Water stains formation

Face only on the Shroud Scope

Derek Barrowcliff

A True Shroud Copy in Quebec City?

True Shroud copies

Dead Sea Scrolls and Google

The Shroud Enigma website

Archives 2011

December 27, 2011

On the Shroud we can see several water stains (for example, see this large water stain right over the knees via the Shroud Scope). Some water stains are easily identifiable but a few could be misidentified. One of the important results of the 2002 restoration was the photographs taken on the reverse side of the Shroud which show the clear locations where the water stains "seep" through the Shroud. Actually, some stains were caused by water seeping through the reverse side to the front side.

Ever wonder how such water stains form? They are caused by water evaporation that leaves behind small amount of materials. The following article and video presents the main physical phenomenon of stain formation. You can watch the video without leaving this Web page by clicking the image below.

The complete paper was published in Nature, August 2011. The supplementary information can be access free of charge and contains several more videos.

When a water stain forms on a cloth, it does show up on both sides as water seeps through the cloth, drying and leaving particles on both sides. Capillarity takes care of creating two stains on each side, with almost no stains in between. Is this what we see on the Shroud? I believe that the Mark Evans photomicrographs prove that fact. More experiments could clearly establish it.

Essentially, this would show that double superficial images also exist for water stains on the Shroud. Is this what we see on the Shroud for the hair and beard as double superficial images? That would be a simpler explanation than a corona discharge or any type of radiation.

(December 6, 2011)

A new digital photograph was added to the Shroud Scope: the face only. It is provided in the horizontal and vertical modes. This photograph has a higher definition than the Durante 2002 photograph: this is the main reason to include it.

Some small cosmetic changes were also done to move the tool icons on the right side of the Web page of the Shroud Scope.

November 15, 2011

In the news, Derek Barrowcliff, a pathologist, died at the age of 92. He worked on a number of mysterious murder cases. Most notably, though, he demonstrated that the often repeated belief that dead corpses cannot profusely bleed is false. This is an important fact: some of the bloodstains seen on the Shroud of Turin could have come after the body was washed.

He was back in the limelight later in the 1970s, when his research on the propensity for corpses to bleed was quoted in the controversy over the authenticity of the so-called Shroud of Turin. Barrowcliff gave an expert opinion in the case of Hans Naber, a German black marketeer and convicted fraudster, who claimed to have had a vision in 1947 in which Jesus told him He had survived the Crucifixion to rise again from the tomb. Naber claimed too much blood was present on the shroud for it to have swathed a dead body. Corpses do not bleed, he asserted or at least the large quantity of blood on the shroud did not correspond to the blood emissions from a typical corpse. In his eyes, the shroud proved that Christ had only been wounded. But Barrowcliff had shown that bodies do indeed bleed after death for a time, and demonstrated that cuts on the back of the head of a corpse (comparable to the wounds made by the Crown of Thorns) "would bleed freely, continuously".

November 10, 2011

I had hoped to find a positive answer to my quest for a photograph of the earliest true copy of the Shroud of Turin in North America, but unfortunately this will not be. My last communication with the Musée des Ursulines de Québec left no doubt: the copy that was brought to la Nouvelle France in the 17th century was no longer to be found. It is believed that the copy disappeared in one of the fires that the monastery went through over the many centuries.

In the paper by Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli, it is stated, in referring to the copy own by the Monastère des Ursulines, that "This copy has approximately the size of the original and is in very precarious conditions." I am still baffled as to how this information was obtained since, I have been told, that there has been no traces of that copy for at least several decades. I will need to verify with Emanuela the provenance of that statement.

October 16, 2011

The Shroud of Turin was copied numerous times by artists over the previous four centuries. Some of these copies are True Copies, in the sense that the artist created the copy resembling as much as possible the original and that the copy came in contact with it (in most cases, the copy was laid over the original).

We know that they are copies of the Shroud of Turin since they look very similar to it and they clearly appear man-made. There is no uncertainty about which shroud is the original and which ones are copies. These copies were never made to deceive but to allow more people to view what was considered the real Shroud of Christ. This shows how unique the Shroud of Turin is among all the copies fabricated over many centuries.

A True Copy of the Shroud of Turin was recently made a permanent devotional display at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, in Summit, New Jersey, USA (see NJ Monastery to Display Shroud of Turin Copy). This copy was commissioned in April 1624 by Maria Maddalena of Austria, the Grand Duchess of Tuscany and the wife of Cosimo de Medici. This True Copy was given to the nuns of St. Catherine's Monastery in Rome. But in April 1924, 300 years after it was commissioned, this True Copy was given to the Monastery of Our Lady in New Jersey.

Another True Copy apparently exists in North America in the Monastère des Ursulines in Québec City, province of Québec, Canada. It would have been brought to La Nouvelle France around 1664. This would make it the earliest True Copy in North America. I do not have a photograph of it yet but I am in contact with the monastery and they are trying to locate one.

Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli wrote an instructive paper about the copies of the Shroud for the International Workshop on Acheiropoietos Images held in Frascati, Italy, in May 2010 (see the PDF paper here). That paper contains a few photos of the fifty or so copies of the Shroud known to have been made in the last four centuries. This is worth reading.

The oldest copy known to exist was made in 1516 and is in the church of St. Gommaire in Lierre, Belgium. It is often claimed, with the intent to disprove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, that numerous shrouds of Christ existed when the Shroud appeared around 1357 in Lirey, France. But no traces of these shrouds exist today, and no historical document mentioned their existence, which make such a claim unsupported.

These copies, even when they were done with great care, show clearly as artistic work. It is very hard to imagine that an unknown 13th or 14th century artist created the Shroud of Turin given the result of so many other artists. Even to the present day, no copy has been created that reproduces the chemical and physical details found on the Shroud of Turin.

September 27, 2011

The Dead Sea Scrolls have come to the digital age by being shown on the Web using high definition images. The Web site The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls presents some of the ancient (2000 years old) scrolls discovered more than 50 years ago near the Dead Sea.

Unsurprisingly, Google is involved in that project. In fact, one can readily see that the technology used to show the digital images of the Dead Sea Scrolls is based on the Google map technology.

This Web site about the Shroud of Turin uses a similar approach in displaying high definition images of the Shroud. This is the Shroud Scope. It is not based on Google technology, but on an open source project called OpenLayers. The use of OpenLayers avoids any future advertisements attached to the Google map technology.

Surprisingly, The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls web site is not as snappy as I would have expected. This is probably due to the high volume of users accessing it now.

It is yet to be seen if the Turin authorities would be as audacious as the Israel Museum in presenting the Turin Shroud with similar high definition images. For now, you have the Shroud Scope on this Web site.

September 22, 2011

If you have not visited the Shroud Enigma Web site (www.shroud-enigma.com), I invite you to do so. It presents several exclusive videos about the Shroud. Its publisher is David Rolfe, a British Academy Award winner.

In particular, an historical video (the third one on that web page) shows John Jackson and Eric Jumper demonstrate the VP8 image processor applied to the image of the Shroud of Turin. Although the VP8 has been superseded by more modern computers, Jackson and Jumper demonstrate well what is so particular about the 3D data embedded in the Shroud image. They clearly show that a typical photograph does not have such 3D data as the various distances of the different parts of the object and the photographic plate are not recorded by a typical camera. But on the Shroud the distances were recorded.

(September 6, 2011)

The Shroud Scope has been updated and modified to offer a fourth base image, the horizontal Durante 2002, and to support iTouch/iPhone/iPad devices. The Shroud Scope is available under the Tools menu bar.

In the first version of the Shroud Scope, the Durante 2002 image only had a vertical version. This latest update corrects this limitation by including an horizontal version of that image.

Until now it was not possible to use the Shroud Scope with a touch screen (e.g., iPad) due to the underlying implementation that did not support it until a few months ago. This update supports such devices.

A few more modifications are in the working: a fifth base image is being implemented that will focus on the region of the face and having a higher definition than the complete Durante 2002 image.

All the 2010 postings are now archived under the Archives menu bar.