The Shroud of Turin: What's Your Opinion?


I think you are correct. However, without access to the original, it is very difficult to do that. In fine detail, one is reduced to close up photographs such as those at Shroud 2.0, or the very few (but excellent) photos by Mark Evans, or the contradictory descriptions of the STuRP team and other investigators. If these could all be reconciled, then I think a satisfactory ‘replica’ would be possible, although actually producing one could be prohibitively expensive.


Hello Hugh,

can you tell me your thoughts on the claims of limestone found near the feet marks of the shroud being a type of aragonite which is apparently a rare type of material (with small amounts of strontium and iron) which is found around Jerusalem.



Its a strong belief that the shroud is of Christ.

I have looked at a few videos / programmes on the shroud. Mistakes were made at the carbon dating. Nobody can replicate the image. In 3d it is perfect. It is anatomically perfect. Human blood. No paint. Etc etc…

The evidence points to Jesus. There is no evidence that it was man made. Ziltch. Nada. None.


Hi Abucs,

Two parts to this answer, first, what was found on the Shroud, and then, what is aragonite anyway?

In 1982, Ray Rogers gave some of his sticky tape slides to Dr Joseph Kohlbeck to see what he could make of them. Note that he had not taken any slides of the face. This is what Kohlbeck says: “I began to focus on particles of calcium carbonate on the fiber samples. I wondered whether there was anything in the tomb environments of first-century Judea that might account for their presence. […] We then examined a calcium sample from the shroud taken from the area known as the “bloody foot” because this showed a larger concentration of calcium carbonate than other areas. This calcium carbonate turned out to be aragonite, not the more common calcite - and exhibited small amounts of strontium and iron.”

Meanwhile (1) Gérard Lucotte has been examining a tiny triangle of sticky taken by Giovanni Riggi allegedly from the ‘epsilon’ blood-mark on the forehead. In an email to he wrote that “several rhombohedric crystals of calcite were found, but only 3 orthorhombic crystals of aragonite.” He later found a lot more limestone altogether, but still a very small proportion of aragonite.

Meanwhile (2) budding nun Eugenia Nitowski, later Sister Damian, had collected samples of limestone from various places around Jerusalem, some which were also aragonite. A comparison between ‘Shroud aragonite’ and ‘Jerusalem aragonite’ carried out by Dr. Riccardo Levi-Setti (incidentally a world expert on trilobites) shows that the ionic composition of the two samples is qualitatively similar, although it differs quite markedly quantitively. The Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Amir Sandler, of Jerusalem is quoted as saying that aragonite is very rare “if any” in the environment of Jerusalem although calcite is very common there.

So I’m happy that there is a small amount of aragonite among the more common calcite found among the calcium carbonate particles found on the Shroud. The environment of Jerusalem is certainly limestone. However aragonite is not at all rare - although not as common as calcite it makes up a large proportion of limestone, including the limestone valleys of the Champagne area of France, precisely the place where the Shroud was first exhibited in about 1356.

The recent archaeological investigations of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, carried out in conjunction with the refurbishment of the Edicule, have no doubt resulted in the extraction of a fair amount of limestone dust from exactly the slab on which the Shroud is supposed to have lain. I do not know whether any attempt has been made to characterise this dust in terms of its exact chemistry.


The STURP examinations confirmed a massive bleed out by the body in the shroud, and that a lance was rather expertly thrust upwards across the body and into the heart. So if that body did not die, that would be a miracle in itself. The image its pretty much entirely made up of the result of type AB blood being subject to a type of ‘nuclear event’, and interestingly the body appears to have been weightless, and the ‘event’ having emanated from the body outwards.


No. Many doctors and forensic pathologists have studied the Shroud. Several have concluded that the stab wound to the heart was not fatal, and that Jesus was alive when taken down from the cross and entombed. As it happens, I think that Jesus was dead, but that the Shroud, being medieval, is only an artist’s depiction of the stab wound. The idea that anything about the stab wound is “confirmed” is optimistic, but by no means a general consensus.

Not really. People recover from a remarkable variety of apparently fatal injuries.

There is much I could say about this hypothesis, but suffice it to say that it is not generally supported even by the most ardent authenticists.


Well, I beg to differ with your, and others, prognoses. For so many reasons the image is definitely not a medieval artist’s bit of handiwork.


Of course. Feel free.


Artist depiction? How did the artist ‘make’ the image then?


Good question. There are several possibilities. Some researchers think it was directly “painted” (but see below for a more precise explanation of “painted”), while others, including me, that it derives from a bas relief, probably one used in a Easter Sepulchre, which was itself “painted” and the cloth laid on top, making it an “impression” or “print” rather than a straight “painting”. The first would involve the artist imagining which parts of the body, especially the face, would leave the strongest impressions if an image was transferred by contact with a cloth, while the second would achieve this ‘negative’ quality automatically.

Now; the “paint”. There is some indication that pigment, particularly some kind of ochre, is present on the cloth, but there certainly isn’t much of it. Either very little was used, or what was used has almost entirely been removed, perhaps by washing, or possibly simple attrition. The image, as Heller, Adler and even McCrone agreed, lies in the yellow stain, which Heller and Adler thought was purely denatured cellulose, but McCrone and Rogers thought must be some kind of stain or coating, such as a proteinaceous paint medium (McCrone) or starch (Rogers).

If the former, then I think a pigment in a slightly acid medium, such as that suggested by Luigi Garlaschelli, would do the trick; or if the latter, then an egg-white, rabbit-skin, or oak-gall medium could all be responsible.


‘Think’ ‘probably’. Not definitive answers!

Science cannot explain how the image was ‘made’. I think you are clutching at straws trying to make an argument for ‘some kind of paint’.


I’m here to admit the truth… The Shroud was made in my garage. :disappointed:


You’re partially correct. Certainly my answers are not definitive, but that’s because of the imprecision of the question, not lack of scientific knowledge. If the nature of the cloth were understood precisely, then I think the nature of how the image was put there would be understood precisely too. The problem is not really that there are few straws to clutch, but that there are so many it is difficult to decide which one to choose.


Nature of tne cloth is very clear indeed.

The Shroud is a wonder. Its a miracle. It is, for me, the Shroud of Jesus.

Why not? Why shouldnt it be? Everything points to it as being so.


Alas no. The weave is well described, but we know little enough about how it was sized or bleached, and, as we have seen, descriptions of the image are somewhat contradictory.


Science cannot explain the image on the cloth.

How do you know it was sized or bleached? Where does it state that?

Again, you are determined to ‘try’ and prove the Shroud to be a fake. Science is at a loss when it comes to the shroud.

If anything, ‘EVERYTHING’ points to it as being a miracle!


I think it can, once the image has been correctly described.

The manufacture of a textile by hand from flax plants involves several stages, and various processes are involved. Different times and places used different processes. Ray Rogers, one of the foremost members of STuRP, and certainly the most celebrated scientist, put much store in the manufacturing process having left residue on the cloth. Other STuRP scientists thought otherwise. It would be good to know the truth.

Actually, as a review of this thread will quickly show you, the opposite is the case. I want to explore the evidence to find out whether the Shroud is a fake or not. It is the authenticists who cannot bear to see the evidence for authenticity challenged, and want to hide behind blanket assertions without substance such as ‘Science is at a loss when it comes to the shroud.’

Like that. The same old same old. As I said. Science is not dumbfounded. Lost4words is.


“Many claims have been made that some kind of radiation is “the only way” that the image on the Shroud of Turin could have been produced.”
“Direct comparisons between image and non-image parts of the shroud show exactly the same amounts and types of radiation damage in the two types of areas. This suggests that the image was not produced by any mechanism that involved heat, light, or ionizing radiation.”
“Although neutrons are not ionizing radiation, when they hit a proton in an organic material, they produce a “recoil proton.” These protons are ionizing particles, and they can be observed. […] Such features are extremely rare in shroud fibers.”
“I believe that the current evidence suggests that all radiation-based hypotheses for image formation will ultimately be rejected.”

The words of a secret Baha’i? A rabid atheist? An ardent Shroud skeptic? What do you think?


“Posters contesting authenticity here on this thread have shown a very strong resistance to the ideas that Jesus actually worked miracles … That resistance is consistent with Bahai’ philosophy which they deny being adherents to.”

Bahai? Are you being serious?

I have not in any way shape or form denied that Christ worked miracles. This is an outrage. I am a Catholic in good standing with my Church, I go to an ordinary form mass most days, and a couple of times per year I help as an altar server in a old form mass. I don’t even live in the same country as Hugh Farey.

I’m honestly surprised you’d go for this kind of slander.


Be not perturbed, Leonhard; Undead_rat has a particular and peculiar vendetta against me alone. He strongly suspects that you, and probably abuts as well, are merely some of my avatars. Like many authenticists of my internet acquaintance, his inability to cope with reasoned arguments for inauthenticity has reduced him to gibbering incoherence and personal abuse.

Not, as far as I know, that being called a Baha’i when one isn’t constitutes abuse, I suppose. I’m sure they’re all very nice people. I’m just not one of them.

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