This is my `fleshed out' response to an anonymous comment on my post "Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date for the Shroud has to be wrong!: #2 The Vignon markings (3)." I have improved the poor English of the comment.
>I'm confused, I heard it was made by a bas-relief metal sculpture heated but I'm not sure could some one elaborate because I'm on the verge of accepting authenticity but the bas-relief theory seems somewhat credible.[Right: A bas-relief `duplicate' of the Shroud, by Paul-Eric Blanrue and Patrick Shepherd, "A false Shroud of Turin carried out in five minutes," Science et Vie, June 2005. Its gross inferiority to the Shroud face is obvious. Note the `hot spot' on the nose (see below) and the bright bloodstains due either to them having been cooked, or added after the image was formed (see below).]First, "bas relief is a sculpture technique in which ... relief is created either by carving away material ... or adding material to the top of an otherwise smooth surface":
"bas relief ... A French term from the Italian basso-relievo ("low relief"), bas relief is a sculpture technique in which figures and/or other design elements are just barely more prominent than the (overall flat) background. Bas relief is created either by carving away material (wood, stone, ivory, jade, etc.) or adding material to the top of an otherwise smooth surface (say, strips of clay to stone). This is a technique as old as humankind's artistic explorations, and is closely related to high relief." ("bas relief," Shelley Esaak, About.com: Art History).On that definition, "bas-relief" is a misnomer for the Shroud image, because the latter is double-sided, front and back and a bas-relief is a single-sided flat surface, upon which relief is built up. What really is (or should be) meant by "bas-relief" in the context of attempting to explain, or duplicate, the Shroud image, is "statue."
In this post I am going to concentrate on the `hot statue scorch' rather that the `cold powder rubbing' method of using a statue or `bas-relief' to recreate the Shroud image because: a) there is no powder (or dye, pigment or paint) on the Shroud in sufficient quantity to account for its image:
"Unfortunately, Mueller, Nickell, and others who have jumped onto the McCrone bandwagon seem blissfully unaware that for purely technical reasons the painting theory, regardless of the methodology, is a dead issue. Amazingly enough they continue to flog away at the now rotting carcass of this long dead horse. Nickell, for example, touts a dusting/rubbing method which obviously would leave a heavy distribution of chemicals between the fibers of the cloth and on its reverse side. Body paintings and rubbings invariably contain pigment layers and distortion in three-dimensional projection, all of which are absent on the Shroud." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "The Shroud and the Controversy," 1990, p.30);
and b) the commenter asked me about "a bas-relief metal sculpture heated" (my emphasis).
Here, are some problems of a hot statue/bas relief being used in creating the Shroud of Turin image:
1. The medieval, or earlier, forger first had to create the statue in stone or metal, with anatomical precision which was unknown until hundreds of years after the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in the mid-1350s:
"Even so the `hot statue' theory suffers from the serious problem that it demands the existence, back in the fourteenth century, of a life-size, anatomically convincing and totally nude statue of a recumbent Jesus, made in metal, that someone managed to heat to just the right temperature and manipulate so that a fourteen-foot length of linen could be wrapped all round it." (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, pp.203-204).
2. Such a statue would be one of the world's greatest artwork in its own right, yet there is no record of it having existed:
"Where is the statue or the bas-relief that the artist used? It would have graced the finest cathedral and become a famous image in its own right." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, p.109).
3. The forger could run off multiple copies of the Shroud from the stone or metal statue, and make a lot of money, but there is only one copy of the Shroud:
"An artist who was good enough to create an image as impressive as the Shroud's would surely have made many copies of it. Shroud copies of this level of artistry would have demanded a king's ransom." (Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.109).
4. The blood was on the Shroud linen before the image, so the forger would have to place the blood-stained linen over a hot statue, which would cook the blood:
"Microscopic and ultraviolet examinations of the Shroud indicate that the blood images were transferred to the cloth before the body image. If the body image were encoded through contact with a hot surface, thermal discoloration or degradation of bloodied fibrils would be evident because the blood images would have been in direct contact with the bas-relief heated to temperatures high enough to scorch linen. Indeed, this effect appeared in the experimental testing of this technique. Microscopic study of the bloodstains on the Shroud, however, reveals no thermal discoloration or fusing (except in areas where the fire marks of 1532 intersected bloodstains)." (Antonacci, M., "Resurrection of the Shroud," 2000, p.79).
"The many characteristics of the blood and serum marks also could not be reproduced with a draped hot statue. In particular, the blood marks would undergo thermal degradation as a result of their contact with a hot surface." (Antonacci, 2000, p.79).
5. The blood clots are intact on the Shroud, so the forger could not have smeared the clots as he placed the blood-stained linen shroud over a hot statue nor when he separated the linen sheet from the statue:
"The second sign of the resurrection on the Shroud concerns the body's removal from the cloth. The facts militate against the body being removed from the Shroud by any human means because the bloodstains are intact. As we saw earlier, each bloodstain is characterized by anatomical correctness, including precisely outlined borders, with blood clots intact. If the cloth had been removed from the body, the blood clots would have smeared or broken. This precludes any separation of the body from the cloth by normal means. A moment's reflection will reveal some of the medical reasoning here. When the linen was wrapped lengthwise around Jesus' body, it contacted the shed blood flowing from the head, the open chest wound, and the left wrist, feet, and elsewhere. As the blood dried, the linen would have become loosely attached to the wounds. Removing the Shroud, however carefully, would require both the removal of blood clots and the disturbing of the edges of the bloodstains. Since this did not happen with the Shroud, we may assert the probability that the body left the cloth in some way other than normal unwrapping of the Shroud. The contact bloodstains indicate that the body was not moved, rewrapped, of unwrapped. " (Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.156).
"The Man of the Shroud separated perfectly from the Shroud, with a technic which has left the imprints of blood clots on the fabric without leaving smears or streaks of blood, as would have happened if the clots had been moist, and without flaking or impairing these clots as would have happened if they had been dry." (Zeuli, T., "Jesus Christ is the Man of the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, Vol. 3, No. 10, March 1984, pp.32-33).
6. A hot statue would burn through the linen cloth but the Shroud image is extremely superficial, being only on the topmost fibrils, to a depth of only one-fifth of one thousandth of a millimetre (0.0002 mm):
"Even though the heated bas-relief produced better three-dimensional information than other methods, Jackson and colleagues concluded that this process could not encode many of the necessary Shroud image characteristics. For example, regardless of the temperature of the bas-relief, thermal discoloration appeared on the back side of the test cloth within several seconds after being placed on the hot bas-relief. Thus, the superficiality characteristic is violated because the image could not be encoded only on the topmost fibrils of the linen." (Antonacci, 2000, pp.78-79).
"Furthermore, the hot statue technique would scorch the image into multiple layers of the linen's threads, which means the image could not be superficial and confined to only the topmost fibrils of the cloth." (Antonacci, 2000, p.79).
7. A hot statue/bas relief would burn through, or scorch with a darker colour, the linen at high density contact points (e.g. the nose, hands, and feet):
"We turned once more to heat. A hot bas-relief - of all the models measured by the physicists - gave some distance information, but it was seriously flawed. When the bas-relief was hot enough to cause the recessed areas to show on linen, the hot spots, like the tip of the nose, burned through the cloth. Considering the heat conductivity of linen - wet or dry - the mechanism did not work." (Heller, J.H., "Report on the Shroud of Turin," 1983, p.211).
"Another objection to the hot statue method lies in the inevitable creation of `hot spots' or well-defined regions of enhanced image density at points where the statue touched the cloth. Such spots would necessarily result from thermal conduction, yet no such regions are present on the Shroud body image ... the entire image contains the same density of coloration." (Antonacci, 2000, p.79).
8. A hot statue scorch, like all heat scorches on linen, would fluoresce under ultraviolet light (as the scorches on the Shroud from the 1532 fire do), but the image on the Shroud does not fluoresce:
"Another popular concept has been that, instead of a body, a lifesize statue or relief was employed. Prior to 1978 there was considerable interest in the Shroud body image's similarity to the scorches from the 1532 fire. It was theorized that someone in the Middle Ages had produced the Shroud's delicate gradations by wrapping the cloth around a heated metal statue, the linen receiving scorches proportionately more intense according to the cloth's distance from any one part of the hot statue. Cogent as this idea might seem ... scorches fluoresce under ultraviolet light, and while the Shroud's scorches from the 1532 fire indeed do so, the body image does not." (Wilson, I., "The Evidence of the Shroud," 1986, p.66).
"Further contradicting any such `scorch' theory is the fact that the STURP team's ultraviolet fluorescence photography of 1978 revealed that whereas the cloth's scorches from the 1532 fire fluoresce red when irradiated with ultraviolet light, the body images do not. This argues strongly against the Shroud's body image having been created in some conventional scorch-like manner." (Wilson, 1998, p.204).
9. A scorch from a hot statue does not convey accurate three-dimensional information to the cloth it scorches:
"In short, though none of the Shroud opponents would willingly concede this point, the three-dimensional effect is the Waterloo for all artistic theories. That same effect has been scientifically demonstrated and subjected to the best peer review. And it still stands. Also, this same characteristic proves to be the acid test for all the image formation theories Dr. Jackson tried regardless of how well they met or failed to meet the other known Shroud image characteristics. A catalog of ruled-out theories includes the following: direct contact, diffusion, lab-induced radiation from a body shape, engraving, powdered bas-reliefs, electrostatic imaging, phosphorescent statues, hot statues or hot bas-reliefs." (Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, p.33. My emphasis).
Heated Bas-Relief/Scorch Theory Another possible image-forming mechanism similar to that proposed by Nickell involves pressing a stretched cloth over a heated bas-relief ... This theory is more intriguing than most because the Shroud image does appear to have many of the physical and chemical properties of a light scorch ... sharp focus found on the Shroud. While the bas-relief method seemingly yields a respectable three-dimensional image, problems are evident in the accompanying VP-8 relief of this image. Hollow spots below the eyes, next to the bridge of the nose, below the lips, in the beard, and on the forehead are all noticeable in figure. Further, a slight plateau is visible on the high spots of the VP-8 relief, similar to those produced in VP-8 analysis of results from experiments with direct-contact methods." (Antonacci, 2000, pp.77-78. Emphasis original).
10. A scorch from a hot statue/bas-relief would produce a blurred image, not the sharp, high-resolution image on the Shroud:
"Hot Statue Method Just as the heated bas-relief method cannot account for all the Shroud image characteristics, neither can the hot statue technique, which involves laying cloth over a full-size three-dimensional hot statue. A hot statue would produce an isotropic radiation source, which means the heat radiates the same in all directions. This type of uniform radiation could not produce the subtle cloth-drape distortions found on the Shroud because the distance information encoded onto the cloth would not be transferred along vertical, straight-line paths; instead, the heat would travel in all directions and produce a blurred image." (Antonacci, 2000, p.79. Emphasis original).
"Techniques other than painting have been proposed. One idea is that the scorchlike effect was created by heating a life-size metal statue and wrapping the cloth around it. But the end result, once again, is a distorted and bloated image." (Picknett, L. & Prince, C., "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," 2006, p.77).
Note that the last mentioned criticism of the "heating a life-size metal statue and wrapping the cloth around it" method was by two Shroud anti-authenticists!
There is a simple way to prove that the Shroud image was created by a bas-relief/hot statue method-replicate the full Shroud image, front and back, complete with bloodstains, using that method:
a. Make a metal or stone statue with the anatomical precision of the Shroud image (now that we have that anatomical knowledge unavailable in the 14th century), complete with over 100 accurate whip marks from a Roman flagrum, flower images, etc;
b. Apply anatomically correct arterial and venous blood (now that we have that knowledge of blood circulation since Harvey discovered it in the 1620s) to a ~4.4 x 1.1 metre linen cloth;
c. Heat the statue by burning coal, wood, charcoal or oil (since electric heating was unknown in the 14th century) to the correct uniform temperature (otherwise the scorch won't be uniform as the image is on the Shroud);
d. Envelop the hot statue with the bloodstained ~4.4 x 1.1 metre linen cloth, front and back, almost instantaneously so no part of the cloth receives more heat than the other (otherwise the scorch won't be uniform as the image is on the Shroud), without smearing the blood;
e. Ensure that the scorch does not fluoresce under ultraviolet light (which was unknown in the 14th century), as the Shroud's image doesn't, even though all heat scorches on linen do fluoresce under ultraviolet light;
f. Remove the cloth from the statue almost instantaneously so that no part of the cloth receives more heat than the other (otherwise the scorch won't be uniform as the image is on the Shroud), and before the scorch penetrates deeper than the topmost flax linen fibrils, but without breaking the blood clots adhering to both the statue and the linen cloth.
Clearly this cannot be done today, even though we have the Shroud as a model, let alone by a medieval or earlier forger who didn't, and therefore the hot statue/bas-relief theory is yet another failed naturalistic theory of how the Shroud's image was formed.