Sunday, August 7, 2016

Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen

The Shroud of Turin blog topics #8
© Stephen E. Jones[

Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen

This is the seventeenth (and an update of the tenth) installment of the topic, "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen," which is part #8 of my "The Shroud of Turin blog topics" series. See the Index "A-Z", and the sub-index "M" of this series.

[Index #1] [Previous "M" #7] [Next "H" #9]

Medieval photograph theory. [13Jul07]

[Above (enlarge): "How a mediaeval forger [supposedly] produced the Shroud `photographically' ... Based on a model by Professor [Nicholas] Allen"[2].]

Introduction This is about the "medieval photography" theory of South African art historian Professor Nicholas Allen. It is not about the `theory' (so-called) of conspiracy theorists Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince who plagiarised Prof. Allen's 1993 theory without acknowledgment and used it to support their own 1994 Leonardo da Vinci `theory'[3] (see Topics "L"), which `theory' Prof. Allen rejects[4]. It is my emphasis below, unless otherwise indicated.

Prof. Nicholas Allen's medieval "photographic hypothesis" In his own words, Allen's "photographic hypothesis" claims that:

" is possible to postulate that somebody in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century may have had the necessary knowledge and materials to have taken either a human corpse or even a life-like bodycast and have suspended it vertically in direct sunlight for an unspecified number of days such that it (the corpse) received an equal amount of morning and afternoon illumination."[5]
Vague. Note the vagueness of Prof. Allen's hypothesis. He claims that it is possible a 13th-14th century "somebody" only "may" have had the "necessary knowledge and materials" to imprint a photograph of the man's image on the Shroud. But as we shall see there is no evidence that anybody before the 19th century[6] had the "necessary knowledge and materials" to photograph anything, let alone a double full-length image of a man on linen!

Who, when, where? Not only does Allen not know who took his claimed `medieval photograph', he also does not know when in "the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century," or even where, it was taken! And then Prof. Allen would need to give a plausible explanation (but does not) how the Shroud came into the possession of the impoverished French knight Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300–56) who first exhibited the Shroud in undisputed history at Lirey, France in c. 1355.

Corpse or bodycast? Note that Prof. Allen is unsure whether the photograph was of "a human corpse or even a life-like bodycast." But this shows that since Prof. Allen only used a bodycast (for obvious reasons), the photograph he obtained was not as realistic as that of the Shroud image (which he later admitted to Ian Wilson[7]), otherwise he would have had no need to postulate a "corpse" alternative. Moreover, because Allen did not use a corpse, he cannot know that his method would work with a corpse.

How much time? Prof. Allen does not know how much time it would take ("an unspecified number of days") for the photograph (or rather "solarograph") of the man's image on the Shroud to be taken. Or maybe Allen does know that it would take far too many days than he can admit? In 2005 the History Channel attempted to repeat Allen's experiment:

"... with historical accuracy ... [using] ... simple lenses that would have been available in the thirteenth century as well as ... chemicals ... But ... the experiment failed ... it took 43 days to get a faint image, which completely disappeared once the image was fixed."[8]
This is consistent with non-authenticist chemist-photographer Mike Ware's calculations that if Allen had used "a typical lens of the fourteenth century" (see below), his "proto-photograph would require an exposure in the order of months" and would be "impossible to accomplish":
"For a more plausible assessment of what could have been achieved with a typical lens of the fourteenth century, see the table for a lens of focal length 2200 mm to provide a human life-size image with a more realistic aperture of f/96. Such a proto-photograph would require an exposure in the order of months, and is therefore effectively impossible to accomplish, especially in view of the diminishing returns guaranteed by reciprocity failure."[9]
`Simple' 180 mm diameter, optical quality, quartz crystal lens. Continuing in Prof. Allen's own words:
"This subject (corpse or bodycast) would have had to have been situated opposite an aperture (containing a simple bi-convex quartz lens) of a light-proof room (camera obscura)."[10]
By "simple" Prof. Allen means a "180 mm" (~7.1 inch) diameter optical quality, quartz crystal bi-convex lens:
"It must be stressed that this image can only be obtained if it is focused onto the linen cloth by means of a quartz (optical quality, rock-crystal) bi-convex lens. In addition, for this image to be life-sized (for example the dimensions of an adult human corpse), it is necessary for the combined image conjugate and object conjugate distances to total about 8,8 metres. In other words, the subject to be `photographed' must be positioned (that is outside the camera obscura) some 4,4 metres from the aperture, whilst the screen supporting the prepared linen cloth must correspondingly be placed at a similar distance from the aperture (inside the camera obscura). At these long distances it is essential that the lens should have as large a diameter as possible (for example, well over 60 mm) ... for full length figures the best results have been obtained with a 180 mm quartz bi-convex lens which has a focal length of 2,2 metres."[11]

[Above (enlarge): Lens shown in Smithsonian mini- `documentary' featuring Allen[12]. But by the length of the man's (presumably Allen's) fingers compared with my own, this lens would be more like 60 mm diameter (not 90 mm as I first thought), i.e. one-third the diameter of the lens that Allen claimed he had used. A 180 mm (18cm, ~7 inch) lens is very large and could not be held between the tips of a man's fingers on one hand.]

[Above (enlarge): Allen (presumably) fitting a biconvex lens to the aperture of a camera obscura in the same Smithsonian mini- `documentary'. But again, compared to the length of the man's fingers, it is evidently the same ~90 mm lens.]

If Allen did have a 180 mm quartz crystal lens (made from a huge quartz crystal "with only his hands and a piece of cloth with some sand on it."[13] as his claimed 13th-14th century forger would only have had available) for his experiment, why didn't he use it in this `documentary'? Is it because: (a) Allen doesn't have/never had a 180 mm quartz crystal lens? And/or (b) viewers would realise how unlikely is Allen's claim that in the 13th-14th century (when the largest biconvex lenses were glass and in spectacles), some unknown genius made a huge optical quality, 180 mm quartz lens? Which moreover was used only once to forge the Shroud, and has not survived down to the present day?]

Ware wrote that it was "disingenuous" (i.e. "not truly honest") of Allen to claim that because optical quality quartz rock-crystal was available as a "substance" in the 13th century, therefore "a very large, accurately ground high-quality biconvex lens of long focal length" was also available back then, when they were "unknown until several centuries later":

"Allen states that rock-crystal was available in the thirteenth century 'as a substance' (which is certainly true) but it is disingenuous of him to imply that this 'substance' could at that time have taken the form of a very large, accurately ground high-quality biconvex lens of long focal length. He implicitly assumes, without evidence or justification, the existence of a lens technology that was unknown until several centuries later."[14]
If Allen did not hand-make his 180 mm crystal lens, which would have required a very large, flawless, optical quality quartz crystal[15], as well as a lot of time and skill, he would have had to have quartz melted at a temperature of about 3,500ºF (~1927ºC) in a high-temperature furnace, which did not exist until the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century:
"Allen ... uses a biconvex, optical-quality quartz crystal lens measuring more than seven inches (180 mm) in diameter. A lens made of regular glass will not transmit ultraviolet light, the portion of the EM spectrum that makes the image on Allen's treated cloth. Of course, no one in medieval times knew about ultraviolet light at all, much less what materials would or would not transmit it. Optical-quality quartz lenses are made by first heating quartz to about 3,500ºF [~1927ºC], at which point this material becomes flexible and can be shaped. Not until the Industrial Revolution could furnaces burn that hot. In medieval times, there would not have existed a container that could even hold the quartz at that temperature, for the melting point of iron is about 285°F [~141ºC] less than quartz."[16]
If this is so, then Allen is guilty of "scientific fraud," somewhere between "making results appear just a little crisper ... than they really are" and "inventing a whole experiment out of thin air":
"The term `scientific fraud' is often assumed to mean the wholesale invention of data. But this is almost certainly the rarest kind of fabrication. Those who falsify scientific data probably start and succeed with the much lesser crime of improving upon existing results. Minor and seemingly trivial instances of data manipulation-such as making results appear just a little crisper or more definitive than they really are, or selecting just the `best' data for publication and ignoring those that don't fit the case-are probably far from unusual in science. But there is only a difference in degree between `cooking' the data and inventing a whole experiment out of thin air."[17]
However, if Allen did use a lens made by non-media val means, he may not be self-aware that what he did was fraudulent. It may be that he is an otherwise honest person who has unwittingly deceived himself in this matter:
"A continuous spectrum can be drawn from the major and minor acts of fabrication to self-deception, a phenomenon of considerable importance in all branches of science. Fraud, of course, is deliberate and self-deception unwitting, but there is probably a class of behavior in between where the subject's motives are ambiguous even to himself."[18]
Silver salts?. Prof. Allen continued:
"Inside this room or camera, it would have been necessary for a large screen to support the linen cloth (Shroud), which had been previously treated with a very dilute solution of either silver nitrate (0,5%) or silver sulphate (0,57%)."[19]
But it was not until 1717 that Johann Heinrich Schulze (1687-1744) discovered that the darkening of silver nitrate was due to light:
"Schulze is best known for his discovery that the darkening in sunlight of various substances mixed with silver nitrate is due to the light, not the heat as other experimenters believed, and for using the phenomenon to temporarily capture shadows. Schulze's experiments with silver nitrate were undertaken in about 1717. He found that a slurry of chalk and nitric acid into which some silver had been dissolved was darkened by sunlight, but not by exposure to the heat from a fire. To provide an interesting demonstration of its darkening by light, he applied stencils of words to a bottle filled with the mixture and put it in direct sunlight, which produced copies of the text in dark characters on the surface of the contents. The impressions persisted until they were erased by shaking the bottle or until overall exposure to light obliterated them ... Though Schulze's work did not provide a means of permanently preserving an image, it did provide a foundation for later efforts toward that end. Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davy produced more substantial but still impermanent shadow images on coated paper and leather around the year 1800. Nicéphore Niépce succeeded in photographing camera images on paper coated with silver chloride in 1816 but he, too, could not make his results light-fast. The first permanent camera photograph of this type was made in 1835 by Henry Fox Talbot."[20].
Allen is, or was, a Professor of Art History, so he must know this. A quote from a 2009 South African article indicates that he does indeed know this:
"Allen believes the Shroud of Turin is physical evidence that people understood at least the rudiments of primitive photography about five centuries before its accepted discovery in 1799 by Thomas Wedgewood."[21]
Except that Allen really is deceiving himself if he thinks that photographing the double full-length image of a man onto a ~14.4 x 1.1 metre sheet of linen, using a 180 mm optical quality quartz lens and silver nitrate, which photograph has existed for over 600 years down to the present as the Shroud, is evidence of "the rudiments of primitive photography"! Rather, as Ware pointed out, what Allen is claiming is "akin to positing a history of aviation in which Concorde preceded the Wright brothers":
"Chemical development ... consists in the chemical formation of a silver photograph from a latent image in crystals of silver halide ... to claim that it could have 'sprung forth, fully armed with 100 ISO', and with no tradition of prior art, would be akin to positing a history of aviation in which Concorde preceded the Wright brothers."[22]
Corpse or bodycast hung out in sun for days. Allen continued:
"The inverted image of the corpse would have been focused onto this prepared support and after a few days the UV sensitive silver salt would have turned purplish-brown, forming as it did a negative photographic image of the subject. To achieve the twofold image which now appears on the Shroud of Turin, it would have been necessary for this operation to have been repeated twice to obtain an impression of both the frontal and dorsal images of the sun-illuminated corpse."
[Right (enlarge):[23] Negative of Allen's "sun-illuminated corpse" plaster cast. Compare this with the corresponding negative of the Shroud image below. Also note the directionality of light and shadowing on Allen's `shroud' image and the total lack of both on the Shroud's image (see below).]

Allen here has lost touch with reality. He does not consider what would happen to a "corpse" hung out in the necessarily bright sunlight, "twice" both "frontal and dorsal, for even "a few days" each side, a total of six days. For starters, rigor mortis would be quickly lost, and therefore body shape:

"... if an actual ... human corpse really were suspended for `several days' in full sunshine, then its likely condition after such a length of time, particularly in any climate with the required sufficiency of sunshine, boggles both the mind and the olfactory system. ... rigor mortis would in any case never have held sufficiently long to create the impression of the figure ..."[24]

"But how come, that not knowing the most evident fact, that corpses do not maintain rigor mortis or that they cannot hang for ... days in the sun, or else you would not care to see what the camera obscura would bring in onto your canvas."[25]
Indeed, decomposition would have rapidly set in:
"Under warm conditions, it is extremely difficult to think that decomposition of the body would not occur within a period of ... days"[26].

"A further difficulty in the Allen method is that after the requisite several days of exposure to strong sunshine, any actual body would have lost all post-mortem stiffness and begun serious decomposition. ... this would have meant a considerable change in shape, any image thereupon becoming more of a misshapen blob rather than the perfectly formed image on the Shroud."[27]
[Left (enlarge)[28]: Image on the Shroud corresponding to Allen's plaster cast image above. Note the following significant differences between Allen's image and the Shroud's: 1) Allen's image does not have bloodstains or scourge marks (see below); 2) Unlike the Shroud, Allen's face has no eyes[29] (enlarge both to check); Allen's image has sun-illumination of the man's arms, legs and feet (see below) which the Shroud doesn't; and 3) Unlike the Shroud, Allen's image has directionality (see below).]

And realistically the decaying corpse hung outside in the sun for days would be covered in blowflies and being eaten by their maggots!

Corpse or bodycast had to be white. Moreover, that there was a photographic image created by Allen's "sun-illuminated" plaster cast does not mean there would have been an image created by a "sun-illuminated corpse." Allen

[Right (enlarge): White plaster bodycast used by Prof. Allen to `photograph' its image onto his `shroud'. Note that the body- cast's hair is a different shape from the image above that Allen claimed had been formed from it[30]. See below. ]

had to keep his plaster cast "white to increase its reflect- ivity"[31] otherwise he may not have had an image at all (see "The Turin Machine"[32]). In fact Allen states that if a "corpse" was "employed as the subject for the exposure [it] was more than likely painted white to increase its reflectivity"[33]!

Image's hair does not match bodycast's. As mentioned above, the bodycast's hair [Left (enlarge)] is a markedly different shape from the image that Allen claimed had been formed from it [Below right (enlarge). Photo has been flipped horizontally to allow for left-right inversion of the negative image from the positive cast]. This indicates that Allen has `improved' the image of the top of the head which presumably would have been largely white (and therefore unrealistic since hair does not reflect light[34]) from the directionality of the sunlight evident on the arms and feet (see above and below). If so this would be further evidence of scientific fraud (although perhaps unwitting self-deception-see above) by Allen: "improving upon existing results ... making results appear just a little crisper or more definitive than they really are (see above).

Silver on Allen's image but none on Shroud. Continuing with Allen's own words:

"After both exposures had been completed the linen cloth would have been soaked briefly in a dilute solution of ammonia (5%) or possibly even urine. This latter action would have ostensibly removed all silver (both exposed and unexposed) from the linen cloth and also would have allowed it to be exhibited outside the camera even in direct sunlight, without further discoloration occurring. Even though the silver salt had been removed, the cloth would have still contained a faint negative straw-yellow image -- one which seemed to be encoded in the very structure of the linen itself, albeit on the upper fibrils."[35]
The key word is "ostensibly," i.e. "to all outward appearances"[36]. In fact, STURP found no silver on the Shroud image areas:
"Allen has proposed a variation of the method just examined except that his charging photosensitizers are silver salts [but] ... there is no microscopic, chemical, or spectroscopic evidence for silver species or the expected products of their chemical reaction on the Shroud body image areas or sticky tape samples."[37]

"Heller and Adler conducted further tests on the fibrils to detect inorganic compounds. These results were consistently positive for iron and calcium but negative for manganese, cobalt, nickel, aluminum, arsenic, tin, lead, magnesium, and silver"[38]

"Allen's theory is also in conflict with several important observations. If the cloth was soaked in silver nitrate or silver sulphate, traces of it would remain, yet the X-ray fluorescence spectrometry conducted by STURP found no trace of silver on the Shroud."[39]
As Ware pointed out, "the Shroud ... contains no detectable silver" and Allen admits that his `shroud' image contains "residual silver at a level of 0.4 mg/g":
"There is also a photochemical difficulty with Allen's proposal in that the Shroud itself contains no detectable silver. In an attempt to ensure that the metal was likewise absent from his simulacra, Allen describes how his print-out images of purplish-brown colloidal silver were decolorized by washing in dilute ammonia (or possibly urine), and he claims that this demonstrates the removal of all the silver, both exposed and unexposed, leaving a fixed image of a faint straw-yellow colour like that of the Shroud, which he supposes to be due to oxycellulose in one of its various forms. However, decolorization of the silver does not prove its complete removal, because some silver could remain in the fibres as a colourless complex salt. Surprisingly, Allen cites analytical results that actually confirm this, and contradict his own assertion that the silver has been totally removed. His analyses find residual silver at a level of 0.4 mg/g[40] in his linen substrates."[41]
Indeed, Allen actually states that only "most of the silver ... [was] removed" from his `shroud' image:
"In order to finally fix the image and remove the light-sensitive solutions after exposure to sunlight, Allen soaks or immerses his cloth in ammonia (5 percent) or urine. One of the purposes for this soaking is to remove all traces of silver from the pretreatment solution on the cloth. Yet even this may not accomplish the purpose. Allen does not state that all of the silver is removed. He merely states that `most of the silver is [was] removed' or that his immersion `would have ostensibly removed all silver'(italics added).[42] If any silver remained, it would most likely be on the image features and would constitute another defect in the effort to duplicate the Shroud images."[43]
Further problems of Allen's "medieval photography" hypothesis include:

Crucified corpse? As mentioned above, Prof. Allen now maintains that the image on the Shroud (which he claims was a medieval photograph) is of a "fresh corpse" and not a plaster bodycast:

"I believe the image on the Shroud indicates a degree of naturalism that is normally associated with a fresh corpse. I believe this because the apparent bruising and `torn beard' feature of the image are just a bit too detailed to be casually reproduced by a body cast ... For this reason I presently advocate that the persons who produced this image most probably used a fresh corpse ..."[44]
Allen therefore has the problem of explaining (but doesn't) where his unknown medieval photographer "managed also to obtain a specially crucified body for his purpose"[45]. Especially given that crucifixion had been abolished across the Roman Empire (which included Europe) in 337[46], by Emperor Constantine the Great (c. 272–337)[47].

Body ~9 metres from Shroud? As Allen stated above, "it is necessary for the combined image ... and object ... distances to total about 8,8 [8.8] metres."[48]. However the Shroud's bloodstains[49] and scourge marks[50], can only have been formed by the cloth having had direct contact with a crucified dead body[51] (see below Allen's claim that they were painted on later). Moreover, STURP found that the darkness of the image was positively correlated with the body's distance from the cloth: the darkest parts of the Shroud having been in direct contact with the body[52]

Directionality and shadowing As previously mentioned, Allen's `shroud' image has a strong directionality of light and

[Left (enlarge): Legs and feet of Allen's image[53] showing a strong directionality of light from the sun. Compare this with the Shroud's legs and feet (below) which have no directionality. Also note that Allen's image has sharp edges compared with the Shroud's image below which has no edges (see below).]

shadowing compared to its total lack of both on the Shroud's image:

"Allen's photographs contain a strong directionality of light. This is obvious from the deep shadows cast on his subject by the strong overhead sunlight he used to create his images (Figure 1). These are clearly seen in the eye sockets, under the nose and chin and below the hands and is unlike the image on the Shroud (Figure 2), which demonstrates no such directionality of light at all. It is further confirmed by the `washing out' of detail in certain parts of the image, most notably the tops of the feet, which received far more light and cumulative exposure than the rest of the body (Figure 3)."[54]

"The first and most important way in which the proto-photo differs from the Shroud is in its lighting. Allen's figure is noticeably top-lit, due to the sun passing daily overhead. The tops of the head, shoulders, chest, forearms, knees and feet all register as particularly bright, these being the areas on which sunlight fell most consistently and intensely. The Shroud figure, by contrast, looks as if it were lit from directly in front, since only the most forward parts of the body are visible. We can also tell that Allen's plaster cast was lit, during the course of the day, from either side. For example, the left calf is most strongly illuminated on the left, the right calf on the right, an effect that registers the shifting position of the sun. The Shroud figure, though, is not side-lit at all; it actually fades out completely at the edges [see below] ... The starkest difference between the two images is in the area of the feet. In Allen's proto-photo the feet are so strongly illuminated that it looks almost as if the figure was wearing white socks; on the corresponding section of the Shroud, there is no light on the feet at all. On the one hand, this is conclusive evidence that the Shroud was not produced by light reflected from a suspended body."[55]

[Right (enlarge): Legs and feet of the Shroud's image[56] showing no directionality of light. The white on the Shroud man's feet are bloodstains. Compare this with the legs and feet of Allen's image(above) which have strong light directionality. Also note that the Shroud image has no edges (see below). Note also that the Shroud man's legs have scourge marks and his feet bloodstains, compared to Allen's image which has none.]

So Allen has unwittingly proved that the Shroud image was not caused by the light of the sun, and since there was no other constant light source in the 14th century that could illuminate an object to project its image into a camera obscura (the electric light was not invented until the 19th century[57]), Allen has also unwittingly disproved his own "medieval photography hypothesis"!

Bloodstains and scourge marks. Unlike the Shroud, Allen's "image lacks not only scourge marks (compare Allen's image with the Shroud's] but also wounds and blood marks of any kind"[58]. In fact Allen has simply ignored them[59], despite him writing in 1993 that they were "important findings [which] cannot be ignored"[60]! Allen dismissed the wounds and bloodstains on the Shroud as "daubed on by [a] brush in real blood ... after the negative body image had been achieved"[61]. Yet, having studied STURP's findings[62], Allen must be aware that STURP found the wounds and bloodstains on the Shroud to be anatomically and forensically accurate, and that the blood was on the Shroud before the image:

"Allen makes no attempt to explain the forensic accuracy of the bloodstains on the Shroud. Since research done by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) and others has shown that there is no image underneath these bloodstains, we have been able to conclude that they were on the cloth before the image was formed"[63].
Three-dimensionality. Allen accepts that a major characteristic of the Shroud is that it contains three-dimensional information due to the "intensity of the image [which] varies according to the distance of the body from the cloth"[64]. Allen further claims, rightly, that his image "contains a negative encoding of the three-dimensional characteristics of the original subject"[65]. That Allen's `shroud' image is "convincingly three-dimensional" has been conceded by Wilson[66]. However, because the Shroud's "cloth-to-body distance" was a maximum of "approximately 4 centimeters"[67] and Allen's was 8.8 metres (see above), or 880 centimetres, the three-

[Left (enlarge): Face of Allen's `shroud' image displayed on a VP-8 Image Analyzer[68]. Note the distorted three-dimensional features of Allen's `shroud' face compared to the Shroud's below.]

dimensionality of Allen's image is much weaker than the Shroud's (see below). This is because a body feature of 1 cm relief on the Shroud, has a cloth-to-body distance ratio of 1/4 = 0.25,

[Right (enlarge): Face of Shroud's image displayed on a VP-8 Image Analyzer[69].]

whereas the same 1 cm relief body feature on Allen's image has a cloth-to-body distance ratio of 1/880 = ~0.001[70].

Sharp edges. As pointed out above, Allen's image has sharp edges compared with the Shroud's image which has no edges:

"There is one additional facet of Allen's image that is considerably different from the image on the Shroud. The Shroud image has no distinct or sharp edges, yet Allen's body image has a very distinct and sharp edge, much as one would expect from a properly focused photograph. This property of the Shroud reinforces the distance-to-density correlation mentioned earlier. In essence, the distance between the peripheral of the body and the cloth increased gradually until it reached the maximum imaging distance and caused very soft, gradated edges that simply fade into the background. Once again, Allen's image provides the necessary evidence to disqualify photography as the Shroud's image formation process."[71]
Photography invented in the 13th/14th centuries and then lost? Allen admits that for his theory to be true, an entire "photographic technology" involving the making of a very large, 180 mm, optical quality quartz crystal lens, the use of light-sensitive silver salts to capture on linen the double full-length image of a man (Jesus), and then the use of ammonia to fix that image, had to be invented and then was "lost" for over five centuries:
"...if this hypothetical account is in any way accurate, it strongly implies that the Shroud of Turin may be the only extant example of a lost photographic technology which is normally assumed to have been first discovered in the early nineteenth century ..."[72]
But as Wilson pointed out, Allen's theory that an unknown 13th/14th century forger discovered "photography's principles" (which were not rediscovered until the 19th century) and he/she used those principles to create "an object as large and complex as the Shroud," and then that knowledge and technology was completely lost, "beggars belief":
"... the Allen method demands additionally that someone in the Middle Ages had an extraordinarily highly developed understanding of photography's principles, principles which took decades to evolve among several different innovators even during the nineteenth century. For any single medieval forger to have hit upon these and successfully developed them in so highly creative a way for an object as large and complex as the Shroud, only to abandon them immediately, beggars belief."[73]
Indeed Allen has failed to convince even his fellow Shroud sceptics[74], including Joe Nickell who described Allen's theory as "astonishingly absurd":
"...the astonishingly absurd notion of an art historian named Nicholas Allen that the image was `the world's first photograph.' (The technique was supposedly invented to make a fake shroud and then conveniently lost for subsequent centuries!)"[75]
Shroud existed long before the 13th/14th centuries. Allen ignores all the evidence that the Shroud existed long before the 13th/14th centuries[76]. For example, the Pray Codex is dated 1192-95[77] and yet agnostic art historian, Thomas de Wesselow has

[Left (enlarge): Plate III, "Entombment" (upper) and "Visit to the Sepulchre" (lower), one of three miniature ink drawings in the Hungarian Pray Codex (1192-1195)[78].]

"identified eight telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on a single page of the Pray Codex."[79]!]

To be concluded in the eighteenth installment of this part #8 of my "Topics" series.

1. This page, and each page, in my The Shroud of Turin blog topics series, is copyright. However, permission is granted to quote from any part of this page (but not the whole page), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.214. [return]
3. Email "Erratum," from Prof. Nicholas Allen, 23 April 2014 10:34 pm. [return]
4. Allen, N., 2009, "How Leonardo did not fake the Shroud of Turin," Unisa Press. [return]
5. Allen, N.P., 1995, "Verification of the Nature and Causes of the Photonegative Images on the Shroud of Lirey-Chambery-Turin," De Arte 51, Pretoria, UNISA, pp.21-35. [return]
6. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.92; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.140-141. [return]
7. Wilson, 1998, p.260. [return]
8. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.28. [return]
9. Ware, M., 1997, "On Proto-photography and the Shroud of Turin," History of Photography, Vol. 21, No. 4, Winter, pp.261-269, 264. [return]
10. Allen, 1995. [return]
11. Ibid. [return]
12. "Is This the World's First Photograph?," Smithsonian Channel: Secrets - The Turin Shroud, July 22, 2013. [return]
13. Antonacci, 2000, p.92. [return]
14. Ware, 1997, p.264. [return]
15. Antonacci, 2000, p.91. [return]
16. Ibid. [return]
17. Broad, W. & Wade, N., 1982, "Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science," Simon and Schuster: New York NY, p.20. [return]
18. Ibid. [return]
19. Allen, 1995. [return]
20. Ware, 1997, p.265; "Johann Heinrich Schulze," Wikipedia, 12 March 2016. [return]
21. de Jager, S., 2009, "Turin Shroud back in focus," Weekend Post, South Africa, February 21. No longer online. [return]
22. Ware, 1997, p.261. [return]
23. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B.M., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.125. [return]
24. Wilson, 1998, p.217. [return]
25. Piczek, I., 1996, "Alice in Wonderland and the Shroud of Turin," Proceedings of the Esopus Conference, August 23rd-25th, Esopus, New York. [return]
26. Antonacci, 2000, p.89. [return]
27. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, pp.125-126. [return]
28. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Horizontal," (rotated left 90 degrees), [return]
29. Antonacci, 2000, p.87. [return]
30. Ibid. [return]
31. Allen, 2009. [return]
32. Wilson, I., 1997, "The Turin Machine: A 'Shroud' Peep-Show for Bristol," BSTS Newsletter, No. 45, June/July. [return]
33. Allen, 2009. [return]
34. Antonacci, 2000, pp.85-86. [return]
35. Allen, 1995. [return]
36. "ostensibly," Merriam-Webster Dictionary," n.d., accessed 13 August. 2016. [return]
37. Adler, A.D., 1999, "The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, 2002, pp.103-112, 108. [return]
38. Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., 1982, "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Reprinted from Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, No. 1, 1982, pp.3-49, 13. [return]
39. de Wesselow, 2012, p.141. [return]
40. Allen, 1995. [return]
41. Ware, 1997, pp.264-265. [return]
42. Allen, 1995. [return]
43. Antonacci, 2000, p.88. [return]
44. Wilson, 1998, p.260. [return]
45. Wilson, I., 1995, "From South Africa: Photography expert says he knows how the Shroud image was made," BSTS Newsletter, No. 39, January, p.9. [return]
46. "Crucifixion: Ancient Rome," Wikipedia, 21 August 2016. [return]
47. Buttigieg, M., 1995, "Challenge to Allen's findings," Shroud News, No 87, February, pp.15-17, 15 . [return]
48. Allen, 1995. [return]
49. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.125. [return]
50. Antonacci, 2000, p.85. [return]
51. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.125. [return]
52. Schwortz, B.M., 2000, "Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph?: A Critical Examination of the Theory," [return]
53. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.125. [return]
54. Schwortz, 2000, p.4. [return]
55. de Wesselow, 2012, p.142. [return]
56. Latendresse, 2010. [return]
57. "Timeline of lighting technology: 18th century," Wikipedia, 30 June 2016. [return]
58. Antonacci, 2000, p.85. [return]
59. Schwortz, 2000, p.3. [return]
60. Allen, N.P.L., 1993, "Is the Shroud of Turin the first recorded photograph?," The South African Journal of Art History, 11, November, pp.23-32, 26 [return]
61. Allen, 1993, p.31 [return]
62. Allen, 1993, pp.25-26; 1995; 2009. [return]
63. Schwortz, 2000, p.3. [return]
64. Allen, 1995. [return]
65. Ibid. [return]
66. Wilson, 1998, p.216. [return]
67. Schwortz, 2000, p.5. [return]
68. Schwortz, 2000, p.9. [return]
69. Ibid. [return]
70. Antonacci, 2000, p.85. [return]
71. Schwortz, 2000, p.6. [return]
72. Allen, 1995. [return]
73. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.126. [return]
74. Wilson, 1998, p.235; Ball, P., 2005, "To know a veil," Nature news, 28 January. [return]
75. Nickell, J., 2004, "PBS `Secrets of the Dead' Buries the Truth About Turin Shroud," Skeptical Inquirer, April 9. [return]
76. Wilson, 1998, pp.217-218. [return]
77. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, pp.114-116. [return]
78. Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, pl. III. [return]
79. de Wesselow, 2012, p.180. [return]

Posted: 7 August 2016. Updated: 26 August 2016.

The Shroud of Turin blog topics "M"

The Shroud of Turin blog topics #7
© Stephen E. Jones[

Topics "M"

This is the sub-index of topics with the first letter "M" and part #7 of my "The Shroud of Turin blog topics" series. See the Main Index "A-Z" for more information about this series. I had intended to create sub-index pages of the first letter of each of my topics pages in this series when I had realised that my "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen" post had become too long. But due to a Blogger (or my) duplication of my "M" page, I decided to use this the original "M" post as the "M" sub-index. When I have finished my "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen" post I will create the sub-index pages of the topics pages I had already posted.

[Above (enlarge): A copy of the Mandylion or Image of Edessa, namely "The Holy Face of Laon," c. 12th-13th century, now in the Cathedral of Laon, Picardy, France. Further information will be provided. In the interim see my post [23Apr12].]

[Main index] [Previous: "L"] [Next: "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen"]

["Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen"]

1. This page, and each page, in my The Shroud of Turin blog topics series, is copyright. However, permission is granted to quote from one entry at a time within a page (e.g. "Shroud of Turin," not the whole page "S"), provided that it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to the page it came from. [return]

Posted: 12 August 2016. Updated: 12 August 2016.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Second century

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present
© Stephen E. Jones

This is the second and final (and an update of the first) installment of part #2, "Second century," of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present" series. See part #1, "First century" and index, for more information about this series.

[Index #1] [Previous: 1st century #1] [Next: 3rd century #3]

2nd century
c. 150 Several second century Christian writings record that the Shroud had been saved from Jesus' tomb: the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Acts of Pilate / Acts of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Gamaliel. This shows that second century writers knew the Shroud existed in their day. They disagree about who saved it from the tomb, but they agree that it had been saved.

177 Accession of Edessa's king Abgar VIII, the Great. Abgar VIII (r. 177-212), also counted as Abgar IX. His full name was Lucius Aelius Septimius Megas Abgarus. He was a ruler of Osroene, a Syriac-speaking kingdom in Upper Mesopotamia, whose capital city was Edessa. Abgar VIII was Edessa's first Christian king, as is evident from some of his coins which were the first to feature a Christian symbol: a prominent Christian cross on his crown (see below).

[Above (enlarge)[2]: Second century Edessan coin, one side with Abgar VIII wearing a crown bearing a Christian cross (right), and on the other side the head of the Roman emperor Commodus (r. 180-192) (left).]

c. 180 Abgar VIII has inserted into Edessa's archives fictitious correspondence between Abgar V and Jesus. This "pious fraud" (see "50") became the basis of the "Legend of Abgar" which, as we shall see, was added to and modified over subsequent centuries as more information about the Shroud became known.

c. 183 During the tolerant reign of Roman Emperor Commodus (r. 180-192) Abgar VIII asked Pope Eleutherus (175-189) to send missionaries to Edessa. In Abgar VIII's reign Edessa became a Christian city (see future "201"), as evidenced by this stone Christian cross over a lion's head in a former fountain in modern Sanliurfa (ancient Edessa) [Right (enlarge)[3]], which has survived the almost complete eradication of Edessa's Christian history since the Muslim conquest in 1144. The lion was the symbol of the Abgar dynasty, which ceased ruling over Edessa after Abgar VIII's death in 212 (see future "212").

194 Abgar VIII supported Parthia in its war against Rome, leading Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) to take Edessa's rule from him and give it to a procurator, until 197-198 when Abgar VIII assisted Rome in its defeat of Parthia. In return Abgar VIII was invited to Rome, which he accepted after 204 and visited Pope Eleutherus (see future "c. 204").

197 A Church council is held in Edessa.

To be continued in part #3, "3rd century," of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. "Jewish Origins of the Cross: Kingdom of Edessa, Commodus & Abgar VIII (179-214)," VCoins, 2016. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.146G. [return]

Posted: 5 August 2016. Updated: 6 August 2016.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Editorial and Contents," Shroud of Turin News, July 2016

Shroud of Turin News - July 2016
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: June 2016, part #2] [Next: July 2016, part #2]

This is the "Editorial and Contents," part #1 of the July 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. Following this editorial, I will add excerpts from Shroud-related July 2016 news articles (if any) in separate posts, linked back to this post, with the articles' words in bold to distinguish them from mine. Click on a link below to go to that article. Articles not yet linked are planned to be commented on in this issue.


Editorial. Rex Morgan's Shroud News: My scanning and word-processing of issues of Rex Morgan's Shroud News and emailing them to Barrie Schwortz for him to convert to PDF and add to his online Shroud News archive, continued in July up to issue #54, August 1989. Issues in that archive are still only up to #50, December 1988. Here is an extract from the cover of that issue No. 54. The caption

[Above (enlarge): Extract from the cover of Rex Morgan's Shroud News, issue #54, August 1989.]

is: "Crusader period painting of Christ in the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem: Another copy from the Shroud?" The photo was taken by the late archaeologist, Eugenia Nitowski (1947-2007) (aka Sr Damian of the Cross). This previously unknown to me icon of Christ, dates from c. 1130 and 1169, and has by my count at least 10 Vignon Markings (nos. 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - especially no. 8 "enlarged left

[Above (enlarge): The Vignon markings: (1) Transverse streak across forehead, (2) three-sided `square' between brows, (3) V shape at bridge of nose, (4) second V within marking 2, (5) raised right eyebrow, (6) accentuated left cheek, (7) accentuated right cheek, (8) enlarged left nostril, (9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip, (10) heavy line under lower lip, (11) hairless area between lower lip and beard, (12) forked beard, (13) transverse line across throat, (14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes, (15) two strands of hair." [2].]

nostril"), and therefore it is indeed "Another copy from the Shroud"! There are photos of it online (e.g. "Jesus Christ Image on Pillar of Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem") but they are not high quality. I have asked Rex Morgan if he has the original photograph and he is going to check. I emailed Ian Wilson to ask if he knows anything about it and although they are his Shroud News copies that I am scanning, he said he had overlooked the significance of that icon, but he agrees that it is significant. Indeed it is very significant! Here is an icon on a pillar in the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, which has at least 10 of the 15 Vignon Marking oddities, which are also found on the Shroud, and therefore it is beyond reasonable doubt this icon was based on the Shroud. Yet the icon is securely dated between 91 and 130 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"! So this is yet another of the "lot of other evidence that" Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Prof. Christopher Ramsey, who was involved in the 1988 dating and was a signatory to the 1989 Nature article admitted, "suggests [to put it mildly] ... that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow" (my emphasis):

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information."[3]
I emailed the Bethlehem Visitor Information Center asking if it had, or knew where there was, a better quality photograph of this icon, but they haven't yet replied. If any reader has, or knows where there is, a better quality photograph of that icon, please let me know in a comment below this post.

Topic index: In July I began my new "The Shroud of Turin blog topics" series, which replaces my "Topic index: The Shroud of Turin blog," my "Turin Shroud Encyclopedia" and my "Turin Shroud Dictionary," all of which proved too time-consuming.

Posts: In July, I blogged only 5 new posts (latest uppermost): "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #9"; "5 minutes with ... The earliest painted representation of the Turin Shroud," Shroud of Turin News, June 2016; "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present: First century"; "No paint, etc. #15: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!"; and "Editorial and Contents": Shroud of Turin News, June 2016.

My radiocarbon dating hacker theory: As can be seen above, in July I started part #9 of my "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking" series, which was about the Soviet Union's motive to discredit the Shroud by accepting Timothy W. Linick's alleged offer to guarantee by hacking that the Shroud would radiocarbon-date to shortly before it first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in c.1355.

Updates. There were no updates to my posts in the background in July.

Pageviews: At midnight on 31 July, Google Analytics [below (enlarge)] gave this blog's "Pageviews all time history" as 567,373 and "Pageviews last month" as 22,208. It also gave the most viewed posts for the month as: "Editorial and Contents," Shroud of Turin News, June 2016. Jul 10, 2016 - 188; No paint, etc. #15: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!. Jul 11, 2016 - 118; Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present. Jul 24, 2016 - 102; "5 minutes with ... The earliest painted representation of the Turin Shroud," Shroud of Turin News, June 2016. Jul 26, 2016 - 60; and "New Study: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo Covered the Same Person," Shroud of Turin News, May 2016. Jun 24, 2016 - 57. As can be seen in the graph above, there was a huge jump in the number of pageviews on or about 21st July and then it continued on a higher plateau. The number of pageviews in June was 8,461 but it jumped to 22,208 in July, an increase of 13,747 or 162% (although June was a low PageView month). Most of this increase seems to be coming from Russian viewers but not of any particular post. Part of the explanation for this sudden jump in pageviews of my blog may be due to it rising in Google's PageRank and thus attracting more `passing trade'?

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to it. [return]
2. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82e. [return]
3. Ramsey, C.B., 2008, "Shroud of Turin," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, 23 March, Version 152, Issued 16 June 2015. [return]

Posted: 4 August 2016. Updated: 7 August 2016.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #9

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

Introduction. This is an update of the fifth and final installment of part #9 of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[2] was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89)[3], aided by German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89)[4], on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. Previous posts in this series were parts: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8. I will link the main headings in these posts back to my previous, "My theory ..." posts on those topics.

[Above: "Sergei [or Sergey] Markov in February 2012"[5]. The Soviet official who the German hackers (including Koch) sold their hacked secrets to was a "Sergei Markov":

"For both Dob [Dirk-Otto Brezinski] and Carl [Peter Carl] it became apparent after an hour or so of being questioned that Pengo [Hans Heinrich Hübner] and Hagbard [Karl Koch] had gone to the authorities. Eventually, both of them confessed to espionage. But they weren't to be accorded the same leniency that Markus Hess got. ... Both were taken into custody. ... prosecutor Kohlhaas ... saw his case strengthen when, during the search of Carl's apartment, a Casio pocket calculator was found. It contained the telephone number for one Sergei Markov"[6].

The Sergey Markov in the photo above has been described as "Putin's man"[7]. In 2009 this "Sergei Markov" admitted to being behind a hacking cyber-attack on Estonia [8, 9]. While I can as yet find no evidence that this Sergey (or Sergei) Markov was a former KGB agent (he need not have been), I assume that he is the "Sergei Markov" who was the Soviet Union's point of contact with the German "KGB hackers" which included Karl Koch[10].

■ The Soviet Union had a motive to discredit the Shroud [#10(10) & #9]

• The Soviet Union was an atheist state. State atheism was an official policy in the Soviet Union[11]. The "USSR had, as an ideological objective, the elimination of religion and its replacement with atheism ... `Science' was counterposed to `religious superstition' in the media and in academic writing":

"At the time of the 1917 Revolution, the Russian Orthodox Church was deeply integrated into the autocratic state, enjoying official status. This was a significant factor that contributed to the Bolshevik attitude to religion and the steps they took to control it. Thus the USSR became the first state to have, as an ideological objective, the elimination of religion and its replacement with universal atheism. The communist regime confiscated religious property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in schools. ... the communists aimed to break the power of all religious institutions and eventually replace religious belief with atheism. `Science' was counterposed to `religious superstition' in the media and in academic writing ..."[12]
"Anti-religious and atheistic propaganda was implemented into every portion of soviet life ... publication of religious writing was banned":
"After the Russian Civil War, anti religious movements in the Soviet Union (gosateizm) attempted to stop the spread of religious beliefs as well as remove `prerevolutionary remnants'. The Bolsheviks were particularly hostile to the Russian Orthodox Church ... organizations as the League of the Militant Godless ridiculed all religions and harassed believers. Anti-religious and atheistic propaganda was implemented into every portion of soviet life: in schools, communist organizations ... and the media ... efforts to reorganise the week to improve worker productivity saw the introduction of the Soviet calendar, which had the side-effect that a `holiday will seldom fall on Sunday'. Within about a year of the revolution, the state expropriated all church property, including the churches themselves, and in the period from 1922 to 1926, 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and more than 1,200 priests were killed (a much greater number was subjected to persecution). Most seminaries were closed, and publication of religious writing was banned. The Russian Orthodox Church, which had 54,000 parishes before World War I, was reduced to 500 by 1940."[13]
The Shroud was included in this suppression of religion in the Soviet Union. Russian physicist Dr. Alexander Belyakov of the Moscow Center of Shroud Study, prefaced his address at a 1996 Shroud conference in Italy with, "In spite of the great interest in the Shroud among Christians and other people in Russia, there were no explorations of the Shroud up to now in our country ... [due to] the prevailing atheistic ideology":
"I am very grateful to the organizers of the conference for the invitation. It is a pleasure and a great honor for me to speak before you here, in Italy, where the great Christian relic - the Shroud of Jesus Christ - is stored ... In spite of the great interest in the Shroud among Christians and other people in Russia, there were no explorations of the Shroud up to now in our country. The reason is the presence of the prevailing atheistic ideology. Now the situation has changed ... ` Russia and Russian Orthodox Church there is a great interest to the Shroud of Turin'"[14]

• The Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse in the 1980s. By the mid-1980's the former Soviet Union (USSR) was on the verge of collapse:

"The prevailing mood of the Soviet leadership at the time of Brezhnev's death in 1982 was one of aversion to change. The long period of Brezhnev's rule had come to be dubbed one of "standstill", with an aging and ossified top political leadership. ... In 1988, the Soviet Union abandoned its nine-year war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces. ... In the late 1980s, the constituent republics of the Soviet Union started legal moves towards potentially declaring sovereignty over their territories, citing Article 72 of the USSR constitution, which stated that any constituent republic was free to secede."[15].
And in fact the USSR did collapse in late 1989, epitomised by the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989[16].

[Above: Germans on and around the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, 10 November 1989[17].]

• A first century radiocarbon date of the Shroud would have been a threat to the atheist USSR. Yet, despite its attempts to eradicate religion since the 1917 revolution, the USSR continued to have a large Christian population[18]. In the 1980s, three Christian denominations alone, had a total of about 56.5 million adherents:
"According to both Soviet and Western sources, in the late 1980s the Russian Orthodox Church had over 50 million believers ... The Georgian Orthodox Church ... In the late 1980s ... had ... an estimated 2.5 million followers ... The Armenian Apostolic Church ... In the 1980s ... had about 4 million adherents ..." [19]

And that does not count the 5.5 million Roman Catholics mainly in the satellite republics:

"Catholics formed a substantial and active religious constituency in the Soviet Union ... The majority of the 5.5 million Roman Catholics in the Soviet Union lived in the Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Latvian republics, with a sprinkling in the Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Russian republics."[20].

Nor does that count the Roman Catholics in Poland in the 1980s, which, assuming they were 80% of the population:

"There are 44 Catholic Dioceses in Poland ... Ever since Poland officially adopted Latin Christianity in 966, the Catholic Church has played an important religious, cultural and political role in the country ... As of 2005 a majority of Poles, approximately 88%, identified themselves as Roman Catholic, and 58% said they are active practicing Catholics, according to a survey by the Centre for Public Opinion Research. ... The CIA Factbook gives a number of 87.2% belonging to the Roman Catholic Church in 2012"[21].

and given a 37.5 million population in Poland in 1987 (see graph),

[Right (enlarge): Graph showing the population in Poland was about 37.5 million in 1987[22].]

that means there were about 30 million Roman Catholics in Poland in the late 1980s.

That totals about 92 million Christians in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. And if Protestants and other Christian denominations are included, that means there could have been about 100 million Christians in the crumbling, officially atheist, Soviet Union in the 1980s!

So a first-century radiocarbon date of the Shroud of Turin would have been perceived as a huge threat by the embattled Soviet leadership.

• If Timothy W. Linick had offered the Soviets a 14th century radiocarbon date of the Shroud they would have accepted it. So if Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick (see part #6) had approached the Soviet Union (through for

[Right: Photograph of Linick and report that, "He died at the age of forty-two on 4 June 1989, in very unclear circumstances ..."[23]. This is consistent with my theory that the KGB executed confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch between 23 and 30 May 1989 (see part #8), and Linick on 4 June 1989[24], the day after the West German police had publicly released the identity of a burnt body as Koch's on 3 June 1989[25], to prevent Koch or Linick revealing that the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to 1325 ±65[26] was the result of a KGB-sponsored computer hacking by Linick, aided by Koch.]

example the Soviet consulate in San Francisco):

"Since most of what they [the Soviet Union] were interested in, especially technology for advanced computing, was on a list of highly restricted technologies maintained by a consortium of Western nations known as COCOM, the Soviets had long since resorted to extralegal means of procuring hardware and software. The FBI liked to maintain that Northern California's Silicon Valley, where much of American computer innovation resided, was crawling with KGB agents. The FBI claimed that one of the primary missions of the Soviet consulate in San Francisco was to funnel U.S. technology into the Soviet Union"[27].
with an offer to guarantee that the Shroud would be radiocarbon dated to about 25-30 years before it first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in the 1350s (see part #1), the Soviets would surely have accepted that offer.

To be continued in part #10 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 1 April 2016. [return]
5. "Sergey Alexandrovich Markov," Wikipedia, 25 June 2016. [return]
6. Hafner, K. & Markoff, J., 1991, "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier," Corgi: London, reprinted, 1993, pp.292-293. [return]
7. "Putin's Man Warns Finland About NATO Membership and Russophobia," Finbay, 9 June 2014. [return]
8. Coalson, R., 2009, "Russia admits to Cyber Attack on Estonia," La Russophobe, March 9. [return]
9. Leyden, J., 2009, "Russian politician: 'My assistant started Estonian cyberwar'," The Register, 10 March. [return]
10. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.293. [return]
11. "State atheism: Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 23 July 2016. [return]
12. "Religion in the Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 23 May 2016. [return]
13. "State atheism: Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 23 July 2016. [return]
14. Belyakov, A., 1996, "Prospects of Research of the Turin Shroud in Russia," [return]
15. "Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 21 July 2016. [return]
16. "Berlin Wall," Wikipedia, 9 July 2016. [return]
17. Ibid. [return]
18. "State atheism: Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 23 July 2016. [return]
19. "Religion in the Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 23 May 2016. [return]
20. Ibid. [return]
21. "Roman Catholicism in Poland," Wikipedia, 4 June 2016. [return]
22. "Demographics of Poland," Wikipedia, 10 July 2016, [return]
23. Bonnet-Eymard, B., 2000, "The Holy Shroud is as Old as the Risen Jesus, IV. Caution! Danger!, The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, No 330, Online edition, May. [return]
24. Jull & Suess, 1989. [return]
25. "WikiFreaks, Pt. 4 `The Nerds Who Played With Fire'," The Psychedelic Dungeon, 15 September 2010h; and Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
26. The cited radiocarbon dating range "1260-1390" of the Shroud is equivalent to "the year AD 1325, give or take sixty-five years either way." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.7). [return]
27. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.226. [return]

Posted: 30 July 2016. Updated: 3 August 2016.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"5 minutes with ... The earliest painted representation of the Turin Shroud," Shroud of Turin News, June 2016

Shroud of Turin News - June 2016
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: June 2016, part #1] [Next: July 2016, part #1]

This is part #2 of the June 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The article's words are bold to distinguish them from mine.

"5 minutes with ... The earliest painted representation of the Turin Shroud," Christie's, 7 June 2016. Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts specialist Eugenio Donandoni explains how while looking through a series of unrecorded illuminations in a 16th-century prayerbook he made one quite startling discovery

[Above (enlarge): "The double-page depiction of the Turin Shroud in its undamaged state, held by three Bishops, is perhaps the earliest explicit painted representation of the holy relic as we know it today."]

This is not necessarily the earliest painted copy of the Shroud. The Lier copy of the Shroud, dated 1516, kept in the Church of St. Gommaire, Lier, Belgium, and attributed to Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)[2] is generally regarded as the earliest known surviving, painted, copy of the Shroud.

[Right (enlarge)[3]. The Lier copy of 1516, showing the L-shaped `poker holes', the spear wound in the side and the shoulders and upper arms which were destroyed in the 1532 fire.]

And this article speculates (see below) that this prayerbook copy of the Shroud may have been painted after a visit in 1512 by Johann von Erlach (1474-1539) to Charles III, Duke of Savoy (1486–1553), at Chambéry, who may have given von Erlach a private viewing of the Shroud.

But there was a public exposition of the Shroud at Chambéry in 1521 and significantly the Shroud was then held "by three bishops":

"1521 ... Shroud exhibited at Chambéry ... Carried by three bishops, it is shown on the castle walls, and then for privileged observers hung over the high altar of the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry."[4]
And the background in the above Shroud copy is outdoors, with paving under the bishops' feet and green fields behind them, not of a private viewing inside Chambéry's Royal Chapel. Such open-air public expositions of the Shroud were held at Chambéry pre-1532, "from the top of the walls of the château in the direction of a certain meadow" (my emphasis):
"Early sources are frustratingly vague about the public ostensions [expositions] held at Chambéry. No detailed descriptions have been located, but we are told in a travel diary of 1517 that the public exhibition took place `from the top of the walls of the château in the direction of a certain meadow that is there outside the town for the convenience of the pilgrims.'"[5]
and they continued after the fire up to at least 1561, "facing the open fields" (my emphasis):
"In August 1561 the minutes of the Senate of Savoy record ostensions in two locations: one from a `newly made gallery' erected on the city walls facing the open fields of Verney and, two days later, another showing `en la place du Chateau.' In the latter instance the preposition `en' suggests the possibility that the display was mounted at or near the level of the square, presumably from a temporary stage."[6]
So this prayerbook copy of the Shroud, while earlier than 1532 when the Shroud was damaged by a fire in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry, seems unlikely to be earlier than the Lier copy of 1516.

`What first drew me to this manuscript was the fact that it contained previously unrecorded illuminations by the Master of Claude de France,' explains Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts specialist Eugenio Donadoni. This article does not clarify that Claude de France (1499–1524), was a woman, in fact the below-mentioned, "Queen of France, wife of François I," i.e. King Francis I (1494–1547). And while I don't expect the article to have mentioned it, she was the mother of Margaret of France (1559–74), who married the very powerful and very important for Savoy and Shroud history, Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy (1553–1580), and they had only one child, the also very important Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy (1562–1630), and in fact Queen Claude of France was an ancestor of all subsequent Dukes of Savoy[7].

The Master of Claude de France was `a brilliantly accomplished' anonymous artist named after two manuscripts he painted for the Queen of France, wife of François I. `That on its own is a great selling point,' confirms the specialist. While this "Master of Claude de France" is very important from an art perspective, and therefore for the "selling point" value of this prayerbook, it is irrelevant from the Shroud's perspective because, as the article later states (see below), "There is another artist at work in the manuscript - probably Swiss" and it was this unknown artist who painted the Shroud copy.

It was when the manuscript finally came into the office for Donadoni to catalogue, however, that he discovered the stories it revealed were far more compelling and fascinating than he could ever have expected. ... `First, I identified the coat of arms on the opening leaf, and consequently the armour-clad man in the portrait kneeling beside his name-saint John the Baptist,' he recalls. Presumably this should have been "name-sake"?

... There is another artist at work in the manuscript - probably Swiss - and this, says Donadoni, is `where it gets interesting'. One of the double-page illustrations by this second artist shows three bishops holding what at first glance looks like a long, unfurled banner. ... The double-page depiction of the Turin Shroud in its undamaged state, held by three Bishops, is perhaps the earliest explicit painted representation of the holy relic as we know it today See above. By "undamaged state" is meant before the fire of 1532 (see below).

`We had, at first, thought that the banner may have originally carried an inscription, now erased, but on closer inspection we noticed extremely faint - almost imperceptible - front-and-back images of a naked, bearded man with shoulder-length hair and hands folded across his groin, and what seemed like droplets of blood and a wound in his side,' the specialist recounts.

[Left (enlarge): The prayerbook copy of the Shroud, enlarged, rotated and cropped. As can be seen, the back (upper) copy depicts a pair of L-shaped `poker holes' and the pool of blood in the small of the man's back. Both front and back images show the man's shoulders and upper arms which were lost in the 1532 fire, and the front and back head images have blood from the crown (or cap) of thorns. And the front (lower) copy depicts the blood from the spear wound in the side and one of the L-shaped `poker holes'.]

`This was then clearly a unique depiction of the Shroud of Turin,' he says, ... It is trivially true that this prayerbook copy is "unique," just as every other painting is. However, if by "unique" Donadoni means that it was painted before the 1532 fire, then that is false because the 1516 Lier copy also was. ... referring to the linen cloth in which Jesus of Nazareth was wrapped and is now kept in the Royal Chapel of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin. It sounds like Donadoni is himself a Shroud pro-authenticist because most writers of secular articles about the Shroud say something like, "The Shroud of Turin ... a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man, is believed by some Christians to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth..."[8] not "the linen cloth in which Jesus of Nazareth was wrapped ..." (my emphasis)! But on the other hand Donadoni evidently did not know about the Lier copy (see below) so perhaps I am reading too much into his words.

The history of the Shroud in the 15th and 16th centuries is well recorded: in 1453 it was bequeathed to the House of Savoy and was stored in Chambéry, the capital of the region: `We know that in 1512 Johann von Erlach travelled on a diplomatic mission to meet Charles III, Duke of Savoy, so it is not implausible that on such an occasion he could have been shown the Shroud.' It is implausible. The Savoys did not grant private expositions of the Shroud to mere envoys on diplomatic missions. Could he have been so inspired by the visit that he had the holy relic reproduced in his prayerbook?' There is no need to speculate that von Erlach was inspired by a private viewing of the Shroud to have a miniature copy painted for his prayerbook. As pointed out above, there was a public exposition of the Shroud at Chambéry in 1521, and von Erlach could have seen the Shroud then. And he may simply have bought this painted miniature copy of the Shroud to put in his prayerbook.

`Even more fascinating is the manner in which it is depicted,' continues Donadoni. The Shroud was damaged by a fire in 1532 and somewhat clumsily repaired with patches by the Poor Clare Nuns. Calling the Poor Clare Nuns' 1534 repairs to the fire-damage Shroud, "clumsy" fails to understand that they were not professional restorers and they were no doubt under strict instructions what they could and could not do. Evidently their task was to remove burnt areas of the Shroud and then cover over with patches the unsightly charred holes that remained.

Giulio Clovio, one of the great artists of the Italian Renaissance, would paint a version of the Shroud in his 1540 Descent from the Cross [Right (enlarge): Even enlarged I cannot make out the Shroud fire damage Donadoni mentions], and that representation - as with all other surviving representations - clearly shows the damage suffered in the fire. It seems that this Christie's "Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts specialist" is not an art specialist because he evidently does not know about the 1516 Lier copy above, which does not show the damage suffered in the 1532 fire because it pre-dated it.

`The double-page depiction of the Turin Shroud in this manuscript shows it in its undamaged state,' Donadoni points out, `which means that it is therefore perhaps the earliest painted representation of the holy relic as we know it today!' No. See above. While this prayerbook copy of the Shroud is presumably pre-1532, there is no reason to think it is earlier that the 1516 Lier copy. As pointed out above, Donadoni's speculation that just because von Erlach paid a diplomatic visit to Duke Charles III of Savoy at Chambéry in 1512, that is no reason to think that von Erlach was given a private viewing of the Shroud. And as we saw, it is evident from the prayerbook painting itself that the setting of the exposition was outdoors, on a paved area with a green background representing the fields around Chambéry where there are records that public expositions of the Shroud were held before (and after) the 1532 fire.

Nevertheless, despite these unnecessary and ill-founded speculations by Donadoni, this Johann von Erlach (1474-1539) prayerbook miniature copy of the Shroud is presumably the second earliest, after the 1516 Lier copy, surviving painted copy of the Shroud!

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to it. [return]
2. Hynek, R.W., 1951, "The True Likeness," [1946], Sheed & Ward: London, p.11; Humber, T., 1978, "The Sacred Shroud," [1974], Pocket Books: New York NY, p.37; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.106. [return]
3. Moretto, G., 1999, "The Shroud: A Guide," Paulist Press: Mahwah NJ, p.18. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1996, "Shroud History: Highlights of the Undisputed History," [return]
5. Scott, J.B., 2003, "Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin," University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, p.47. [return]
6. Scott, 2003, p.47. [return]
7. Jones, S.E., 2016, "Savoy Family Tree," (members only). [return]
8. "Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 27 July 2016. [return]

Posted: 26 July 2016. Updated: 4 August 2016.