

Luke, Chapter 23

50  And, behold ,there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor and he was a good man and a just:

51... etc etc
52. This man went unto Pilate and begged the body of Jesus.
53. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
54. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
55. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
56. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment.

John, Chapter 19

38. And after this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39. And there came also Nicodemus (which at the first came to Jesus by night) and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight.
40. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner is it of Jews to bury.

Observe there is no indication as to what was used to transport Jesus to the tomb. While the "clothes" used  to "wind" Jesus are described as linen, it seems fairly certain they used new material, different from that (unspecified) material used for transport. Might this be the source of confusion - the reference to linen used in two different contexts, one for transport in Matthew, Mark and Luke, and another different linen in John used for the final "winding".

Matthew, Mark and Luke describe a linen 'body bag' - unlikely to be used as burial shroud. John describes a linen burial shroud, with no indication as to what preceded it, if anything,  as body bag.


New angle on that much over-hyped Hungarian Pray Codex: might that be Jesus on an opened-out body bag in the upper picture, with the replacement snake-like linen for winding in readiness?


Here's an example of what is allowed to appear elsewhere, laden with scorn and ridicule, with no attempt on the blog owner's part to intervene, correcting false impressions created by his own sketchy reporting, lacking crucial detail.

Antero de Frias Moreira
November 14, 2014 at 5:11 am
Why human sweat cannot produce a Shroud like imprint
Sweat is composed mainly of water with dissolved minerals lactate and urea.
It’s a fact that sweat glands have an uneven distribution in human skin, and the composition and quantity of produced sweat by a human depends on several factors.
Leaving aside speculations,, if we assume the corpse wrapped in the Shroud had profuse sweating before death, then almost all skin surface would be covered by sweat, and the uneven distibution of sweat glands in dermal structure would not matter., even hair would be soaked with sweat (unless it had been washed…)
Question 1- Is there any sweat chemical compound that reacts whith the polysaccharide layer involving linen fibers(Rogers theory) or pectin and hemicellulose of primary cell wall?
Perhaps lactate? urea?-
If so does it produce the same color tone?
Question 2- From a microscopical point of view IF sweat was responsible for color change of fibers, as a fluid it is, it would soak the fabric and probably there would be coloration on the other side of the cloth, and besides, contrary to what is observed on the Shroud there would be a continuum of colored fibers in «image» áreas ( I mean at microscopical level there would not be colored fibers and uncolored fibers side by side..)
The question of superficial fiber coloration at thread level would not be fulfilled either.
Question 3- A sweat imprint on cloth would be by defenition a contact imprint, ON THE CONTRARY THE SHROUD IMAGE IS NOT(al least in several anatomical áreas) A CONTACT IMAGE.
Question 4- If it would be possible to wrap a naked human body with its skin covered with sweat in a linen sheet with the aim of obtaining an image, the result would be as follows
(assuming that a color change would occur independently of the time elapsed to get it..)
It would be a contact-only blurred image, with different macroscopic and microscopic characteristics relative to Shroud image let alone the fact it would have no 3D encoding.
SWEAT THEORY HAS ALREADY BEEN DISPROVED, let’s not waste time speculating on old fashion and out of date issues,
Antero de Frias Moreira
Centro Português de Sindonologia

Appendix 4

I never imagined for one moment that I was the first to propose the 'body bag' hypothesis, in view of the Gospel accounts making clear that 'fine linen' was used for immediate transport from cross to tomb. And here's a comment from David Mo that includes a French quote (my italics) making precisely  the same point. My immediate response follows:

November 26, 2014 at 3:48 am
More interesting:
« L’autre Suaire qui porte aussi une empreinte du corps de Jesus-Christ est celui qu’on appelle le saint Suaire de Besançon. La peinture n’y est pas si forte ni les traits si distinguez que le Suaire de Turin. C’est ce qui a fait dire à ceux qui ont donné l’histoire de l’un & de l’autre, que celui de Turin avoit servi à envelopper le corps tout ensanglanté à la descente de la croix, & que celui de Besançon avoit servi à l’ensevelir après qu’il eut été lavé & embaumé ».
It was a common belief that the mark of Turin Shroud was made with blood.

November 26, 2014 at 3:55 am
Snap. I had arrived at precisely the same conclusion this morning, namely that the TS was a “body bag” used to transport from cross to tomb, and NOT used as a final burial shroud.

(with a link to this posting).

Monday, November 24, 2014

An overarching idea regarding the Turin Shroud that Wikipedia does not wish you to know about (well, not just yet anyway).

"The faint yellow Shroud body image was almost certainly an attempt to simulate a sweat imprint on linen, as if from a recently crucified man. In reality it was probably a thermal imprint ("scorch mark") from a heated 3D or bas relief template."

This blogger's solution (above)  to the Shroud of Turin  'mystery'  as been deemed by Wikipedia's editors to fall within its prohibited categories of "personal promotion"  and "conflict of interest".

Since when has it been wiki's policy to suppress latest new thinking on a subject  that has:

(a) gripped the public imagination for decades, nay centuries.

(b) been the subject of frequent media attention, with newspapers carrying headlines like "Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural "?

(c) been the subject of numerous books, magazine articles, TV documentaries etc. etc.

(d) been the subject of numerous blogs, web forums and websites.

(e) is shortly (early 2015) to be the subject of  yet another Shroud  Exposition in Turin to be attended  and blessed by Pope Francis. He will no doubt refer to the Shroud in Vatican code as the "Holy Shroud" or "Icon" while stopping short of claiming it to be the genuine burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth (hardly possible one might think in view of the radiocarbon dating, 1260-1390, albeit hotly disputed ).

See previous posting for details.

Brass crucifix (left). Thermal imprint aka scorch(centre) showing minimal lateral distortion, a reasonable model for a "sweat imprint" if suitably attenuated. .Wet imprint from tacky coating (right), clearly an unsuitable model for a "sweat imprint" given the large degree of lateral ("wrap-around") distortion.

What you see above is an image that was inserted into that post yesterday. It provides a flavour of how this blogsite and its retired scientist owner operates, and has done so for the last 250 or so postings, here and on a specialist Shroud website. Modus operandi? Doing and reporting experiments to test the claims and/or assumptions made on behalf of Shroud authenticity, experiments and results I might add you will find nowhere else.

And what was it that prompted the experimental modus operandi on my sites, the concluding and overarching IDEA which wikipedia does not wish you to know about? It is in fact that very same headline above that appeared in  December 2011 in the Independent: "Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural", one which quickly led to my first Shroud-related posting on this site. 

Yes, it described and experiment AND phenomenon that you will find nowhere else ("thermostencilling") but there was a subtext too for the "miraculous radiation" school of physics, namely: no absorbing pigment, or no chromophore, i.e. white linen, then NO IMAGE IS POSSIBLE. (First Law of Photochemistry). Coherent ultraviolet light from excimer lasers is irrelevant pseudo-science.
But it's vanity, all vanity needess to say, innit?, or what wiki calls "personal promotion", and wanting the world via wiki to know about my ideas demonstrates a clear "conflict of interest". Oh purleese!

Wiki has gone mad, bandying around such derogatory terms when it probably knows nothing about this site, its owner and his modus operandi in which all results deemed important are accompanied by photographs. (Could STURP claim the same?)  I repeat. WIKI HAS GONE MAD. 

15:00 Apologies for suggesting earlier that this blogger/retired science bod was the only one checking out the claims (experimentally) of the authenticists. Here's this progress report from Hugh Farey, checking out STURP's Raymond N. Roger's claim that the TS image could have been formed by a Maillard reaction between putrefaction vapours from the dead body of Jesus and the carbohydrates or the alleged starchy 'impurity coating' of the linen shroud. Hugh was using dead, decomposing  mice as a model (rather him than me). My bolding of that crucial passage in the text...

in response to Dan:
Colin Berry tells us, I’ve been misunderstood. I did not claim that the Turin Shroud image was an actual sweat imprint – only that is was made to SEEM like a sweat imprint. Got it? I thought I had. And I thought most of us had. But: As the comments on other Shroud sites, to […]

All very true, daveb. I used two samples of linen, each divided into four 15cm x 30cm sheets, folded over in half over two thawed rats of the kind called fuzzies (bred for herpetologists). They were all placed in an incubator at 23°C for 7 days. The four sheets were soaked in a 10% dextrin solution, a 10% sapinin solution, a mixture of the two, and nothing (as a control).

I did not consider red heifers, radon, or varying the magnetic field. Nor am I likely to. I didn’t check the humidity (dry), but it did occur to me that I might have had a result had I periodically misted the sheets.

Essentially the animals themselves were not the crucial part of the experiment. Either cadaverine, putrescine, urea, ammonia, or any other suggested vapour discolours cellulose, dextrin, saponin, myrhh, or some other suggested textile soak or it doesn’t. So far, in my experience, it doesn’t, although I agree that there are plenty of possible permutations not yet explored.

I’m not sure what Louis’ point is, unless it is about a possible miracle (defined as an occurrence outside physical laws). As I have said before, such a possibility cannot be wholly discounted, but is both impossible to prove and beyond the competence of science to test for, so I must exclude it from any of my considerations.

Don't give up just yet, Hugh. Negative results, as you know, play just as important a role in scientific hypothesis-testing as positive ones, indeed more so.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Time to tell wiki about my latest idea - the Turin Shoud image, while still a SCORCH from a heated metal template, was intended to be seen as a SWEAT IMPRINT left on linen by the real, recently-deceased Jesus.

Yes, I've taken a leaf from Charles Freeman's book, and submitted a brief synopsis of my 'simulated sweat imprint' idea to wikipedia. Charles sent his to the History of the Shroud page, but noting there was now a version of the same at the end of  the main Shroud of Turin entry under "Recent Developments" I chose the latter for entering this:

Update: The following appeared briefly, but has now disappeared. No doubt I failed the audition. Never mind. We'll  try again another day.

Shroud researcher Colin Berry (mentioned earlier) has recently made a significant modification to his belief that the body image was imprinted onto linen as a scorch from a heated template. He had originally speculated that the scorch technology had been chosen deliberately to represent either Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay or Geoffroi de Charney midway through being slowly-roasted to death at the stake in Paris, with a fanciful imprinting of hot tissue onto a burial shroud. In that view the de Molay image was later‘re-invented’ as that of the crucified Jesus by additions of blood at the appropriate wound locations described in the New Testament accounts.
The Templar link has now been abandoned. While Berry still considers the TS image to be a contact scorch, he proposes that it was intended to be seen by the very first cohorts of pilgrims at Lirey in 1357 as the genuine sweat (and blood) imprint left on linen by the recumbent crucified Jesus. In other words, the scorch technology was designed to simulate the appearance of an ancient sweat imprint, yellowed with age. That interpretation may have found a resonance with mid-14th century pilgrims, given that the highly venerated Veil of Veronica had been attracting large numbers at the same time, notably in the ‘Holy Year’ 1350, just 7 years prior to the first known Lirey display. The ‘Veronica’ too, according to legend, was initially a body imprint, solely of the facial features of Jesus, captured onto a bystander’s veil as she stepped forward in a charitable gesture to wipe sweat and blood from the face of Jesus as the latter passed by, bearing his cross to the site of execution at Calvary. Might this idea of sweat/blood imprinting have served as the inspiration for a medieval ‘thought experiment’ combining art and technology, imagining how a similar whole body imprint, both frontal and dorsal sides, of the recently deceased and traumatized (bloodied/sweat-soaked) Jesus might look after 13 centuries of ageing and yellowing?
Links to Berry's 'simulated sweat imprint' hypothesis



Edit contributed by Colin Berry, Nov 23, 2014

Hopefully someone will be able to review and edit it soon, if deemed suitable, and even assist with inserting numbered references into text

Update: 10:25

Tried re-submitting my screed, but this time logging into wiki, which had fortunately remembered me from a long time ago, attempting to edit something or other (non-TS related).

My piece  now appears like an old-fashioned ticker tape/ telegram at the end of the Recent Developments section, and I'm still none the wiser about how to format in wiki.

Update: 12:38

Was gradually getting my screed to appear in standard font, more by trial and error than anything else, when this message appeared:

November 2014

Information icon Hello, I'm McGeddon. I noticed that you made a change to an article, Shroud of Turin, but you didn't provide a reliable source. It's been removed and archived in the page history for now, but if you'd like to include a citation and re-add it, please do so! If you need guidance on referencing, please see the referencing for beginners tutorial, or if you think I made a mistake, you can leave me a message on my talk page. Blogs are not reliable sources. You also shouldn't be writing about your own work in Wikipedia, per WP:COISELF. McGeddon (talk) 12:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

OK, McGeddon, receiving you loud and clear. Yes, you're right: blogs are not reliable sources, and no, I shouldn't be writing about my own work. But if I don't, then who will? Why not provide a list of accredited editors to whom one can submit one's ideas for possible inclusion? Maybe that directory exists already, but for now I'll take a break from the Byzantine complexity of wiki. At least folk will in time know what I think ought to be seen in wiki - given I've supplied an easy-to-grasp perspective that may or may not be right, but took close on 3 years, much original experimentation with the scorch hypothesis and 250 or so blog postings to communicate, most of those picked up in the wider blogosphere. There are blogs and there are blogs...

13:30  Halleluja. That summary of my current position now looks approximately right.

How long it remains on view is anyone's guess. As I say, it should by rights be on view, being at least as valid - if not more so - than most of the other ideas that circulate in the world of shroudology.

"The Shroud of Turin image depicts a simulated sweat and blood imprint on linen of the crucified Jesus. The Shroud of Turin is a medieval fake".  Just 26 words... No risk of sensory overload there.

14:00  Ideas are, needless to say, the academic's stock-in-trade. Without those ideas one might as well collect antiques or play golf or bridge.  If one generates an idea that has occurred to no one else previously, then the important thing for the academic is to waste no time in establishing priority. Idea that are left lying around, with no obvious owner, can all too often be hoovered up by others!

Here's a rough-and-ready way of doing that, establishing priority that is, simply by entering (shroud turin sweat imprint) into Google, and finding one's own postings dominate the returns.

Narcissism? Maybe, but I see it as an expression of the competitive spirit (same as that golf, bridge etc).

14:20  The wiki entry has now disappeared into cyberspace.  It will be back, sooner or later, such is the nature of ideas (previously compared with genies that escape from bottles). I'm a patient man. I can wait. This science bod has lots of other interests in the world of ideas. New unconventional ideas take a while to bed in.

14:50  Here's the wiki page on editorial interventions and revisions:

"Self promotion"? They don't mince their words, do they? Who are these people?

17:53  A few days ago I was saying that scorching off a heated template, like a brass crucifix, gave scarcely any so-called lateral ("wrap-around ") distortion, and while suggesting a reason for that did not provide any supporting data.

I've just done a comparison between imprinting off the heated crucifix, and imprinting off the same crucifix that has been coated in a sticky paint-like food stuff. The results confirm my hunch - the second of those shows serious wrap-around distortion, unlike the contact scorch.

Left: brass crucifix coated in "paint". Right: imprint left by coated crucifix on linen. Centre: a scorch imprint from the crucifix. Note the much greater lateral distortion of the paint image than the scorch.

Reasons? Almost certainly to do with the greater tendency for "paint" to stick to linen, even at oblique angles round the sides, than for scorching to occur at those same locations where the cloth is not square on to the template.

Relevance to the "simulated sweat imprint" hypothesis? Quite a lot perhaps. Our medieval "shroud" forgers , deciding to create a sweat imprint on cloth may have originally experimented with liquid, pasty or tarry substances designed to simulate sweat imprints, but quickly found there was unacceptable lateral distortion. Then someone had the idea of scorching onto fabric, and found the distortion was then scarcely apparent for the reasons mentioned.

This blogger's  initial thinking was that the TS image had to be a contact scorch, simply to accommodate so many of the Shroud characteristics, notably yellow colour, negative image, superficiality,  and 3D properties  especially. But might there have been a special reason for employing scorch technology? That led to the idea that the initial image was that of a semi-roasted Templar, a memento of  events occurring in 1314 with the burning, or rather slow-roasting at the stake in Paris. Once the idea of  simulating a sweat imprint occurred to this blogger, there was no longer any need to make a link with the Templars. The scorch technology was chosen as the simplest way to simulate a sweat imprint. Note that the scorch hypothesis has not been modified in any practical sense - merely the reasons for it having been deployed. The contact scorch was simply a simulated sweat imprint. What could be simpler than that?

 18:25  This has just appeared (my bolding):

in response to Dan:
Shall this become the future of the Shroud of Turin entries in Wikipedia, where every person with an idea posts his own theory out there? What about the guy in Australia who has discovered that if he tilts his laptop screen at a certain angle he can make Jesus’s eyes open, thus proving he is […]

I, for one, can hardly complain if Colin wishes to provide material to the Wikipedia site but I have provided a link to an article that was published in a respected history journal and which has, according to the Editor, had 20,000 hits. The article was read by expert advisers at my request and I assume, from the two month delay after I submitted the article to History Today before acceptance, peer- reviewed by their advisory committee. It is entirely up to the editor of the Wikipedia article ,of course, but might I suggest that Colin provides some evidence that he has academic support for his theories or we will have Stephen Jones joining in too.

What I wrote for wiki was not a theory. It was a simple all-embracing idea that explains HOW the TS image was made, i.e. as a thermal imprint on linen, and WHY it was made, i.e. to simulate a sweat imprint.

Note that it's an idea, an hypothesis. Hypotheses are there to be tested, not only by me, but others too.

There is no need for my IDEA to go to peer-review. It is JUST AN IDEA (and I happen to think a good one, though I say it myself).

19:30  An hour or two ago, I had been toying with the idea of pointing out  the inconsistency of wiki editing, pointing out that my name had previously appeared in the 'Shroud of Turin' entry for observations that supported the scorch hypothesis - namely that the 1532 scorch marks showed 3D properties. That was accompanied by two references to my BLOGS, not peer-reviewed work. I now discover that someone has deleted me from the wiki page, along with the new submission, presumably to forestall the charge of inconsistency. Meanwhile 'anti-scorch' references remain, ones that also rely on non-peer reviewed work. Had I engaged in "self-promotion" to get that initial mention? Nope. It's my ideas I promote, not "me". But I wouldn't  expect the blue-pencil censorship mentality to know that. I wouldn't expect the blue-pencil censorship mentality to know much at all about real people and the real world, in or out of academe.

I made a decision some years ago to avoid the activist side of wiki - so no writing new entries or  (with one lapse of resolution, the attempt to correct existing ones. I'm hugely relieved now I did so. What a jungle! What a platform for control freakery,  for over-blown egos!


My  miffed response to some of the feedback via wiki's "Talk" facility:

I concluded my account with:
"Links to Berry’s ‘simulated sweat imprint’ hypothesis"

Note the term "hypothesis", meaning idea. So where's the conflict of interest in expressing an idea? Where's the self-promotion in expressing an idea? Why bandy around these silly terms in a way that totally misrepresents this researcher's interest in the Shroud? Are you aware that I have published over 250 postings on my science buzz and specialist Shroud sites, many with original research findings you will not find elsewhere? As for deleting the earlier reference to my scorch findings that someone else, not I, chose to publicize, that is just small-mindedness.

My IDEA is any original one, as you can check for yourself by googling, that can be expressed in a few words, and which does not need "peer review" to which incidentally I am no stranger:

The faint yellow Shroud body image was almost certainly an attempt to simulate a sweat imprint on linen, as if from a recently crucified man. In reality it was probably a thermal imprint ("scorch mark") from a heated 3D or bas relief template.

Do you not consider that folk who consult wiki have a right to be informed of the latest thinking? Do you not understand the difference between hypotheses that invite further experimentation and tendentious claims?
Colinsberry (talk) 23:07, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Colin Berry PhD

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Turin Shroud negative image- several anomalous features are now explicable by positing a medieval modelling of an imaginary whole-body sweat imprint

Those clever and inventive medievals didn't just construct cathedrals that stand to this day .
Latest thoughts on my 'sweat imprint'  anti-authenticity model (see preceding postings)

Can be used to explain a number of anomalies:

1. Lank hair.  No attempt to image real “hair”, merely the  imprint that might be left by sweat migrating out of hair of a recumbent subject (capillary action etc).

2. Blood: it was never intended to look like real thick blood - just an anaemic wishy-washy version thereof, as if sweat had migrated by capillary action through dried blood clots (i.e.the linen acting like 'blotting-paper').

3. No sides to body: gravity would make sweat descend, or ascend via capillary action, so no imprinting of side image onto linen, especially if there were limited physical contact with sides.

4. Cut-off at sides of face. As 3: the sides of the face are vertical, not horizontal.

5. No imaging of top of head:: as 3 and 4: vertical, not horizontal.

6. No imaging of wounds and scourge marks  (only blood flows therefrom) – as mentioned in earlier post. Sweat would not issue from a wound, so there can be no “sweat imprint” of a wound, only a blood imprint.

It was probably this legendary incident  on the road to Calvary that led to the idea of fabricating a double full-length version of the celebrated 'Veil of Veronica', albeit of Christ shortly after crucifixion, imprinted onto his linen burial shroud.

More anomalies??  Feel free to suggest ones I've omitted.

Will  flesh-out later on some of the listed items,  the blood aspect especially, contrasting with pro-authenticity modelling' ("serum exudate of retracted blood clots" etc).

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris: completed 1345 (12 years before the first recorded appearance of another complex artefact (smaller, 2D, but with cryptic 3D properties) in a humble village called Lirey, see below, south of Troyes, also in France)

Modern day Lirey (Google Street view).  The 19th century church on the right stands on the same plot as the humbler 14th century one founded by the de Charny/de Vergy family, first known home of the Turin Shroud in Europe, displayed to public in 1357, commemorated by the Lirey Pilgrim's badge, now in Cluny Museum. The building on left is the 'pigeonnier'  (English: pigeon loft) referred to on another website as also being located on the original  De Charny landholding. Further reading

Lirey church, with the pigeonnier visible on the left

The road sign points to Machy, just 5 minutes by car, where the 'Machy mould' for a second Lirey Pilgrim's badge was discovered by a jogger in a field

 The Machy mould, with what I consider to be the addition of an extra feature, not on the Lirey badge, of a representation of the Veil of Veronica above the word SVAIRE i.e. SUAIRE, which can mean either shroud OR face cloth (lettering reversed, being a mould).

Details in close-up.

Monday 17th November 

So might there be one of more features  of the TS image that serve as a  'smoking gun' for the kind of methodology employed to produce a negative imprint of an entire man on linen, not necessarily from (imagined) "sweat", but probably as sweat?

It's somewhat conjectural at this stage, but my answer to that question would be "maybe", and it's based on a feature on the checklist in the posting immediately preceding this one.

Here's an image from a posting I did a year ago that highlights the problem faced by our medieval imprinter.

                              Imprint off brass crucifix obtained by LOTTO method (Linen On Top, Then Overlay)

Take a closer look:

There's been no imaging of the neck, leaving a 'floating' head on the image. It may be realistic, as a "simulated sweat imprint", but is somewhat unattractive, making the end-result look too much like the scorch imprint it is, not sufficiently like an imagined sweat imprint, maybe a little idealized and romanticized.

So what are the options for including the neck of the imprinting template, that do not introduce other unwanted features at the same time?  Answer: few if any, one suspects. There was a price to be paid for imaging the neck: any run of linen that imaged the neck carried with it a penalty - the underside of the chin had to be imaged too, which looks unnatural on a 3D -> 2D transfer, and there was a risk in turning the linen through a sharp 90 degree angle at the tip of the chin.  

But that price was deemed worth paying in order to maintain continuity of image between neck, chin and chest.

Oh well, nothing in this world is perfect...

This blogger has long expressed an interest in the anomalies of the chin/neck region, focusing initially on that transverse 'crease' which is clearly part of the body image, i.e. acquired at the same time as the body image.

Here's a listing (under construction) of previous postings on this 'smoking gun' topic.





Postscript 08:10

This comment has just appeared from Charles Freeman on the shroudstory site in response to Thomas:

in response to Thomas:

Thomas. Perhaps you should start by reading the three specialists that I have quoted, Walker Bynum, Marrow and Hamburger, before you put forward your own theories.They deal with the issues in detail after many years working with the evidence. Marrow, in particular, shows how the changes relate to the new emphasis on Old Testament texts.Then if you disagree with these authorities you can,of course, explain why.
It is always good to start with the authorities, in particular as this field has been extensively worked on. I remain amazed that Colin seems to be going his own way without having started by consulting the many specialists working on medieval painting. He may end up rejecting their work but he should at least know about it before he goes public. Art historians today have to know a great deal of chemistry as much depend on the analysis of pigments, so he will be able to find people he can talk to. He needs to search out other faded cloths for comparison with the Shroud – I know of two, mentioned in my article, and there must be many more not on display anywhere so perhaps a conservation lab dealing with medieval textiles might be the place to start. Certainly I am hoping that my article helps find some to compare with the Shroud – sadly most have decayed.
But perhaps the lure of going it alone is too strong for Colin.. I doubt, however, even if he finds a new way of making images of which the Shroud is the only example, it is going to revolutionise science in the way he suggests.
Apart from the fact that the TS  BODY IMAGE does not fall within the realm of art history (blood additions might, if as I suspect they arrived AFTER body image,  in which case they are best treated as a separate issue, and were influenced by artistic considerations) has Charles never asked himself this question: Why was the TS removed so quickly from public display after the first such occasion in recorded history, with the local clergy declaring it to be a CUNNING painting and a forgery.  Given it would still have been a recently executed "painting" in 1357, before any fading and deterioration, why would it be described as a "cunning" anything, painting or otherwise, and why branded as a forgery, i.e. fake?  The answer of course is that the TS BODY IMAGE is and never was a "painting" in the conventional or any other sense, because it's an IMPRINT, not a painting, and thus outside the remit of art history. The template that we have never seen may have been a legitimate subject for (3D) art history, but at present we don't even know whether  it was bas relief,  fully 3D, or a cobbled together combination of the two, e.g. bronze statue for the body, bas relief for the head.

Oh, and I'm not trying to revolutionize science. Quite the opposite in fact. I'm applying conventional science to the TS body image, thinking of ways a negative highly superficial image with 3D properties could have been made with those characteristics arriving willy nilly as an accidental byproduct of medieval technology. After some 3 years research and study, I think I have the answer. The aim was to simulate an imaginary sweat imprint as might be left by a  traumatized recumbent man on linen. If the technology chosen to produce the pseudo-sweat imprint had been contact scorching from a heated 3D or semi-3D template, maybe with prior impregnation of linen to make it more receptive to thermal imaging, then the negative 3D properties are explained, given they can be produced at will in model systems, as this blogger has demonstrated in the course of some 250 postings since December 2011. How much of my work has Charles read? Or can he not be bothered with other people's scholarly research unless published in a reputable journal  (or in Charles's case, a book or periodical)? As I've said before, science is the world of ideas.  New scientific ideas, paradigm shifts especially)  like my invitation to view the faint-from-the-word-go TS body image as a  pseudo-sweat imprint of medieval manufacture,  are like genies that escape easily from their bottles. I leave it to those with labs and modern facilities to get released  genies back into new  bottles. long enough at any rate for their merits and/or demerits to be judged. I'm only here for the science, and leave art history to art historians, assuming they are able to differentiate between art and technology.


Here's a crucial paragraph from Charles's History Today article.

 No one has found any significant evidence of the Shroud’s existence before 1355, when it appeared in a chapel at Lirey, in the diocese of Troyes, supposedly advertised there as the burial shroud of Christ. Such sudden appearances of cults were common in a Europe recovering from the trauma of the Black Death. They caused a great deal of frustration for a Church hierarchy anxious to preserve its own status. The bishop of Troyes, Henry of Poitiers, whose responsibility it was to monitor such claims in his diocese, investigated the shrine and reported that, not only were the images painted on the cloth, but that he had actually tracked down the painter. After this clerical onslaught, the Shroud was hidden away for more than 30 years. Yet the Church accepted that it was not a deliberate forgery and in January 1390 the (anti-)pope Clement VII allowed its renewed exposure in Lirey. This suggests that the Shroud may have been credited with unrecorded miracles, thereby acquiring the spiritual status to make it worthy of veneration. Doubtless aware of the earlier claims by the Lirey clergy, Clement insisted that it was publicly announced before each exposition that this was NOT the burial shroud of Christ.

The crucial omission note is the description of the TS image as having been "cunningly" painted, long before any obvious fading could have occurred.  That omission, and the fact that a newly executed painting, no matter how "cunning" is unlikely to have been mistaken by the first cohorts of pilgrims for a genuine burial shroud makes it exceedingly unlikely that the early TS was seen as a conventional painting, even on historical and dare one say commonsensical grounds. Then there's the matter of the science. Charles seems determined to be seen as the Rip Van Winkle of Shroudology, someone who nodded off in 1978 just as the STURP team were packing their bags and equipment for the trip to Turin, and has only just recently woken up.   ;-)

 11:00:   Have just this minute come across this during googling. It's an extract from a book called "The Templars and the Grail: Knights of the Quest" by Karen Ralls.

Don't be put off by the title. It's the reference to Veronica-relic fever at roughly the same time as the first display of the Shroud at Lirey that is especially interesting.


 Might it have been the that display of the Veronica in 1350, described as the "Holy Year" just 7 years before the Lirey display that put the idea in somebody's head of trumping the Veronica with a bigger and better "sweat" imprint? How might that someone have set about simulating a sweat imprint, one wonders? Thinks: it has to be pale yellow or tan, it has to be highly superficial, and NOT look like paint, it has to be a negative image, it should have some "blood" in all the biblically-correct  places as well as "sweat", it should be unmistakeable as a burial shroud, even if one has to take artistic liberties ...

12:10  It's now 8 months since I lasted posted to my specialist Shroud site* (not counting the short-lived 'strawshredder' offshoot) . Methinks it's time to update it with the firmed-up ideas re the TS as a carefully-crafted but  simulated sweat  imprint.  That "holy year" 1350  - see above- would make as good a starting point as any, focusing initially on the then extant Veil of Veronica, and whether that much smaller piece of fabric  was really a sweat imprint or not, and whether it  was  a genuine relic from AD33 or not. That would  then set the scene for introducing the new paradigm, namely that the TS image was inspired by and derivative of the Veronica. The site could then be abandoned for a few more months, awaiting further ideas and developments, and continuing with this site as a day-to-day worksheet. However, as stated a couple of days ago, I shall no longer be reporting my experiments in real time. It seemed a good idea at the start but has proved to have too many downsides. Any results I get from experimenting with model systems will in future be used to shape or re-shape the central hypothesis, the focus now being on seeking evidence from the TS image that it was purposely designed to be seen as a  (pseudo)sweat imprint, and less on the precise mechanism by which that goal was achieved (given that the scorch hypothesis already ticks numerous boxes, and given the poorly-documented  basis for many of the labels on those boxes anyway as regards image location, image superficiality, microscopic aspects etc etc).

*59 visits today so far, though visits sadly do not translate into Google ranking, or if they do, they are a poor relation in the ranking algorithm.

22:15 Monday. Job done. have just posted to my old specialist TS site, the first since March. The Google ranking jumped instantly from page 25 to page 16, which tells you something about the way the ranking algorithm works.

Update November 21st. That Google ranking can be Page 13 or even Page 9 briefly under a (shroud of turin) search yet Page 26 a few hours later.  That really says all one needs to know about the stability and quality control of the Google algorithm. I for one shall not waste another second with 'meegling my own content, since apart from being narcissistic, it's a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY.

What has been far more valuable has been googling (shroud sweat imprint). Most of the first listed entries refer to my current thinking, arrived at circuitously some might think through initially following the scorch  -> barbecued Templar route, and finally arriving at a 'scorch as simulated sweat imprint' conclusion,  a considered view that is now setting rock hard in this sceptic's mind like concrete.

However, a chance finding in that list was a Google books link to Ian Wilson's "The Shroud" (2010) which has a few 'free sample' pages that would seem prescient, despite his final conclusions and take-away message being entirely the opposite of mine, namely that the TS image IS genuine. Why prescient? Sweat and sweat imprints still feature strongly in his view, though I have still to press the appropriate  keys to acquire and read his entire book (which won't be a chore, if only for  his enviable style of writing).

Having given his book a puff, I hope he and his publishers won't object to my posting here a screen grab of some of those free pages on view already.

 Page 30 from Ian Wilson's "The Shroud" (2010)

 Page 31 from same

I see this posting has been described as the "Conspiracy of the Faux Sweat Imprint".

That "conspiracy" term always carries connotations, faintly pejorative ones. What I'm proposing is not so much a conspiracy, more a confidence trick. Naturally the organizers need  to keep things to themselves, but that's not quite the same as "conspiracy".

Saturday 22nd November

There's a new post gone up on shroudstory.com in which French-Canadian Yannick Clément ask when and why the TS image first became seen as one captured at the instant of Resurrection, as distinct from a natural phenomenon associated with enveloping a corpse in linen.

My answer - for what it's worth: it happened when certain "scientists" (I use the term loosely, since it's generally engineers dabbling in science) decided to dismiss  natural causes or medieval forgery with indecent haste, and began to speculate on intense bursts of radiation, conveniently collimated so as not to require all the paraphernalia of lenses etc. But normal corpses don't emit radiation, do they? So it had to be supernatural radiation, and what better time to emit that supernatural radiation than during a process of dematerialization that we call Resurrection.

It's a completely circular argument, needless to say. It needed  that  supernatural  'resurrection' to generate the necessary and entirely hypothetical  radiation (wavelength conveniently unspecified) and with it the image.  But the image could "only" have been formed by radiation which therefore offers overwhelming evidence (or so we are told) of a supernatural event, i.e. Resurrection.

So, to summarize,  the Resurrection provided the radiation, and the radiation formed the image, and the image could only have been formed by radiation, so there had to be a Resurrection to provide the radiation, which formed the image, which must have needed radiation, which must have come from Resurrection, which generated the radiation...  oops, there's someone knocking at the door, must see who it is, back later...

Friday, November 14, 2014

I've been misunderstood. I did not claim that the Turin Shroud image was an actual sweat imprint - only that is was made to SEEM like a sweat imprint.

I called them contact scorches in a previous posting, showing their 3D properties in ImageJ.  One could have called them SIMULATED sweat imprints. That does not mean they were real sweat imprints. (The two images, showing effect of  light v stronger applied pressure,  were produced by serially pressing a heated bronze crucifix face-side up into linen with a damp cloth underlay, the latter helping to model a fairly superficial Turin Shroud-like image)

As the comments on other Shroud sites, to say nothing of editorial content, become increasingly bizarre, it's time to set out my own stall more carefully to avoid misunderstanding.

In my last posting I made what I consider to be a major new claim  regarding the faint body image on Turin Shroud - one for which I not unnaturally expect credit if it finds general support - and brickbats if not.

Nope, I don't seek commercial gain, nor media celebrity but do expect academic kudos if as I hope my ideas prove to be the correct ones- and I have reason to believe that the "simulated sweat imprint" idea is not only original, except for one passing mention discovered yesterday in googling.  Let's not beat about the bush. It's a  PARADIGM SHIFT , one that will require a major rehink about the TS and how it was able to capture the imagination through engendering assumptions that never got properly questioned, even to this day.
 From quick googling:

paradigm shift

           A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.

 It goes to the heart, not just of science and the scientific method vis-a-vis other methods of enquiry. It has a huge amount to say about the theory of knowledge in general - and the way in which our view of the natural and material world can be coloured by our preconceptions, faulty as often as not).

No, the TS is not a painted image, which we thought had been virtually ruled out by the 1978 STURP investigation, a view now resurrected  by Charles Freeman's in his curiously blinkered article in "History Today". It was intended to be seen as a sweat imprint left on top and bottom surfaces ("frontal" and "dorsal") of a generously -proportioned  up-and-over-burial shroud (for which there is no biblical evidence btw).

But just because it was intended to be seen that way does NOT mean that the medieval artisan set out to create an image with sweat, or even simulated sweat, or indeed any liquid concoction whatsoever. So when people ask "Where does that leave the heated template/scorch hypothesis?" which for 2.5 years now has been my preferred mechanism for imprinting a superficial tan-coloured image on linen with negative (light/dark reversed character) and 3D properties, the answer is simple: it's still alive and well, and still being modified  as we speak to try and accommodate this or that detail of the actual TS image.

Why is the scorch hypothesis still in the frame? Answer: because it seems as good a way as any for SIMULATING a sweat imprint, given a contact scorch from a hot template can be as faint and superficial as one wishes - it being a fairly simple and straightforward matter to control image intensity. What's more, while the medieval artisan would not have known it, the resulting image would centuries later respond to modern technology, starting with photography and light/dark reversed  images ("negatives") on silver-coated emulsions, giving the "haunting" photograph-like positive image revealed by Secondo Pia (1898), and later still the remarkable response to 3D-rendering software etc.

But there's another aspect worth noting: if the TS was designed as a simulated sweat imprint, that helps channel one's thinking as to how a medieval artisan, with the materials at his disposal, might have set about the task. Scorching off a hot template is just one approach, but there are bound to be others. The field is wide open to others to come up with alternative suggestions and test them.In passing, it has never been my aim, as a scientist, to respond the challenge one sees almost daily on shroudie sites to "reproduce every detail of the TS image". The challenge I respond to is the one that science has never been able to reproduce the peculiar set of properties of the Shroud - extreme superficiality, 3D properties, lack of fluorescence under uv etc etc. If one could do that - reproduce all the peculiarities that are said to baffle science- then I would stop there, not being in the business of creating forgeries that are indistinguishable form the original. I'm only here for the science.
Louis C.de Figueiredo

In the next few hours, maybe days, I shall be extending this post to take in some other housekeeping details of the scorch hypothesis. One major priority will be to address some objections from Professor Giulio Fanti which I only encountered yesterday, articulated in an interview he gave to Louis C. De Figueiredo.

Question: It has been proposed that the Shroud image was formed by scorching with a hot statue and one of the reasons you contested Luigi Garlaschelli was to say that only the primary cell wall of the linen fibre, about 0.2 micrometres thick, is coloured, also that the medulla of each fibre image is not coloured. Does that go to say that your study challenges the hot statue hypothesis as well?

Fanti's reply:  The hot statue hypothesis is absurd, it becomes evident in the paper entitled
Hypotheses regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud: A Critical Compendium , published by JIST.

The 0.2 micrometers thick layer of colour on the image fibres of the TS is only one of the many reasons why this hypothesis must be rejected. In fact, if you put a linen thread in contact with a hot body this should not last more than thousands (thousandths?) of seconds to reach such a colour thickness. An experimental test using a hot statue would colour at least the whole fibre.

I realize that there are limited opportunities in an interview to state a full case. By the same token, interview soundbites risk presenting an oversimplified view of things that others then take away and uncritically quote, allowing false perceptions to take root. The response of linen fibres to conventional energy sources, notably conducted heat, is almost certainly a lot more subtle and complex than most people think, possibly even Professor Fanti himself, due to a range of factors - physical, chemical, botanical and technological. These are just as deserving of our close attention as the newer gee whizz models, such as the laser-generated coherent uv radiation model (from ENEA's Paolo Di Lazzaro et al) or Fanti's own electrical corona discharge one. What's needed as a matter of urgency right now is more science and less technology (or, while we're about it, the blinkered history that displays a astonishing degree of scientific illiteracy, or indifference, or even contempt - a sad example if ever there was of Britain's still divisive and totally inexcusable "Two Cultures").

11:50 Saturday: Right. Let's make a start on that Fanti reply above.

"The hot statue hypothesis is absurd, it becomes evident in the paper entitled
Hypotheses regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud: A Critical Compendium , published by JIST."

Click to ENLARGE

But I have not read that paper, and will not be doing so, despite it appearing in what ostensibly is a reputable and peer-reviewed journal. Why not? Because if the paper had come to me, not as an imaging specialist, but simply as a "scientist" I would have rejected it out of hand. Why? Because the proposition that the TS image was formed by any kind of radiation or corona discharge phenomenon clearly shows a pro-authenticity bias, highly visible I might say in Fanti's other Shroud papers, some of which I've heavily criticized in the past for their lack of strict scientific objectivity. It's not just that I think it wrong that a scientist should be so dismissive of the radiocarbon dating, which we know had at least statistical shortcomings. Personally, I do not buy into the argument that failure to sample from more than one site invalidates the entire conclusions. When you are required to have a blood test, you have blood taken from one site. The nurse does not sample from multiple sites, on the offchance that blood has different compositions in different locations. Unless one has strong a priori grounds for suspecting site-to-site variability, than one-site sampling  will suffice, at least initially while methodologies are compared, as was the case with three labs using different variants of the AMS technology.. The claims that the corner sample was unrepresentative does not constitute a strong a priori claim for heterogeneity in my view (whether due to reweaving, repair patch etc). In fact there's contrary evidence that those claims are untrue - notably the continuity of the peculiar banding across the sample region.

So no, I will not be shelling out $25 on the off-chance that paper has anything new or useful useful to say as regards the factual evidence on image characteristics. If Giulio Fanti wants mainstream scientists like me who regard the TS as non-authentic unless or until proved otherwise, he must hive off the objective data and publish it independently, preferably as some kind of web-based communication that researchers like myself can access without charge, and indeed without to communicate with the author directly.  Why not?  Here's why not:

So in the meantime I must work on the basis that there are no data in that paper that greatly alter the status quo re TS authenticity. If there were (published 2011) I think we would know about it.

Oh, and while I hesitate to say it it, were I ever to be interviewed about my position on the TS, I would not start with a reference to my published work, especially when behind a paywall, and expect the interviewer and his readers to mind-read the contents, or stump up the wherewithal. That rather defeats the purpose of agreeing to be interviewed does it not?

Brief aside: I' ve been accused elsewhere by one of the Usual Suspects of doing a 'flip-flop', abandoning the scorch hypothesis for chemical imprinting, with the snide suggestion that it's all to do with "politics" and not "science".

For the record, I have not abandoned the scorch hypothesis or even distanced myself from it, as this posting shows. I still consider tit he most probable means by which a medieval artisan imprinted an image on linen that he hoped and indeed assumed would be readily accepted as being a Veronica-like sweat imprint. I'm merely saying that the "sweat imprint" paradigm means that other options for creating a look-alike sweat imprint should not be neglected.

Why did I embrace the scorch hypothesis initially, and why the current focus these last 6 months or so on "sweat". In both cases the science was supported by evidence sought in the historical context (while acknowledging I'm not historian).  Initially, there seemed a rationale for a  scorched-on image that related to the slow-roasting of Templar leaders (Jacques de Molay etc) in 1314. Others too (Lomas and Knight) had made a link between de Molay and the TS, albeit on a different and 'unintended ' imprinting mechanism, so it's not as if I were breaking new ground. It was only relatively recently that the notion of sweat began to form in my mind. That was based on three disparate lines of evidence - scientific and historical. First the Lomas and Knight mechanism involved a complicated process involving the lactic acid of body perspiration generating singlet oxygen that then supposedly coloured the linen. The sweat seed was sown. Then came the recent discovery of the Machy Mould, with its Veronica-like image of the still  living(?) Jesus above the word SUAIRE, which some see as meaning burial shroud, but which in my view could equally well have meant simply "face-cloth" inviting the Lirey pilgrim to make a link between an established and much venerated Veil of Veronica and the new arrival. Then came a stumbling upon the letter that St.Francis de Sales wrote to his mother with its numerous references to both blood AND sweat on the TS. Everything was now pointing to the TS having been seen initially as a SWEAT IMPRINT. There is no "politics" guiding that view. It is simply an enquiring mind, seeking  evidence wherever it can be found as to the reasons why the TS should make so sudden an appearance and impact in European recorded history, given its  immediate  'celebrity status' despite having no accompanying documentation or even word-of-mouth testimony as to its history prior to the circa 1357 public display.

Anyway, enough of that. Time now to return to the second and final part of Giulio Fanti's broadside against "scorch technology", which is still very much the first string in this blogger's bow (he would hardly be devoting all this attention to Fanti's views were that not the case).

!3:45 Saturday

"The 0.2 micrometers thick layer of colour on the image fibres of the TS is only one of the many reasons why this hypothesis must be rejected. In fact, if you put a linen thread in contact with a hot body this should not last more than thousands (thousandths?) of seconds to reach such a colour thickness. An experimental test using a hot statue would colour at least the whole fibre."

 Am I the only one to think it amazing that Ray Rogers' estimate of image thickness, based on no more than failure to see it in cross-section when stripped off sticky tape sample with forceps, is still quoted and requoted decades latter as if it were a quantitative measurement. It's not. It's a pure guesstimate, based on the inability to "see" it, due to the limited resolving power of a light microscope. Yes, that's right. You can't see it, so it's thickness os not greater than that of the shortest wavelengths of visible light. Some avoid the spuriosu impression of precision by re-stating the image thickness as 200-600nm. personally, I have no diificulty with that as a tiny "thickness", or "thinness", given it's essentially no different from the thickness of gold leaf that medieval artists applied to their reflective illuminated pictures. Yes,though a mere and much trumpeted  fraction of the width of the human hair, it used to be applied and maneuvered into place  on the tipof a paint brush, and 0.2 micrometers is the approximate thickness of the primary cell wall of flax/linen fibres. But it would be nice to have an independent precise measure of the TS image thickness, instead of bandying around that figure as if it were (a) hard science (it's not) and (b) impossibly thin for any image formed with conventional energy sources (Who says? Has anyone checked that out? I doubt it where shroudology is concerned, conventional energy sources being oh so boring and not the stuff of electrifying conference addresses).

There are further allusions to experimental data in the remainder with no indication that I'm aware of that such data actually exist. Note the careful wording of the final sentence: "An experimental test using a hot statue would colour at least the whole fibre.". Has the good Professor ever imprinted off a hot statue and examined the scorched fibres? If so where was that work published? If he has done those experiments, which I very much doubt, then I hope they were carried out with greater finesse than that one-off scorching experiment which his countryman and fellow-authenticist Paolo Di Lazzaro reported to shroudstory.com in an attempt to swat this free spirit back in 2012,

OK, enough of the theorizing that postures as science (it's not - hypothesis is of course he driving force of new experimental science. But without the experimentation and testing, it's still speculation, often based on a little knowledge that all too often is shown to be inadequate for the task).

This blogger has scorched linen not just scores of times but hundreds, and is not the least put off by claims of incredible superficiality, unachievable with conventional science (even if he is unable like the rest of the world to measure the precise thickness of that image on individual fibres).

Here's a result I obtained and published early on, using bas relief horse brasses to serially imprint across fabric as the template progressively cooled (more about heat transfer rates later):

One of the horse brasses, top left. Images left to right are serial imprintings from a cooling template.

Close up - approaching limit of visibility.

Scarcely any reverse side scorching (compare with images 3 and 4 on top side)

20:50  Am carefully researching an answer to the final two sentences - careful because there's an apparent contradiction between Professor Fanti's words above, and those that he and his colleagues wrote in their "Macroscopic/Microscopic Paper" in 2010, which up until now has been my bible where the fine structure of TS image characteristics are concerned.

While pausing for a coffee, I had a sudden thought, a bit off the specific topic here, but vitally important in the wider context. Outside of 1st century miracles, but within the context of first century provenance, one has what might be described as a range of 'naturalistic' image-imprinting mechanisms. They all have one thing in common, being "accidental" and unintended. Contrast that with the 14th century simulated sweat image scenario, which is non-accidental and fully intended. Which is likely to produce  the better image, indeed one that is near-perfect in its overall homogeneity of image intensity from head to foot? Answer - the intended result, the 14th century simulated sweat imprint. One might say there are human fingerprints all over the TS image - metaphorical ones that is. Olé..

Back again, Sunday 16th Nov, with one final addition to conclude this posting.

Yes, as I was saying yesterday there's a puzzling contradiction between the final words of that Fanti soundbite and scorching, and what he and associates wrote in 2010 in a (splendid) review that IS downloadable as a pdf (thanks it seems to co-author Paolo Di Lazzaro).

Cancel the Download pop-up that first appears on top of the paper using the x that top left. One can then access the full contents of the paper without needing to sign up if one does not wish to.

Here's what the above paper had to say about the distribution of colour along and around individual linen fibres:

 If a fiber is colored, it is uniformly colored around its cylindrical surface; relatively long fibers show variation in color from non-image to image area [B15]
and later:

 The yellowed fibrils (fibers) are not yellowed continuously over their entire length; the coloration does not appear under the crossing threads of the weave or penetrate the cloth.

and later still:

According to the Evans photomicrographs, the color of the image areas has a discontinuous distribution along the yarn (threads) of the cloth: striations are evident.

What these quotes from the 2010 paper say, drawn from earlier work, can be stated more simply:
where there is image colour on a fibre, it extends round the entire circumference, but NOT the entire length.

In fact, I based an entire posting (other site) on that interpretation back in early 2012 which subsequently became my most visited posting. No one has raised  ever any objection to though I do recall one commentator thanking me for pointing out a detail that he had missed, namely complete circumferential scorching (which incidentally I tried to explain, correctly or otherwise,  in terms of an exothermic pyrolysis of PCW hemicellulose, drawing an analogy with fuse wire). 

Ah, the penny has dropped with me, He's referring to the core of the fibre, extending right through to the centre, to the so-called "medulla", almost certainly a misnomer, the centre of the fibre having a tubular cavity that is bounded by what is almost certainly remnants of the original cell protoplasm (the living "stuff").

As you can see, I'm writing this in real time, and having to backtrack if I've been overhasty in my interpretation of what Fanti is saying. In my defence, his comments specifically re scorching were cursory to say the least. Never mind: let's move on. It's the alleged colouring of the core of the fibre OR the interface that core makes with the central lumen (a better description of the "medulla" that is the issue). How well is that supposed fact documented in the literature? I know that Rogers mentioned the "medulla" as an issue, but let's go back to the 2010 paper above and see if its documented there. Has Fanti done his own scorching experiments or  is he yet again, as earlier with that "200nm" thickness, merely passing the baton from Rogers to a wider readership using Louis CdF as an intermediary? We shall see. Back later.

11:20  In the meantime here's some light relief, a comment from New York lawyer John Klotz on shroudstory.com

in response to Dan:
Colin Berry tells us, I’ve been misunderstood. I did not claim that the Turin Shroud image was an actual sweat imprint – only that is was made to SEEM like a sweat imprint. Got it? I thought I had. And I thought most of us had. But: As the comments on other Shroud sites, to […]
While I appreciate your comments on Occam’s razor posted earlier (see e.g. quantum theory) along comes Colin to make the opposite point. His complex theories and speculations all dance around a point he is beginning to prove but can not accept: the Shroud is authentic. Authenticity really is the simplest solution.

Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but is there not a hint that he sees some merit in my current thinking that the TS is to be viewed as a  sweat imprint (ignoring the sting in the tail that it was modelled in the 14th century to represent an imprint, and not of real 1st century provenance).  So maybe the proponents of authenticity will talk less in future of Rogers' Maillard model and more about "sweat imprinting", maybe with some outside help on hand in a 1st century rock tomb to achieve an outcome better than could be expected with just any old corpse. As I said earlier, the TS image is simply too good, with scarcely any missing or indistinct bits to have been  formed by any naturalistic process involving body fluids or vapours. Its perfection points strongly to it having been fabricated with such minute attention to detail as to leave no one in any doubt as to how it should be interpreted (while leaving them totally ignorant as to the clever methodology deployed behind a wall of secrecy).


Back to that 2010 paper. There's only one mention of "medulla" in the entire paper, which I have reproduced (highlighted in yellow) along with the section that follows it that makes the meaning more clear. Be on the lookout for the R word:

(4) The cellulose of the medullas (or lumen) of the 10-20   micrometre diameter fibers in image areas is  colorless [A6].

(5) The colored layers in the adhesive have the same chemical properties as the image color on fibers and according to Rogers, when using pressure sensitive adhesive tapes during 1978 STURP tests, the color of image fibe surfaces, leaving molds of the fibers (i.e.,“ghosts”) in the adhesive [A7].

(6) Chemical tests showed that there is no protein painting medium or protein-containing coating in  image areas [B10].

(7) If a fiber is colored, it is uniformly colored around its cylindrical surface; relatively long fibers show variation in color from non-image to image area [B15]. After detailed microscopic observations by Rogers which were confirmed by G.Fanti  (6,7) important evidence confirms that the image color does not involve the whole linen fiber (A6) but only an outermost layer (A4) which may be called the primary cell wall, or a thin impurity layer which is only about 200nm thick and less stable chemically than the interior cellulose. Only this outermost layer is colored.

The R word isof course Rogers, but note that Fanti is content to say he has "confirmed" Rogers findings (without saying what he used as a model system), to which he gives two further references of his own, though it's not clear whether these relate to peer-reviewed work (probably not by the looks of it)

6    G. Fanti and R. Basso,
The Turin Shroud, Optical Research in the Past, Present and Future
(Nova Science Publisher Inc., New York, 2007).

7  G. Fanti, La Sindone, una sfida alla Scienza Moderna (Edizione Aracne,Roma, Italy, 2008

Sorry, but I have neither the time nor inclination to get involed in a long and probably expensive paper chase, with no certainty of finding what I'm looking for, namely a fully documented basis for the claim that model scorches always penetrate to the centre of the linen fibre, such that the interface between secondary cell wall and lumen ("medulla") is always coloured.

Even if that were the case with the model system described, at the specified temperature, or range of temperatures (let's be optimistic that a range was studied), and given a backing underlay or overlay to act as heat-sink (standard in all my experiments to avoid excessive scorching) , who's to say the image was imprinted onto untreated linen?

Here;s an image from an earlier experiment of mine, comparing the ability of linen to take a scorch imprint after impregnation with lemon juice compared with plain water (the latter as a control). The hot template (an aluminium pencil sharpener) was moved across the juncture of the test and control fabrics as it cooled - a rough-and-ready way of testing temperature as well in the same experiment.

Control (left) versus treated with lemon juice (right)

If, as seems likely on theoretical grounds, the much darker image with lemon juice is mainly or exclusively a Maillard product, formed on the surface by reaction between heat-degradation products of ascorbic acid and proteins (or other of free amino groups) then there is imaging with NO degradation of linen fibres per se, especially as Maillard reactions are endothermic, acting as an ablative heat shield to the underlying linen. The latter explanation is supported by my earlier experiments with dried onion scale leaf epidermis, scarcely more than two primary cell walls, which takes a strong scorch - probably a Maillard product involving remnants of dried cell sap sandwiched between gossamer-thin cell walls - with near-complete protection of the underlying linen.

Back again (15:35): So, I've been back to the primary source of the "scorched medulla" story to remind myself of precisely what Rogers wrote.

Notice anything from the text that accompanies the above graphic. It was NOT a model contact scorch that produced the coloured medullas. Rogers was describing the fibres on the TS that were scorched in the 1532 fire. They were NOT simple conduction scorches that one obtains by briefly pressing hot solid metal against linen. Quite what caused them is anyone's guess. One hypothesis (and that's all it is) is that part of the silver reliquary used toi store the folded TS melted, and liquid silver dripped onto the fabric. But I (and others) questioned that version of events a long time ago, given that it's highly improbable that temperatures in a burning chapel would ever reach high enough levels to melt silver (approx 900 degrees C - I'll be back later with an accurate value). There are three ways of transferring heat: conduction, convection, radiation. A contact scorch is the first of those. The 1532 fire could have exposed the TS to scorching by 2 or even all 3 of those mechanisms.

Sorry folks,  but there's simply no hard evidence that there's a difference between the TS image characteristics at the microscopic level and those that are producible by means of model scorch systems, notably contact scorches. That's not to say there is no difference, only that the evidence being trotted out is at best anecdotal.

Time methinks to conclude this posting, and go and look in more detail at the implications of what I earlier described shamelessly as a paradigm shift. That's the good thing about paradigm shifts, indeed the acid test: they make one think thoughts one might otherwise not had. provided those new thoughts are testable, one is firmly within the realms of science, It's when folk trot out "received wisdom" as if it were established fact, that has never been properly tested, that one finds oneself steered away from highway of science into the barren desert of pseudo-science.

Nuff said, for now at any rate, except for one thing:  science is best left to scientists.

Can anyone play, at science that is? Play maybe, but that's generally as far as it goes. Scientific research requires a curious mix of disciplined and undisciplined thinking. It can take years, decades even, to find the right balance. I'm still learning.

That's it.  Comments welcome.

See Shortcut to Comments ( current posting)  installed at top of  the sidebar (non-standard issue!).