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Shroud of Turin
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Trainee Goddess
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PostPosted: 08-02-2005 02:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mentioned, on another thread entirely, and in another context, that I am probably the only person on these boards (but I could be wrong!) who has actually seen and handled the Turin Shroud.

I have been invited to speak more about that experience at some time, and I will. It's a long and strange story, and I haven't really got time just at present to sit and dredge up the whole odd experience. It was years ago, and distance lends the proceedings even more atmosphere than they had in actuality.

What I will just quickly tell you all is that, in the course of my work with antique and modern textiles, I have seen and handled many different type of fabrics and fibres. The older a piece of cloth is, the more fragile it becomes. Burial wrappings and bandages from graves dating to around the time of Christ are invariably cobweb thin. Often they resemble nothing more than mere tatters of fibre. The so-called shroud is an extremely robust piece of cloth, and if it is, as claimed, from the time of Christ, then a miracle has indeed occurred!

The abiding memory of seeing and handling (albeit with protective gloves, face mask and tweezers) the shroud, is of a heavy, yellowish-grey length of what is obviously linen. It has the weight and close woven characteristics of a modern bedsheet or tablecloth. To many many scientists whose field this is, the idea that this cloth has survived for over 2000 years is, simply, ludicrous.

So,.... more of all this at a later time....
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PostPosted: 08-02-2005 04:50    Post subject: Reply with quote


I very much look forward to reading your future posts on this. I love this board because of the breadth and diversity of those who frequent it.

Very Happy
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PostPosted: 09-02-2005 11:37    Post subject: Hurry back! Reply with quote

Hecate, if you have actually handled the shroud then you are in a much better position to comment than anyone else on this board. Please hurry back and give us a full run-down of your experience and your responses to it.
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Divine Wind
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PostPosted: 13-02-2005 00:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this Jesus?


IS this what Jesus of Nazareth looked like as a boy?

Forensic experts in Italy have come up with this computer-generated sketch of a fair-skinned young Jesus with wavy hair and dark eyes, based on historical data and images from the controversial Shroud of Turin.

The image was created with the same technology used by police to age the faces of long-time missing people or wanted criminals.

Using the reverse of ageing technology, the police experts gauged how the man wrapped in the shroud might have looked at the age of 12.

Facial proportions between the nose and eyebrow, and the shape of the jaw are identical to those on the shroud, a piece of linen some believe is the actual burial cloth of Jesus about 2000 years ago.

"While some features, such as the colour of the eyes and the hair's length, cut and colour, are arbitrary, others come directly from the face impressed on the shroud," the forensic experts said in a statement.

"We made a rigorous effort based on the Shroud of Turin. But it's clear that the data at our disposal were limited. Let's say we have made an excellent hypothesis."

Computer enhancement has revealed the imprint of a face of a suffering man on the Turin cloth.

The Italian team took that faint image and used computer modelling to develop a picture, making assumptions about the features at a younger age.

The sketch was revealed on a documentary about Jesus shown on Italian television.

This picture was created at the same time new research was published on the shroud.

Scientists are casting doubt on some carbon dating testing made on strips from the shroud in 1988. They now believe it could be at least 2000 years old.

The shroud, with the image of a man that can only be seen in negative form, is venerated by many Christians as physical evidence that Jesus was resurrected.

An "autopsy" by doctors on the shroud reveals a 180cm bearded Caucasian male about 77kg, with puncture wounds on the head.

The speculative picture contrasts with a recent attempt to reconstruct Jesus' face using a 2000-year-old Jewish skull, software and the latest forensic techniques. That revealed a dark-skinned man.

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PostPosted: 13-02-2005 00:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, from my understanding, he is more likely to be swarthy. Southern Caucasians aren't very fair, and are more likely to have been living around the region at the time. Then there's the whole "Black Israelite" argument (which says that Jesus was actually a North African).

In any case, I don't think it's terribly likely he was what we would call "fair".
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PostPosted: 13-02-2005 01:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emperor wrote:
Is this Jesus?

The speculative picture contrasts with a recent attempt to reconstruct Jesus' face using a 2000-year-old Jewish skull, software and the latest forensic techniques. That revealed a dark-skinned man.

Yeah. God knows a darkie Jesus would ruin everything!

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PostPosted: 25-03-2005 04:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

last updated: 3/24/2005

Shrouded in Mystery No More?

March 23, 2005 — The Shroud of Turn has mystified scientists for years. Now a literature professor from Idaho says he can prove it's a fake.

For centuries, faithful have flocked to the Shroud of Turin, which is – believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus with the imprint of his body. The image is a photographic negative. When reversed, IT PRODUCES a clear picture of a bearded man.

But when the church let scientists do carbon dating on it, they reported the cloth was only about 650 years old, not 2,000.

Still, no one could explain how medieval artists could make such an image. Now a professor from the Midwest says he's figured out one way it could have been done.

Nathan Wilson/New St. Andrews College: "I assumed that if a medieval forger could do it, all the tools he'd have available to him to solve it would also be available to me. I should be able to do the same."

Literature professor Nathan Wilson tried putting white paint on a pane of glass, hoping to create the same effect.

Nathan Wilson/New St. Andrews College: "I painted a picture of Christ or a Christ-like face on the glass, and placed it over a dark linen... and left it in the sun for ten days."

The sun bleached the dark cloth except for where the paint blocked the sunlight. The result: a negative image, that – when reversed – showed what appeared to be a bearded man.

Nathan Wilson/New St. Andrews College: "The beautiful thing about this theory is that a medieval would not need to understand photo-negative imaging at all."

Experts have yet to examine Wilson's solution. But the old question, how medieval forgers could have faked this image now has a plausible answer.

(Copyright 2005 by ABC News and WPVI-TV 6. All rights reserved.)


Teacher Has Theory on the Shroud of Turin

Thursday March 24, 2005 1:46 PM


Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Nathan Wilson is an English teacher with no scientific training, but he thinks he knows how Jesus' burial cloth was made and he thinks it's not a physical sign of the resurrection.

In other words, in Wilson's estimation, the Shroud of Turin is a fake - produced with some glass, paint and old cloth. And that theory, especially with Easter this weekend, has so-called ``Shroudies'' a buzz.

``A lot of religious people are upset,'' said Wilson, 26, who teaches at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho.

Wilson is himself an evangelical Christian but said his views on the shroud don't change his faith.

``I'm a Bible-believing Christian who believes in the resurrection completely without a doubt,'' he said.

The English instructor believes a medieval forger could have painted the image of a crucified man on a pane of glass, laid it on the linen, then left it outside in the sun to bleach the cloth for several days. As the linen lightened, the painted image of the man remained dark on the cloth, creating the equivalent of a photo negative.

Wilson wrote his theory in Books and Culture, a magazine for Christian intellectuals. It was picked up by several Web sites and is being debated in shroud circles. Wilson's Web site received more than 100,000 hits from 45 countries in the first week of his article's publication.

Shroud expert Dan Porter said that while Wilson's theory is ingenious, it does not produce images identical to those on the 14-foot-long, 3-inch-wide strip of linen.

``It is not adequate to produce something that looks like the shroud in two or three ways,'' said Porter, who lives in Bronxville, N.Y. ``One must produce an image that meets all of the criteria.''

Porter contends sun bleaching cannot have produced the image, which he and many others say is the result of chemical reactions on the cloth.

``A problem with Wilson's hypothesis is that sun bleaching merely accelerates bleaching that will occur naturally as the material is exposed to light,'' Porter wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. ``Eventually, Wilson's sun bleach shroud image will fade into the background as exposure equalizes the bleaching.''

The shroud has often been displayed, sometimes in bright sunlight for days at a time, and no such image fading has occurred, Porter said.

Porter and others also question whether panes of glass at least 6 feet long were produced in medieval times, as Wilson's theory would require.

Radiocarbon tests of the Shroud of Turin were done in 1988, and dated the cloth at A.D. 1260 to 1390. But Raymond Rogers of Los Alamos National Laboratory recently argued that the tested threads came from later patches and might have been contaminated. Rogers calculated that the shroud is 1,300 to 3,000 years old and could easily date from Jesus' era.

Wilson said he wants to write a novel about his theory. The forger or perhaps forgers, Wilson theorizes, probably robbed a grave and pulled the aged shroud off a body, then crucified someone to obtain the blood and study the wounds of Jesus.

``Most likely it involved some real wicked people,'' Wilson said.


On the Web:

Wilson's Web site:

Porter's Web site:

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PostPosted: 25-03-2005 07:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Large flat panes of glass in medieval times? I think not! Even into the 19th century glass was only available in small and rather lumpy portions, I believe.

Any glass experts out there?
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PostPosted: 27-06-2005 13:26    Post subject: THE SHROUD OF TURIN Reply with quote

What is this crap I am reading that the SHROUD OF TURIN MIGHT BE A FAKE? Notice the word MIGHT. THey are saying MAY BE and MIGHT BE and people are swallowing it as truth. That's like me saying I MIGHT GO TO THE STORE NOW and not going at all, but since I said I MIGHT...I MAY HAVE GONE!!!?!?!??!?!?
WHat the hell!
Bloody frickin' scientists...screw up everything.

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PostPosted: 27-06-2005 14:39    Post subject: Re: THE SHROUD OF TURIN Reply with quote

WonderWoman wrote:
Bloody frickin' scientists...screw up everything.


Oi!! sob

That's correct though, what this is is merely another THEORY, based very closely on the Leonardo Da Vinci idea. It isn't that original, and it certainly does not constitute proof in any sense (it does not mean his theory is not worth consideration though). I gather Wilson's hoping to get a book out of it-perhaps that explains the over-blown claims Wink-
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PostPosted: 13-01-2006 20:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shrouded in controversy

Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit? The enigmatic linen known as the Shroud of Turin has befuddled clerics, scientists and observers for six centuries — and the debate still rages, writes John Moore

Jan. 12, 2006. 03:13 AM

TURIN, ITALY—Sylvana Gribaldi has seen the Shroud of Turin twice, during public expositions in 1998 and 2000. Both occasions were overpowering emotional experiences.

"During the 1998 exhibition, I used to go into the church (where the shroud was on display) in the evenings and sit there and pray for an hour or so," says Sylvana. "I could sense a real presence."

At the next exhibition, in the jubilee year of 2000, she was able to get even closer to Turin's most famous artifact.

"I was very happy during the last exposition because I was selected to read prayers during the procession as thousands of people passed the shroud. It was quite moving," she says.

Such expressions are apt to draw a skeptical squint from people uncomfortable with such devotion, and the shroud, which bears the double image of a bearded man whose body exhibits the scars of crucifixion, certainly has just such a polarizing effect on people.

Some say that the 4.5-metre-long, 1.1-metre-wide piece of linen is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, miraculously branded with his image at the moment of his resurrection. Others denounce that as superstitious nonsense and say the shroud is a medieval counterfeit.

The debate has simmered ever since the shroud first appeared in the historical record some 6 1/2 centuries ago. The shroud was definitely identified in 1353 as the property of Geoffrey de Charny in France (but some proponents claim to have found mention of it in earlier sources). Even then, some clerics denounced it as a device to extort money from pilgrims.

The de Charny family sold it to Duke Louis of Savoy in 1453, who kept it at Chambery, France, until 1578 when his descendant Emanuele Filiberto moved it to Turin. The Savoy family retained ownership of the shroud until 1983 when it became the property of the Vatican in accordance with the will of Umberto II, the last king of Italy. Pope John Paul II decreed that the shroud would remain in Turin.

It has survived three fires, including one in 1997, despite suffering some scorching and water damage. It has been examined by scientists and subjected to an array of tests including carbon-14 dating, microscopy, chemical analysis, photography and computer imaging. But that has only intensified the debate as just about everybody with an opinion, scholarly or otherwise, has tried to out-debunk each other. Fact or forgery, the shroud continues to fascinate.

"It's a scientific mystery," says Guglielmo Perego, an expert on the shroud and Turin's architecture, who is accompanying me on a visit to the majestic cathedral and adjacent chapel which houses the shroud. "All the rigours of scientific study haven't been able to explain the mysteries of the shroud. If you believe in the Bible, if you believe in Jesus' resurrection, you have less of a problem explaining it."

The cathedral is almost empty on this foggy Sunday morning. Mass is in progress, but there are fewer than 20 worshippers.

There's a larger group of tourists at the shroud's display case. A sign asks visitors to approach silently and respectfully. People are kneeling in prayer at the railing, while others light candles (electric candle-shaped lights because of the fear of fire).

The shroud is kept in a casket-like container behind thick glass. Inside, Guglielmo explains, the cloth "sits on an aluminum bed with a crystal covering. There's no light, no air, just a mixture of inert gases and every quarter of an hour, the pressure, temperature and the mix of the gases is adjusted by computer."

Atop the box sits a thorn branch, and on the wall behind there is a reproduction of a famous photograph taken in 1898 which revealed the figure of the shroud to be a negative image — a shocking revelation that started the momentum for scientific inquiry.

There were no guards, but Guglielmo said there are usually volunteer plainclothes police officers on watch and additional security measures will be in place during the Olympics in February, although the shroud will not be on display (the next public exhibition is not scheduled until 2025).

An anteroom in the church contains a full-size reproduction and photographic exhibits. As an elderly woman, her eyes moist with tears, touches a photograph of the shroud, then makes the sign of the cross, Guglielmo speaks of the remarkable coincidences that evoke such fervour.

"We have a lot of probabilities," he says, looking at the reproduction. "This is the body of a crucified man. Was it Jesus? Was it not Jesus? What are the odds that this person would be killed with exactly the same torture, exactly the same wounds on the head and the back? Everything here corresponds exactly to the sufferings and the death of Jesus. We are not sure, but then, we are not sure of anything, are we?"

A museum dedicated to the shroud — and to examining the debate — is in the crypt of the church. It houses a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibits that present a chronology of the shroud's history and a discussion of the photographic, scientific and religious record. There's even a remarkable bas relief sculpture which allows blind visitors to "feel" what the shroud looks like.

A video gives a fascinating description of the images on the cloth, then people can tour the exhibits, using an audio guide that resembles a cellphone.

David Anderson, a 24-year-old culinary student from Cincinnati, is pondering one of the displays, which shows a three-dimensional computer image of the man on the shroud. He looks perplexed.

"I can't say that I believe in this," David asserts, then hestitates and shakes his head. "But there's something about it ... you just can't pass over it and say it's all baloney."

That's a common reaction among the people at the museum. Pope John Paul II called the shroud "a challenge to our intelligence" which "forces questions to be raised." And so it does.

If it's a painting, it's a work of singular brilliance: a negative image created centuries before photographic negativity was discovered. A work that displays properties of three-dimensionality and perfect symmetry.

If it's the naturally-created image of a crucified man — as some scientists argue — who was he? Under what circumstances was he forced to endure such torture? I look at the familiar face with its expression in the peaceful repose of death, although the body bears the scars of torment ... bloody scratches on the forehead, whip marks on the back, barbaric nail holes in the wrists and ankles. I feel a sense of pity.

And if it really is the burial cloth of Jesus, its historical and religious significance is colossal. We may never know the truth, but it does make you think.

I ask Sylvana, who's a volunteer guide at the museum, her views on the shroud, the research and the controversy. She flashes a wry smile, the kind that's a bit unnerving, as if she knows something I don't.

"Scientific research can certainly help us to understand the history of the shroud ... but in the end, it's really a question of faith. You either believe, or you don't believe."

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PostPosted: 02-02-2006 13:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posted on Wed, Feb. 01, 2006

Olympic host also home to Shroud of Turin

Associated Press

Just as Salt Lake City was famous long before the 2002 Winter Olympics because of its ties to the Mormon Church, so the 2006 host city has been renowned for its own religious connection: For the last 428 years it's been home to the world's most celebrated holy relic, the Shroud of Turin.

Could this linen cloth, as believers think, have wrapped the body of the crucified Jesus Christ at the moment he rose from the grave?

Take your pick. The shroud is either:

A) Astonishing physical evidence of the Easter miracle;

B) Fascinating medieval folk art; or,

C) A fabulous fraud.

Don't expect any help from the Roman Catholic Church as you decide. The Vatican remains steadfastly neutral on this popular religious puzzle.

Olympics tourists might stroll to the Piazza San Giovanni and the cathedral where the more than 14-foot-long shroud is encased in a huge, climate-controlled steel box under bulletproof glass. But none will see the storied and closely guarded relic. The next display is scheduled 19 years hence, and Turin's Cardinal Severino Poletto barred even private viewings for dignitaries at the games.

Fascination with the shroud has spread beyond Roman Catholics to secular scientists and even some evangelical Protestants. There are some 28 organizations of devotees in the United States alone, five in Italy and 10 elsewhere.

The shroud's mystique stems from its sepia image of a wounded, wiry, bearded man. The faint picture is formed by discoloration of the outer layer of the fibers. Scientists have reached no agreement on how hoaxers could have produced this figure.

Other uncanny aspects: Pollen embedded in the cloth came from plant species found only in Turkey and the Holy Land. Blood stains seen on the cloth contain chemicals from human blood and weren't painted on. The catch is that the stains are red - but old blood turns black.

The shroud's existence can only be traced back to 1357 when it went on display in Lirey, France. It was controversial even then. The local bishop declared the exhibit a fraud and a subsequent bishop warned the pope in 1389 that the shroud was a "product of human handicraft."

Pope John Paul II's Vatican was given ownership in 1983 and approved various scientific tests in 1988. The chief result seemed to settle the authenticity question. University laboratories in Oxford, England, Tucson, Ariz., and Zurich, Switzerland, tested samples for carbon 14 decay and dated the origin at 1260 to 1390.

"It is most unlikely that this object is the authentic burial shroud of Jesus," the 2003 edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia concludes.

But that didn't end the argument. Pro-shroud scientists proposed that the 1988 samples were skewed by contamination so better tests are needed.

There things stood, more or less, until a year ago when Raymond Rogers, a retired chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, reported further tests in the technical journal Thermochimica Acta. (He died shortly after publication.)

Rogers suspected contamination and, more important, reported that threads from the 1988 samples contain no vanillin, a compound in flax that gradually disappears. By his calculations, the shroud is 1,300 to 3,000 years old. Though it's possible the cloth dates from Jesus' lifetime, Rogers noted, actual connection to Jesus can never be proven.

Rogers told interviewers that "competent scientific efforts to understand the shroud have a bleak future" because church authorities "will never allow another series of tests."

Rogers' research was just one question mulled over at an international shroud conference in Dallas last September - a meeting that received Pope Benedict XVI's blessing. Thirty scholars presented papers, turning up a couple shreds of shroud news:

_ The image of the body's back on the cloth lacks flattening of the calves and buttocks, indicating the body was upright, not lying down, when the image was formed.

_ It may be that first known exhibit didn't occur in 1357, after all.

Of course, there's still more to say on the subject. Turin will host a shroud symposium in May.


Shroud sites:

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PostPosted: 25-02-2008 07:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't keep a good shroud down...! Wink

Fresh tests on Shroud of Turin
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:04am GMT 25/02/2008

The Oxford laboratory that declared the Turin Shroud to be a medieval fake 20 years ago is investigating claims that its findings were wrong.

The head of the world-renowned laboratory has admitted that carbon dating tests it carried out on Christendom's most famous relic may be inaccurate.

Professor Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, said he was treating seriously a new theory suggesting that contamination had skewed the results.

Though he stressed that he would be surprised if the supposedly definitive 1988 tests were shown to be far out - especially "a thousand years wrong" - he insisted that he was keeping an open mind.

The development will re-ignite speculation about the four-metre linen sheet, which many believe bears the miraculous image of the crucified Christ.

The original carbon dating was carried out on a sample by researchers working separately in laboratories in Zurich and Arizona as well as Oxford.

To the dismay of Christians, the researchers concluded that the shroud was created between 1260 and 1390, and was therefore likely to be a forgery devised in the Middle Ages.

Even Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, the then Cardinal of Turin, conceded that the relic was probably a hoax.

There have been numerous theories purporting to explain how the tests could have produced false results, but so far they have all been rejected by the scientific establishment.

Many people remain convinced that the shroud is genuine.

Prof Ramsey, an expert in the use of carbon dating in archeological research, is conducting fresh experiments that could explain how a genuinely old linen could produce "younger" dates.

The results, which are due next month, will form part of a documentary on the Turin Shroud that is being broadcast on BBC 2 on Easter Saturday.

David Rolfe, the director of the documentary, said it was hugely significant that Prof Ramsey had thought it necessary to carry out further tests that could challenge the original dating.

He said that previous hypotheses, put forward to explain how the cloth could be older than the 1988 results suggested, had been "rejected out of hand".

"The main reason is that the contamination levels on the cloth that would have been needed to distort the results would have to be equivalent to the actual sample itself," he said.

"But this new theory only requires two per cent contamination to skew the results by 1,500 years. Moreover, it springs from published data about the behaviour of carbon-14 in the atmosphere which was unknown when the original tests were carried out 20 years ago."

Mr Rolfe added that the documentary, presented by Rageh Omaar, the former BBC correspondent, would also contain new archeological and historical evidence supporting claims that the shroud was a genuine burial cloth.

The film will focus on two other recorded relics, the Shroud of Constantinople, which is said to have been stolen by Crusaders in 1204, and the Shroud of Jerusalem that wrapped Jesus's body and which, according to John's Gospel, had such a profound effect when it was discovered.

According to Mr Rolfe, the documentary will produce convincing evidence that these are one and the same as the Shroud of Turin, adding credence to the belief that it dates back to Christ's death.
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PostPosted: 25-02-2008 08:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

a thousand years wrong

That's some margin of error! Laughing
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PostPosted: 25-02-2008 19:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thing is, you could tell which sample was the Shroud, even without them being labelled, because of the distinctive warp and weft thingy. Left-handed herringbone pattern, if I remember correctly. Whereas the other control samples were a piece of mummy linen and a mediaeval tablecloth (or somesuch).

Anyway, point being, any lab would have known when they were looking at Shroud, and when they weren't. And doesn't the act of observation affect the experiment? Wink
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