Byzantine Coins and the Shroud
Medallion of Lirey
The Shroud of Turin is the cloth believed to have been used to inter Jesus Christ.
(November 29, 2013)
In September of this year (2013), the Institut Catholique de Paris decided to put on sell a collection of a dozen rare photos of the Shroud derived from the 1931 Enrie's photographic plates. The auction was planned by the Ader Nordman auction house on November 17 (see the Art Newspaper article) .
The collection was donated by Paul Vignon (deceased in 1943) who used them for conferences and presentations. Paul Vignon was a biologist and a Shroud pioneer researcher. He wrote several books about the Shroud and experimented on at least one theory of formation of the image on the Shroud (see a short Biography of Paul Vignon by Paul de Gail).
But the sale never took place!
The collection was also planned to be shown to prospective buyers at the Institut Catholique, but that also never took place.
According to a representative of Ader Nordman, the Institut Catholique retracted its sale and no reason was given.
What did happen? We can only speculate: did a buyer came forward before the auction and made a generous offer to acquire the entire collection?, did the Institut Catholique realized that the time was not riped to sell that collection?, or something else? So far, there is not enough information to figure it out.
Acknowledgment: thank you to a family member to have taken the time to visit the Institut Catholique and the Ader Nordman auction house in Paris to get the information presented in this article.
(April 21, 2013)
The formation of the image on the Shroud of Turin has never been completely elucidated. The physical and chemical aspects (e.g., superficiality, color, lack of pigments) of the image have been studied since 1978, but the mechanism that formed them has not been determined, although some competing hypotheses have been suggested and experimented. On the other hand, very little has been computationally simulated to replicate the conditions under which the image of the Shroud was formed. The following study is doing some steps in that direction.
The two images below show a 3D representation of a head and of the same head loosely covered with a sheet. They were produced by reconstructing the 3D representation of the head of a plastic mannequin and the covering sheet. The preliminary study will be to computationally simulate the projection of the image of the 3D face onto the 3D sheet, using various parameters of directionality, intensity, vertical distance, and so on. In particular, it will be possible to compute precisely the various distances between the surface of the face and the sheet itself during that simulation. These distances are very important as the intensity of the image of the Shroud are related to them.
The sheet will then be computationally flatten to render a flatten image similar to the way the Shroud is shown. This image will give a better idea which parameters give a result close to the Shroud of Turin.
This study will also determine in a very precise way if any major distortion occurs depending on the looseness of the cloth covering the head and the parameters used for the simulation.
(March 30, 2013)
The replay of the exposition of the Shroud of March 30, 2013, in Italian, is now available from RAI Uno: Une version française de l'ostension du Linceul de Turin: Ostension du Saint-Suaire de Turin, de KTOtv.
(March 28, 2013)
Haltadefinizione just released the "Shroud 2.0" application for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The free version allows you to explore the application and for $3.99 you can access the highest definition of the images of the Shroud. You will need iOS 6.0 to run this application.
In the application, the Shroud of Turin is presented with very high definition images in a similar manner as the Shroud Scope: panning the Shroud will request, over the Internet, image tiles of the Shroud entire image. In general, it is therefore required to have an Internet connection while using the application. Several features are available, such as the ability to turn positive or negative the current image displayed, change its contrast, and more. A bird's view navigator window can be opened to better locate the region of the Shroud shown. The overall work is of very high quality. More details are provided on the Apple App Store by simply following this link.
The release of the "Shroud 2.0" application is a very good initiative by Haltadefinizione. It allows easy access to the very high definition image of the Shroud captured in 2008.
Very instructive details can be seen on these images that could not easily be seen before. For example, it becomes clearer that some of the bloodstains on the forarms are located next to images of bloodstains or wounds. This particular detail is consistent with the tridimensional form of a real arm: the Shroud was in contact with the bloodstains on the arm, then the curvature of the arm made it such that the Shroud was no longer in direct contact with some bloodstains but at a distance of just one or a few milimeters. The screen snapshot below show such details.
Also, the stains seen on the buttocks appear clearer as bloodstains not as burn marks as some suggest.
The resolution of the images provided by "Shroud 2.0" is higher than the Shroud Scope. But you can use the Shroud Scope to view high definition images of the Shroud on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch without installing any application and, of course, for free. You simply open your browser and point it to www.sindonology.org/shroudScope/shroudScope.shtml or simply visit this Web site with your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, and touch with your finger on the Shroud image on the right side of the Web page. The Shroud Scope has also several different base images including the Enrie image of 1931 and a mechanism (called permalink) that allows you to bookmark a specific location and a zoom level, on one of the base Shroud images, to keep and share with other people.
(March 27, 2013)
The TV broadcast of the exposition of the Shroud of Turin will be on Saturday, March 30, from RAI Uno at 5:15 pm, Turin time, which will be early morning in America. Pope Francis will open the exposition. It will last about 45 minutes. Consult the Web site of RAI TV for more details and specially the RAI TV Guide.
On Friday, March 29, special presentations on the Shroud will also be broacasted by RAI Uno. In particular, at 2:10 pm "A sua immagine Speciale Venerd́ Santo: L'uomo della Sindone" and at 8:30 pm "Porta a Porta Speciale Venerd́ Santo Sindone mistero svelato?". The details are provided on the RAI TV Guide from the link above.
If you do not have access to the RAI Uno channel from your cable provider, you can try to watch the broadcasting from the live streaming video at the RAI Uno Web site. But, depending on your location, the streaming might be opened or blocked.
You should be able to watch a replay of the exposition, and all special presentations of March 29, from the RAI Uno Web site in which case no restriction of location applies.
(March 19, 2013)
The official Shroud Web site of Torino (www.sindone.org) provides, as of today and in Italian only, some basic information about the upcoming televised exposition of the Shroud on March 30. The exposition will be viewable using mobile devices via Internet but no details were given so far on the schedule or which devices will be supported.
An ANSA press release provides also some details about the upcoming exposition: Ratzinger orders TV broadcast of Shroud of Turin.
As soon as more details are known on how to view the exposition, I will post them on this Web site.
(February 28, 2013)
It was just announced that there will be on March 30 (Easter Saturday) a televised exposition of the Shroud of Turin, directly from the Turin Cathedral. It will last about an hour. This exposition was initiated by the leaving Pope, Benedict XVI.
A press conference will be held tomorrow (March 1) to officially announce this exposition and give more details. Tomorrow, I will be able to give more details, in particular on which channels (and perhaps from which Internet Web site) this exposition will be broadcast.
(February 20, 2013)
Alain Hourseau is the new owner of the 14th century mold, reproducing the Shroud, found by a jogger near Lirey in 2009. The transfer of ownership occurred a few days ago between the previous owner and Alain Hourseau. This is good news since Alain published a book about the mold and the life of Geoffroy de Charny, and knows well the value of such a rare artifact. Alain is also working on a project to promote the history of the Shroud at the local church in Lirey. Below is a recent photo of Alain Hourseau holding the mold.
Soon, I hope to be able to present a 3D version (not an anaglyph) of the mold on this website.
(December 26, 2012)
A new base layer of the Shroud Scope has been created. It shows the vertical Enrie photograph in 3D. The details of the creation of the 3D version are described in the help page of the Shroud Scope in Section Enrie 3D Anaglyph Version.
The 3D effects exist for all zoom levels once the “Enrie Negative 3D Vertical” base layer has been selected. The 3D effects are most perceivable at the high zoom-in levels and most notably for the face.
Note that, all artifacts of the Shroud, that is, images, water stains, bloodstains, burned marks, and more, have been left unmodified during the 3D creation and are thus shown as they are without trying to remove or mitigate the 3D effects. We believe this is the genuine way to produce a 3D anaglyph photograph of the Shroud without human interpretation. It is also the simplest way. The Enrie photograph shows how realistic, corresponding to a real corpse, the 3D data have been encoded in the Shroud as levels of black (white on the negative) color. This is quite unique.
You will need 3D glasses to see the 3D effects. If you want to go directly to the 3D base layer of the Shroud Scope, click here.
(December 8, 2012)
Alain Hourseau, who lives at Bouilly, a few kilometers from Lirey, and work for the Assa Abloy group, recently (2012) published a monograph (link to Amazon) titled “Autour du Saint Suaire et de la collégiale de Lirey (Aube)” (in French) on the collégiale de Lirey, on the life of Geoffroy de Charny, and the Shroud. The monograph describes in great details the life of Geoffroy de Charny, his numerous trips in France and abroad, his “fait d'armes” (success) and failures at war. The collégiale at Lirey is the first location in France, and in Europe, to have presented the Shroud as the true Shroud of Christ.
This book can also be ordered in France from the following link (see the bottom of that Web page).
The creation of this monograph was prompted by an important fortuitous discovery, in 2009, by a jogger in Machy near Lirey: a mold to produce pilgrim's medallions (dated to the 14th century) representing the Shroud of Lirey. This mold is clearly different to the mold that produced the Lirey medallion kept at the Cluny Museum.
See Discovery of a Mold to produce Medallions at Lirey for more details about this mold.
Alain Hourseau has also prepared three conferences:
These conferences could be repeated, in French or English, upon invitation. Please contact Alain Hourseau via his website for more information.
(November 27, 2012)
When Secondo Pia made the first photograph of the Shroud in 1898, more than 100 years ago, he realized in one instant that the negative photograph he had created was visually extraordinary: details never seen before were now visible and we could perceive the tridimensionality of the face and body of the man of Shroud. It was so extraordinary that, back then, many accused Secondo Pia to have used photographic trickeries to enhance the Shroud images. Of course, there were no such trickeries. Secondo Pia was as surprised as everybody else.
More recently, computer image processing of the Shroud images allowed the creation of tridimensional effects using the anaglyph technique. You need special glasses made of colored filters to perceive the 3D effect of an anaglyph photograph.
Many popular image processing software (e.g., Photoshop, Gimp) can be used to create anaglyph images. It can be done from a single bidimensional (i.e., ordinary) photograph and a depth map image. That depth map image is black and white, has the same size of the original photograph, and describes the depth of field of the single image. The depth map is typically produced by hand since the single image does not contain depth information.
The following image of the face of the man of the Shroud is an anaglyph. It was produced without creating a depth map by hand since the original image itself was used as the depth map image. The original image used is from a screen snapshot of the Enrie photograph using by the Shroud Scope. In a next post, I will explain in more details how it was produced using the Gimp software. But the most important fact: no depth map image was created by hand to produce this anaglyph. Using the original image as the depth map cannot be done with ordinary photographs. This fact alone shows that the images on the Turin Shroud do contain 3D data and that these images were most likely produced by a corpse.
(November 19, 2012)
The presentation of the medallion of Lirey kept at the Cluny museum in Paris has been updated with new high definition photographs (See Medallion of Lirey). Among other details, these photographs show clearly the reproduction of two major blood stains on the Shroud: across the hips and across the feet.
(August 4, 2012)
A special issue on the Shroud of Turin was published on July 30 in the series Scientific Research and Essays published by Academic Journals, specializing in open access journals. This publisher reputation is very controversial. In any case, the quality of the research done reported by these papers should be primarily based on their content.
The special issue has two review papers and nine research papers. The papers are freely accessible (please follow the link above ). The special issue was supervised by Giulio Fanti a well-known researcher in the field of sindonology, the study of the Shroud of Turin.
(July 31, 2012)
The Shroud of Turin is believed to be the main cloth that was in direct contact with the body of Christ in its tomb. There are also other cloths, still with us today, claimed to have been in the tomb: the Sudarium of Oviedo, the Veil of Manoppello, the Coif of Cahors and the Cloth of Kornelimuenster. The Veil of Manoppello is the only other cloth, besides the Shroud of Turin, bearing an image.
The Web site Sudarium Christi has an instructive and beautiful presentation of a possible layering of these cloths. Although I doubt that the Sudarium of Oviedo was left on the face of Christ, this layering is possible although very difficult to prove. The Veil of Manoppello is proposed as the outer layer on the face since that cloth is small and has an image of a face.
The presence of the Coif of Cahors could explain that the hair around the face on the Shroud appears straight down and not spread out on each side of the head.
(May 28, 2012) On May 28, 1898, the first Shroud photograph is taken by Secondo Pia during an exposition in the duomo of Torino. The photograph reveals a new dimension unknown for centuries: the three dimensionality of the body appearing on the Shroud is clearly seen when looking at the negative of the photograph. Details that had never been seen is also revealed by the negative.
It immediately resulted in one of the greatest controversy in the history of the Shroud: Secondo Pia will be accused of trickery. Numerous articles appeared in the French press accusing Pia of using various technical tricks (e.g., lighting) to get the special effect that everyone can see on his Shroud photograph. Of course, nowadays, nobody is accusing the photographers of the Shroud of trickery but it took more than 33 years for that controversy to die down. That is until Giuseppe Enrie took the second photograph of the Shroud in 1931.
(May 27, 2012) I was recently reading the Shadow Shroud FAQ and came across inexact comments, once again, about the work on the double superficiality of the image on the Shroud of Turin (See Review of the paper of Maggiolo and Fanti). A few things are completely misunderstood about what this paper proved.
First, let us restate the two main independent claims made by the Maggiolo and Fanti's paper:
Note: "independent claims" means that the first claim does not imply the second claim. Also, note that such a double superficial image is only claimed for some parts of the face area. Nowhere else on the reverse side can we readily see any "image" (besides the various stains including the bloodstains).
First, many believe that the technical image processing used by Maggiolo and Fanti proved that the image on the reverse side is superficial. The technical image processing itself does not prove that at all. And the authors of the paper are very clear about that.
In essence, the "proof" that the reverse image is superficial is based on the fact (not observed by the authors) that the obverse image (the image that everybody can easily see) is superficial. It is a simple transitive inference: if the image on the obverse side is superficial, the reverse image must also be superficial.
Note that the existence of such a double superficial image does not exclude that some fluid went through the Shroud from the obverse to the reverse and formed images on each side. A dilute fluid can create a stain that is superficial on both sides of a cloth. (Stay tune for a proof of that claim).
The reverse side image reported by Maggiolo and Fanti can be seen from photographs without the help of any image processing. The image processing could probably be qualified as an objective mechanism used to confirm the presence of the image avoiding the typical error made by humans to see "things" via their imagination. But clearly, one can see the presence of hair image around the face on the reverse side without falling into this trap. It is confirmed by anybody looking at the (reverse side) photographs. So, there is no need to use digital image processing to confirm the presence of the image.
(March 1, 2012)
If you ever wondered what the Vatican Secret Archives are, follow the following link Vatican Secret Archives Exhibition. You can see some of the documents that will be shown in a new exhibition in Rome on the Vatican Secret Archives.
(February 13, 2012)
The theory that the Image of Edessa (a.k.a., Mandylion, The Image not Made with Human Hands) is the same as the Shroud of Turin has been well argued by Ian Wilson in his 1978 book, The Shroud of Turin. Over the years, his theory has been reinforced by many other findings, among them, the analyses of Byzantine coins. Wilson has maintained and reinforced his theory in many of his books, including the most recent one in 2010.
On this new Web page The Shroud of Turin and Two Byzantine Coins, I present a not so well-known Byzantine coin that has a very similar image as the face on the Shroud of Turin. This Byzantine coin is unique: it was made one year after the Image of Edessa was transferred to Constantinople, the Capital of Byzantium. It is another fact that supports the theory that the Image of Edessa is the same as the Shroud of Turin.