Photomicrographs

This web page presents 32 of the 46 photomicrographs that were taken by Mark Evans, helped by Barrie Schwortz, during the 1978 investigation of the Shroud of Turin by STURP (Shroud of TUrin Research Project). These photomicrographs show essential details to better understand the physical characteristic of the image on the Shroud. They are classified by their content and locations with references to the Shroud Scope. The following bird-view of the Shroud shows the locations, in green, of the photomicrographs. You can also see all 32 photomicrographs interactively by mousing over the small green rectangles on the Shroud Scope with photomicrographs selected.

The magnifications of the photomicrographs vary from 6.3x to 64x (6.3x, 14x, 32x, 50x, 54x, and 64x) and were taken at various locations on the Shroud. Please read the last section below on Determination of the Photomicrograph Locations on the Shroud of Turin about the accuracy of these locations.

In the following sections, small images of the photomicrographs with short descriptions of their content, location, and magnification are given. All photomicrographs are copyrighted: "Photomicrographs ©1978 Mark Evans Collection, STERA, Inc.". The small images can be enlarged by clicking them. The enlarged versions are actually 25% of the size of their original photomicrographs. For each photomicrograph we also provide direct links to their location on Shroud Scope.

Photomicrographs from the Ventral Half

Clear and Very Light Scorch

The following two photomicrographs were taken at two locations near each other on the ventral side of the Shroud. The clear cloth shows the color of the linen of the Shroud without any image. The very light scorch photomicrograph shows mostly a clear cloth but with a very small amount of scorching due to the Chambéry fire in 1532.

(ME-15, 32x)(ME-28, 64x)
Clear thread
On Shroud Scope
Very light scorch
On Shroud Scope

Eye and Nose

The following four photomicrographs are probably the most important ones to better comprehend what makes up the image on the Shroud. One can readily see no obvious paint of any kind on the threads. How the fibrils of the threads got their color is still debated. Compare these photomicrographs to the photomicrograph of rust on the Shroud (see below) to readily see the obvious difference between the color of the fibrils that compose the image of the body and fibrils covered with an obvious substance (rust).

(ME-02, 32x)(ME-20, 32x)
Eye On Shroud Scope Eye On Shroud Scope
(ME-14, 32x)(ME-29, 64x)
Nose On Shroud Scope Nose On Shroud Scope

Bloodstains in Scorched Threads

The major chest wound on the right side of the man of the Shroud matches the description of a lance piercing the chest. Close to the edge of the burned hole, the linen threads were heavily scorched by heat (Chambéry fire in 1532). What is seen on the following photomicrograph is scorched linen covered with dry blood from this "lance area".

(ME-01, 6.3x)
Scorched threads with bloodstain, chest wound On Shroud Scope

Photomicrographs from the Dorsal Half

Small of Back

The following five photomicrographs were taken at the small of back: the first four show bloodstains at various magnifications and the fifth is over the image.

(ME-03, 6.3x) (ME-06, 32x)(ME-24, 54x)
Bloodstain, small of back On Shroud Scope Bloodstain, small of back On Shroud Scope Bloodstain, small of back On Shroud Scope
(ME-05, 32x)(ME-08, 32x)
Bloodstain, small of back
On Shroud Scope
Image, small of back
On Shroud Scope

Foot

The following six photomicrographs were taken at the heel and foot, some with bloodstain and image. The last two images (ME-25 and ME-26) are the same but with different lighting. They clearly show the superficiality of the image on the Shroud.

(ME-17, 6.3x)(ME-19, 32x)
Bloodstain and image, foot
On Shroud Scope
Bloodstain and image, foot
On Shroud Scope
(ME-18, 6.3x)(ME-16, 32x)
Image, foot
On Shroud Scope
Image, foot
On Shroud Scope
(ME-25, 50x)(ME-26, 50x)
Image, heel
On Shroud Scope
Same as ME-25 but with a different lighting
On Shroud Scope

Scorched Threads

The following three photomicrographs show scorched threads at three different magnifications. Compared to image threads such as ME-02 (eye), ME-20 (eye), ME-14 (nose), ME-29 (nose), ME-08 (small of back), ME-16 (foot), ME-25 (heel), these scorched threads are much darker.

(ME-07, 6.3x)(ME-21, 14x)(ME-04, 32x)
On Shroud Scope On Shroud Scope On Shroud Scope

Water Stains

The following five photomicrographs were taken at two locations near the dorsal image of the Shroud over two water stains.

(ME-10, 6.3x) On Shroud Scope (ME-11, 32x) On Shroud Scope
(ME-22, 14x) On Shroud Scope (ME-23, 14x) On Shroud Scope (ME-27, 50x) On Shroud Scope

Wax and Rust

The rust stain apparently comes from a round tack used to fasten the Shroud on a wooden panel. It is interesting because it shows a major difference in appearance from the image area. The wax stain probably comes a candle, but not much wax is visible.

Wax stain, probably from a candle (ME-12, 6.3x). On Shroud Scope Rust stain from a round tack (ME-13, 32x). On Shroud Scope

Burned Threads

The following four photomicrographs were taken at two locations near the dorsal image of the Shroud.

Burned threads (ME-32, 6.3x) On Shroud Scope Burned threads (ME-09, 32x) On Shroud Scope
Burned threads near patch (ME-30, 6.3x) On Shroud Scope Burned threads (ME-31, 32x) On Shroud Scope

Determination of the Photomicrograph Locations on the Shroud of Turin

The determination of the locations of the photomicrographs were done based on the information provided by Barrie Schwortz and by analyzing the content of the photomicrographs. The information provided were a table and two low resolution photographs with red markers (see below). The location of most 32 photomicrographs could be determined with certitude but not for some (see the table below for these cases).

The following two low resolution photographs of the Shroud (provided by Barrie Schwortz), ventral (first) and dorsal (second) images, show red markers, annotated with integers, where the photomicrographs were taken. There are more than 32 red markers on these photographs, although only 32 photomicrographs are presented on this web page because the author of this web page has access only to these. For some locations, several photomicrographs were taken at that same location (same red marker), because, for example, several different magnifications have been used at that location. Note the series of integers running down both photographs: It starts with 1 at the left on the dorsal image, and ends with 22 on the right on the ventral image. There are also letters from A to F on the right of the ventral image, although they are cut off, yet one can determine their location. This is a grid coordinate system used by STURP to identify locations on the Shroud during their investigation.

The locations of red markers from or near the ventral image are denoted with a 'v' and an integer (e.g., v9) whereas the red markers from or near the dorsal image are denoted with a 'd' and an integer (e.g., d8). For example, the red marker v8 (ventral image, red marker 8) is located at grid coordinate D17. The table below identifies many more red markers. In some cases, such a coordinate is not precise enough to uniquely identify a red marker which result into ambiguities. This problem made the accurate identification of the locations of the photomicrographs more difficult and in some cases not unique.

The following table gives the selected location for each photomicrograph which is based on the possible red markers, and the matching of the content of the photomicrograph with the Shroud at such a location. When several possible red markers are given, it means that the selected red marker, and consequently, the location of the photomicrograph as given by the Shroud Scope, is not certain.

The first four columns give the data about the photomicrographs from a figure provided by Barrie Schwortz. The first column gives the photomicrograph identifiers (i.e., ME-x), the second column is a short description of the photomicrograph, the third column is the grid location on the Shroud (see the two low resolution photographs above for the grid), and the fourth column is the magification of the photomicrograph. I added the last three columns: the possible red markers, the selected red marker(s) for the Shroud Scope, and the Shroud Scope link. Note that on the Shroud Scope, the green bounding boxes giving the location of the photomicrographs are not to scale with them because doing so would have made the bounding boxes too small to be adequately clickable. The grid locations marked with an asterisk (e.g., D15*) have been considered at odd with the description of their photomicrograph such that, instead of using the grid location, their description or content was used to determine the selected red marker(s) (i.e., their location on the Shroud). For example, the grid location D15 cannot be the small of back as it is a location of the ventral image.
PhotomicrographDescriptionGrid LocationMagnificationPossible Red MarkersSelected Red Marker(s)Shroud Scope Link
ME-01 Bloodstain, front chestD156.3xv17v17On Shroud Scope
ME-02 Image, eyeD1332xv2,v19v2 On Shroud Scope
ME-03 Bloodstain, small of backD15*6.3xd3d3 On Shroud Scope
ME-04 Scorch, close-up of ME-7 none 32x d2 d2 On Shroud Scope
ME-05 Bloodstain, small of back D14* 32x d3 d3 On Shroud Scope
ME-06 Dense bloodstain, small of back D15* 32x d3 d3 On Shroud Scope
ME-07 Scorch none 6.3x d2 d2 On Shroud Scope
ME-08 Image, small of back D7 32x d21 d21 On Shroud Scope
ME-09 Burned threads near a hole B6-7 32x d22 d22 On Shroud Scope
ME-10 Water stain E3 6.3x d12 d12 On Shroud Scope
ME-11 Water stain E3 32x d12 d12 On Shroud Scope
ME-12 Wax F11 6.3x d1 d1 On Shroud Scope
ME-13 Rust from tack D1 32x d13 d13 On Shroud Scope
ME-14 Image, nose D13 32x v3, v11, v20, v21, v22 all On Shroud Scope
ME-15 Clear cloth C13 32x v15 v15 On Shroud Scope
ME-16 Image, foot C2 32x d16 d16 On Shroud Scope
ME-17 Image and bloodstain, foot D1-2 6.3x d7 d7 On Shroud Scope
ME-18 Image foot C2 6.3x d16 d16 On Shroud Scope
ME-19 Bloodstain and image, foot D1-2 32x d7 d7 On Shroud Scope
ME-20 Image, eye D13 32x v2, v19 v19 On Shroud Scope
ME-21 Scorch, close-up of ME-7 B9 14x d2 d2 On Shroud Scope
ME-22 Image, small of back A-B5 14x d4 d4 On Shroud Scope
ME-23 Water stain A-B5 14x d4 d4 On Shroud Scope
ME-24 Dense bloodstain, small of back C8 54x d3 d3 On Shroud Scope
ME-25Image, heel C2 50x d5, d6 d5 On Shroud Scope
ME-26 Image heel, ME-25 with a different lighting C2 50x d5, d6 d6 On Shroud Scope
ME-27 Water stain A5 50x d4 d4 On Shroud Scope
ME-28 Very light scorch B-C13* 64x v18, v12, v6 v18 On Shroud Scope
ME-29Image, nose D13 64x v3, v11, v20, v21, v22 all On Shroud Scope
ME-30 Dark brown threads near patch border none 6.3x d18 d18 On Shroud Scope
ME-31Close-up of ME-30 none 32x d18 d18 On Shroud Scope
ME-32 Burned threads around two small holes none 6.3x d22 d22 On Shroud Scope