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Shroud of Turin Mystery Solved
image In the debate about the Shroud of Turin, perhaps the strongest argument that the pro-Shroud side had going for it was that no one could figure out how a medieval forger could have created such a thing. How could the forger have etched a three-dimensional photo-negative image of a crucified man onto a piece of linen? Nathan Wilson has pretty much demolished this pro-shroud argument by showing that it would have been quite easy for a medieval forger to have done this. All he (or she, but probably he) would have needed is some white paint, a large piece of glass, and a piece of linen. You paint a figure of a man on the glass, place the glass over the linen, and leave it out in the sun for a couple of days. The sun then bleaches the material, thereby transferring a three-dimensional photo-negative image of whatever was painted on the glass onto the linen. It's one of those things that seems so obvious when you think about it, and answers so many questions about the shroud, that it has to be the solution. And yet it's taken centuries for someone to figure it out. Wilson has a great (and quite detailed) article in Christianity Today explaining how he went about solving the mystery. There's also a shorter article about Wilson's 'shadow shroud' on discovery.com. Finally, check out Wilson's website: shadowshroud.com. The thumbnail shows a shroud-of-turin replica that Wilson created using his method.
Religion
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 11, 2005
seriously, decomposition of the shroud material is obviously based on storage conditions... ancient linens are found in the sands of the Nazca Plains, fully intact
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Mar 12, 2005  at  05:51 PM
I'm no expert on The Shroud (dar), so I don't know what to believe. But, I welcome fresh theories or insight into what's claimed to be the cloth of Christ... doesn't hurt.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Mar 12, 2005  at  05:55 PM
So, you're a true believer, with doubts. In answer to your first question (minus the question mark), the history of relic forgeries throughout the Middle Ages is infamous, and covered here at the Museum quite extensively. Alex doesn't miss much. In answer to your second question; the atmosphere of the Roman catacombs is an ideal place to preserve quality linen for centuries. While the shrouded body decays, the fluids dry up so thoroughly and quickly, that the cloth is in no further danger of deterioration without the invasion of humidity from outside. This property can be easily continued thru relatively humidity-free encasement, as the Shroud of Turin has been preserved in for many more modern centuries. And lastly, the similarity of your last statement regarding the Crusaders to that involved with the subject of the search for the Holy Grail is remarkable. Guess "someone's" been paying attention in class.
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Sat Mar 12, 2005  at  06:14 PM
Sorry, Hairy. I was responding to Jared's post, just took a while. Drive on, dude.
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Sat Mar 12, 2005  at  06:16 PM
stork said:

"Sorry, Anne N, but you'll never get me to say that the resurrection of Jesus Christ would actually qualify as the biggest hoax in all of history. I could easily be assassinated for saying that, although it's probably true. So I'm not. But the Shroud of Turin is less of a holy object than WE are, and it deserves to be finally debunked."

Huh? What are you trying to say here? I'm not following you.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sat Mar 12, 2005  at  08:00 PM
There was a book published about 25 years ago or so on the Shroud, entitled strangely enough THE SHROUD OF TURIN. I've been looking for my copy but I can't find it. So, I will sumerize the book as best as I can remember.

The Shroud first appeared, as the Shroud, in 1358 in a display by an impoverished French knight. After some legal hassels and the family ending without heirs, it became the property of the cathedral of Turin where it has stayed to this day. Prior to that there is no known evidence of the Shroud. The author however, believes it was known under another name - Veronica's Scarf or Veronica's Handkerchief; this being the cloth that Veronica used to wipe the face of Jesus while on his way to be crucified. According to legend his face appeared on the cloth. It travelled to Constantinople and was lost during the sack of the 4th Crusade. The above mentioned knight had an uncle who was there at the time and later became a Templar. When the Templars were supressed, one of the charges was that they worshiped the image of a man on a cloth, or a demon on a cloth or something similar. Not all of the Templar treasures were found when they were surpressed.
The author presented a case that if the Shroud was indeed the burial cloth, after the Ressurection, the followers of Jesus would have wanted nothing to do with it, since being devout Jews touching it made them ritually unclean. It went north to a non-Jewish Christian community and later to Constantinople where it was stolen by the Crusaders of the 4th Crusade.

The crusaders were kicked out of Palestine long before the Shroud was displayed, so there is no way for a forger to have gotten into the area and robbed a tomb of a 1st centruy burial cloth. The pattern of welts on the back and sides match the Roman whip, the design of which was lost after the fall of the Western Empire. The hands and feet show signs of being bound in the manner common to 1st century Palestine and the head has a hairstyle also common to that era and area. The bloodstains are consistent with crucifition where the torso raises and lowers as the person tries to breathe and gets tired. The image is not flat as one might think, it is consistent with a burst of energy from a body with the cloth wrapped against the body, with the spaces proper for where the cloth did not touch the body.

All in all, the author presents a great deal of evidence against a forgery. The book is out of print, but I know that copies are still floating around.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Mar 12, 2005  at  09:00 PM
Okay, I'm definately NOT picking sides here (I already did that, remember?), I just would like Christopher to clarify a few things from his post.

"Not all of the Templar treasures were found when they were surpressed." - And this statement is based on what? Do you have knowledge of lost treasure only you are privy to?

"The pattern of welts on the back and sides match the Roman whip, the design of which was lost after the fall of the Western Empire." - So, if the design was lost, how can it be claimed that these patterns match it?

"The bloodstains are consistent with crucifition where the torso raises and lowers as the person tries to breathe and gets tired." - But you say it is his burial shroud, not his shroud while he was still "on the cross". I'm not sure I understand what his breathing while crucified has to do with the blood patterns while back on terra firma. Please explain.

"The image is not flat as one might think, it is consistent with a burst of energy from a body with the cloth wrapped against the body" - Did I miss the burst-of-energy-from-a-body page in the textbook? What do you mean?

"I know that copies are still floating around." Literally? Just kidding, took it out of context for the humour only.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Sun Mar 13, 2005  at  01:56 AM
It doesn't belong to Christ for the simple fact that He wouldn't have left something behind to be an idol. This is why His actual birth date is not known. Joseph & Mary travelled to Bethlehem after the harvest...

But...the death is a specific time (Passover), b/c that's the part of the story Christ thought was significant. It doesn't matter if it's real or not (personally, I think not).
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Mar 13, 2005  at  07:09 AM
Oh, sorry, CMG; just forgot my salutations for a second. All Blessings, - The Pope
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Sun Mar 13, 2005  at  10:33 PM
stork said:

"Oh, sorry, CMG; just forgot my salutations for a second. All Blessings, - The Pope"

Oh, well, THAT clears it up for me! Now I see EVERYTHING.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  03:21 AM
Most of the Shroud of Turin doubters have long been saying that it was in reality a painting of one sort or another, so I'm not sure this new study adds a lot to the debate.
No amount of evidence will convince the true believers that this isn't the true shroud of Christ, even though, as a couple of people have already pointed out here, the Bible accounts of the Resurrection actually contradict the Shroud legend.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  God's Country  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  03:53 AM
The cloth that would have covered the face would have been removed prior to burial. It was a sort of napkin used to catch blood while a victim was still nailed to the cross.(I forget the technical name) It's presence in the tomb would likely have been separate from the body in the first place.

Roman whips are known to us now but probably not to a medeival forger because of discoveries made since medeival times.

And actually, I don't think the man in the shroud would have had a hairstyle in keeping with the norm of the time. Most Jews would have kept their hair shorter.
Posted by Andrew J  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  09:31 AM
Here's another explanation of the creation of the shroud that I've always been fond of:

There continues to be controversy over whether the image on the Shroud of Turin is the genuine image of Christ, produced by some supernatural process at the instant of his death, or whether it is a medieval forgery.

Radiocarbon tests completed in 1988 appeared to show that the cloth was medieval, dating from between 1260 and 1390. During the mid-1990s a South African scientist, Professor Nicholas P Allen, conducted experiments to show that, if the image on the Shroud is of medieval origin, it could have been produced in a camera obscura.

He built a room-sized camera obscura containing a lens in one wall. On the opposite wall he suspended a cloth which had been pre-soaked in a solution of a (light-sensitive) silver salt. Outside the camera he suspended a manikin which had been coated in whitewash to reflect the rays of the sun to the maximum extent. After three days he had produced an image on the cloth which he was able to 'fix' by soaking the cloth in urine - a dilute solution of ammonia. The image possessed many of the three-dimensional features of the image on the Shroud of Turin.

All the necessary chemicals would have been available in medieval times.
Posted by deezoid  in  Dublin  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  10:54 AM
I knew I could get a copy of the book. It is THE SHROUD OF TURIN by Ian Wilson, published by Doubleday in 1978. I haven't had a chance to do more than glance at it but I discovered that I was wrong on one point, the knight who had the Shroud was Geoffrey de Charny and the Templar was Geoffrey de Charnay. Ian Wilson does suspect a familial relationship due to the name but not is proved, so my belief that it was stated that the Templar was an uncle was in error. As far as the Templars being able to have some of their treasures escape into safekeeping, I can't give a specific reference but I have often come across that claim when reading medieval history. The French king who acted against them was not able to catch all the chapter houses in France at the same time and chapter houses in other countries got plenty of warning since the Templars were not suppressed in all countries at the same time.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  03:04 PM
Okay, Christopher, one down, three to go.

What about the whip?

What about the shroud bloodstains?

What about the "burst of energy from a body"?

You're not doing a very good job of convincing anyone. I wonder how you managed to convince yourself?

hmmm
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  03:39 PM
I wasn't able to borrow the book until about noon today and I have had little chance to read it. Ian Wilson has another book on the subject, THE BLOOD AND THE SHROUD, Dewey Decimal Number 232.966W74B. I haven't read it but I presume it covers much of the same material with extras.

The evidence of the blood is that the arms show two trails of blood, one at 55 and the other at 65 degrees from the axis of the arm. This is consistent with the crucified person changing position, either to breathe easier or to relieve the pain alternatly in the arms and feet. The blood on the arms starts at a location known as the Space of Destot in the wrist. Medieval artists always showed the nails in the hands and it wasn't until Dr. Pierre Barbet, then Chief Surgeon of St. Joseph's Hospital in PAris, conducted some experiments in the 1930's that it was known that the space would expand and allow a nail through without breaking any bones. The blood trails on the head are consistent with a crown or cap of thorns being worn while the crucification was happening and the head moving while the blood flows. The knees show signs of injury, with a large contusion on the area of the left kneecap and several smaller ones on the right kneecap. The wounds caused by the scourging on two areas of the body show signs of further damage, after the scourging, consistent with carrying a heavy load, and the location of these are again consistent with the size and weight of what we now know to have been the standard crossbeam for a cross. The condemed carrying the crossbeam as the upright was kept in place. The side wound is consistent with a Roman LANCEA and not the more commonly known PILUM or HASTA or HASTA VELITARIS. The hair is of a style identified by German scholar H. Gressman as being typically Jewish. The Romans kept their hair short and were clean shaven (given the razors of the time perhaps stubble shaven owuld be more accurate) and the Jews had beards and long hair in a pigtail braided and tucked under their headgear. The body has been identified by Harvard Professor and ethnologist Carleton S. Coon as of a type represented in modern times by Sephardic Jews and noble Arabs. A Medieval forger would not have painted the body as anything other than European Caucasion. In 1898 two professional artists, identified as Reffo and Cussetti, painted a copy of the Shroud. They got the details of the damaged areas and the repairs right but all other details do not photograph as the Shroud does and do not have the same life-like quality of the Shroud. (An image of a dead man being life-like? We need a new phrase.) I haven't finished reading the book, ir is quite dense with information but I will add more information later.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Mon Mar 14, 2005  at  09:09 PM
Wow, if you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit, eh?
gulp

For a few minutes I was willing to concede that you may not have understood what I meant about the shroud not touching Jesus' body until he was already dead and on the ground, but then I went and re-read my question. I don't really see how you could have misunderstood. My point about that is that he was not bleeding anymore when he was in the shroud, so how would his moving during crucifiction affect blood patterns on the shroud?

So, here is a not-so-quick recap of my questions. Listen closely, print them out if you have to, but just PLEASE answer them.

"The pattern of welts on the back and sides match the Roman whip, the design of which was lost after the fall of the Western Empire." - So, if the design was lost, how can it be claimed that these patterns match it?

"The bloodstains are consistent with crucifition where the torso raises and lowers as the person tries to breathe and gets tired." - But you say it is his burial shroud, not his shroud while he was still "on the cross". I'm not sure I understand what his breathing while crucified has to do with the blood patterns while back on terra firma. Please explain.

"The image is not flat as one might think, it is consistent with a burst of energy from a body with the cloth wrapped against the body" - Did I miss the burst-of-energy-from-a-body page in the textbook? What do you mean?
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  12:51 AM
I am trying to go through the book and get the specific references. My original comment was based upon memories of reading the book over twenty years ago.

I wasn't clear about the point of the Roman whips, the design details were lost after the fall of the Western Empire but rediscovered long after the Shroud was known to exist.

The image on the Shroud is described as "fuzzy" and is consistent with the cloth not touching the body continuously, and then a burst of energy from the body making an imprint on the cloth. Somewhat similar to the "nuclear shadows" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The images on the cloth are not bloodstains, nor paint nor any other known substance. This was determined during the 1969 investigation of several of the threads of the Shroud by two Italian laboratories. The stains on the Shroud are on the surface of the threads where blood or paint would have penetrated the threads. Nor was there any sign of the stain between the threads. Trying to disolve the stains resulted in nothing, so the investigators Professor Frache in Modena and Professor Filogama at the University of Turin stated not only that there was no blood, but that the cause of the stain was unknown. Presuming that the stain was caused by some sort of energy burst the details of the body could be imprinted on the cloth without the cloth touching the body at any specific point.

Have I been a bit clearer? I am trying to read the book and present the points made in the book and unfortunately it is going to be piecemeal.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  11:52 AM
Okay, here I go, Christopher...

The Whip...
Sez you. Can you show me a couple of references? One is not enough. I would imagine something like the rediscovery of the type of whip that they beat Jesus with would have been noticed and written about extensiveley. Everything else to do with this subject has been.

The Bloodstains...
Are you deliberately avoiding the question I put forth about the bloodstains or what? And if this stuff is not blood, what the hell difference does it make if it matches the pattern of someone's wounds?

The Burst of Energy...
I fail to remember reading or finding any references to Jesus being a nuclear weapon. Also, why was the shroud not destroyed if the power of a nuclear weapon was released inside of it?

You're still doing a good job at avoiding the answers that I asked for.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  02:59 PM
At the moment I can't find a reference for the whip, so if you want chalk it up to bad memory and count it against me. I refer to the stains as bloodstains since that is what they how they are called in the book THE SHROUD OF TURIN. The point is that they match how blood flowing on a crucifixion victim would look. I doubt that a 14th century forger would have that sort of data available as a reference. Medieval artists typically painted all Bibical scenes as if in their present-day, so why would a forger go to such detail when any pilgrims who viewed the image would not understand such as being required for authinticity. I didn't say that Jesus was a nuclear weapon. I said that the image was consistent with a burst of energy from a body onto a cloth that did not touch the body at all points. The reference to the nuclear shadows was to point out that there are modern examples of energy producing hazy patterns when the source of energy was not in contact with the place where the shadow or image ended up. Is this clearer?
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  03:36 PM
Christopher...

The Whip...
Okay, I will count it against you, if you insist.

So we're down to two...

The Bloodstains...
So you're telling me that this book that you are using for proof disagrees with you (you say unknown substance, the book says blood.)? My whole point, which I have stated several times is that this shroud was not hanging on the dude when he was hanging on the cross. How does his movement on the cross (which YOU stated caused the bloodstain patterns) affect something he was wrapped in after death?

The Energy Burst...
No, this is not clearer. Not in the least. How did the shroud survive such a power outburst? Are there any examples anywhere on the planet to show a dead body giving off this sort of energy? If something actually gave off the sort of energy that you are talking about, would the "holy land" not be still irradiated, at least to some extent? Please show me a study that shows the results of a power burst like this. Or is it something you're just guessing at, with absolutely no basis in facts?

Score so far...
Me, 2.
You, 0.

My two points...
1.) The Templar Treasure (no reference, just you saying you know it but don't know where from).
2.) The Whip (you asked me to count it against you, citing your own lack of evidence)

All I want is for you to do some critical thinking, and not just say "because I think it." Are you questioning your own beliefs yet? You probably should, seeing as how you can not prove (even to yourself) half of your argument.



Defend your position or abandon it. So far, it looks like it's a good thing for him that O.J. didn't hire YOU.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  04:28 PM
bloodstains: Will it help to refer to them as images of bloodstains? The book refers to them as bloodstains as that is what they appear to be to the naked eye and the images are exactly what bloodstains would be if bloodstains were on the cloth. The stains are not blood, nor paint, nor watercolor, nor any other substance according to the report from the 1969 commision.

energy pattern: Don't fixate on the massive energy that a nuclear blast would generate, the energy could have been something much lower spread out over a period of time. The point is that the pattern of the image. Take a bedsheet and lay it over your body, notice that it does not touch your body at all points. Imagine that your body emits energy that burns or sears an image onto the sheet. Since the energy is coming from several points on your body and will strike the sheet at different angles, the image seared will be fuzzy. Why would a 14th century forger create an image in such a fashion? And, as far as I know, there is no known instance of a body giving off such energy, the point is that the image on the Shroud matches what an image created in such a fashion would look like and not a conventional artistic representation.

If you cannot find a copy of THE SHROUD OF TURIN you might find a later book by the same author on the subject which probably covers much of the same material with additions, I referenced it earlier - THE BLOOD AND THE SHROUD. My copy of THE SHROUD OF TURIN disappeared over twenty years ago and I just borrowed a copy. I am trying to read it and present the evidence Ian Wilson presents in that book.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  06:22 PM
Okay, this is getting out of hand.

The Bloodstains...
"Will it help to refer to them as images of bloodstains?" No. You seem to have totally missed the whole fricking point. I have explained my question several times and you just keep refusing to answer what I am asking. How does the movement of someone being crucified relate to these markings, which were supposed to have been caused when he was already dead and removed from said cross? Was he still alive when taken down?


The Energy Pattern...
"Since the energy is coming from several points on your body and will strike the sheet at different angles, the image seared will be fuzzy."
So what you're saying here is this... because the light comes off of a round object, the closer the round object to the shroud, the more intense the image, if the energy is strong enough to leave one. I have to agree. Physics, ya know.
Also, you were the one who drew the parallel between this image and "the "nuclear shadows" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki". That brought up the question of how much energy it would take to produce the shadows from a nuclear or atomic blast. You know what? The energy required to burn an image into concrete, as happened in Japan, would instantly incinerate the shroud.

Asking a question such as "Why would a 14th century forger create an image in such a fashion?" does not in any way support your argument. This question has many different answers, and not a single one of them can be proven in any way.
Stating that you don't know how or why someone did something does not mean that he did not do it.
If "why would the forger do this?" is seriously your proof to yourself that the shroud is not forged, you really need to open your eyes.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  07:22 PM
OK, I found what I was looking for about the bloodstains. Until the Turin Commission the stains were thought to be bloodstains and were always refered to as such. Continued use of the term is more in line of a habit. The investigation by Professors Frache and Filogamo was the first time that the supposition that they were bloodstains was tested. Since the stains were refered to as bloodstains for a long time, at least since the examination in the early 20th Century and perhaps earlier, the change of speech patern won't happen quickly. Especially since this issue is not one in constant discussion. This is duscussed in Chapter 4 of the book.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  08:10 PM
Way to dodge the bloodstain question once again. If I keep asking, what will happen when you run out of ways to dodge?

Do you explode?

From now on, you will see the following quote at the end of my posts, just so you remember what I have asked.

"How does the movement of someone being crucified relate to these markings, which were supposed to have been caused when he was already dead and removed from said cross? Was he still alive when taken down?"

smirk
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Tue Mar 15, 2005  at  08:24 PM
Just a few months ago, a new chemical-based test on a new part of the Shroud -taken from its year 2000 public exhibition- dated the shroud to be between 1300 and 3000 years old! The carbon test (the one made in the 80s) which dated the shroud at around 1300 was thus proven false, as the sample came from a part which was added to the original piece of linen. So it seems that even if it was a forgery, it had to have been made at least before the 4th century. Okay, I admit that this new explanation from shadowshroud.com is very convincing, but could they do that in the 4th century??? That would be surprising.
Posted by christian  in  montreal  on  Wed Mar 16, 2005  at  03:36 AM
Christian...

So the new test dated it between 1300 and 3000 years old.

And the old test proved that the "new part" of the shroud is 1300 years old.

I fail to see your reasoning as to how the new test proves the old one wrong.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Wed Mar 16, 2005  at  04:20 AM
Why doesn't anyone just email and ask the original dude with the glass if his image (eg the pirate) was also fuzzy around the edges, or if it was crisp.

I'd do it if I really cared. wink
Posted by winona  on  Wed Mar 16, 2005  at  10:15 AM
Replies to two different comments.

The image was made after the body was laid in the tomb, the blood and injuries were on the body at that time and when the image was created the image of these were transfered to the cloth. I was under the impression that you understood this previously and it seems not.

The individual who took the photographs can't be emailed since he was an established photographer in the 19th century and quite surely is long dead, unless you have a special way of emailing the dead that no one else has. The Shroud was the personal property of the King of Italy until he died and I do not know who inherited it, and I have no idea who the glass plates would belong to now, probably the same person/institution since the original photos were commissioned as part of a display around the start of the 20th century.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Wed Mar 16, 2005  at  03:20 PM
"The image was made after the body was laid in the tomb, the blood and injuries were on the body at that time and when the image was created the image of these were transfered to the cloth."

DODGE!

You said that these markings were consistent with someone's movements while crucifed. If the body never touched the shroud until he was dead, then how were his movements before death to blame for the images on the shroud?

And did you forget about the energy, as do you concede that point?

"How does the movement of someone being crucified relate to these markings, which were supposed to have been caused when he was already dead and removed from said cross? Was he still alive when taken down?"
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Wed Mar 16, 2005  at  03:35 PM
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