Monday, April 4, 2016

"Modern-day 'Indiana Jones' links Shroud to 1st century": Shroud of Turin News - March 2016

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

This is part #3 of the March 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The article's words are in bold to distinguish them from mine.

[Previous: March 2016, part #2] [Next: April 2016, part #1]

I received Philip E. Dayvault's book, "The Keramion: Lost and Found" (2016) by mail on 15th April. Having dipped into it, I can see it is just as wrong as his online 2011 PDF summary of his then future book. So I have now decided to review the book in installments in a separate post, in a format that can be posted, when finished, to and other booksellers which list the book and allow online readers' reviews of it. In the interim my recommendation to readers is not to buy the book, unless they are interested in Shroud fiction (or rather fantasy)! See also "Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity": Shroud of Turin News - February 2016 and My review of "The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God" (2016) by Philip E. Dayvault.

"Modern-day 'Indiana Jones' links Shroud to 1st century," WND, March 23, 2016, Jerome R. Corsi ... NEW YORK – An

[Above (enlarge): Photograph of a mosaic tile discovered in 2002 by Philip E. Dayvault in Sanliurfa (formerly Edessa), Turkey. According to historian Ian Wilson and classics scholar Mark Guscin, this is the earliest known depiction of the Image of Edessa/Mandylion, dating from "between the sixth and seventh centuries" (see below)[2]. Dayvault deserves great credit for discovering it. However it is NOT, as Dayvault claims, "The Keramion," as we shall see. Throughout this post I have assumed that the article's claims are Dayvault's, even though it was written by Jerome Corsi. See also my "Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity": Shroud of Turin News - February 2016."]

archaeological discovery that appears to place the origin of the Shroud of Turin in first century A.D. conflicts with three independent scientifically conducted radiocarbon 14 tests that estimated a date range of A.D. 1260-1390. See my series, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking." The shroud is believed by many scholars to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Philip E. Dayvault, a former FBI special agent and physical-science technician who has been studying the Shroud of Turin since 1973, ventured to Turkey on an Indiana Jones-like expedition in 2002. While there, he discovered a small mosaic in a faraway museum maintained by Muslim curators that appears to provide physical corroboration for the existence of the Shroud back in the first century. See my previous post on the "hype" ("Hype (derived from hyperbole) is promotion, especially promotion consisting of exaggerated claims" (my emphasis)[3]) in Dayvault's claims, and those making claims on his behalf. Even if this mosaic was The Keramion (which it isn't-see further), it would not itself be evidence that places "the origin of the Shroud of Turin in first century A.D." There is other evidence which does that.

The mosaic, known as the "ISA Tile," substantiates the salient points of the synthesized 1,700 year-old "Legend of King Abgar V." As pro-authenticist historian Dan Scavone has documented, the "Legend of King Abgar V" (i.e. that King Abgar V of Edessa (r. AD 13-50) was given the Mandylion/Image of Edessa (the Shroud tetradiplon = "four-doubled") by Jesus' disciple Thaddeus (Addai)) is almost certainly false:

"I have turned up evidence that points directly to the late-second-century Edessan king Lucius Abgar VIII Megas (Abgar the Great. 177-212 CE [aka Abgar IX]) as the originator of the legend of Abgar V's apostolic conversion. It was he who inserted the Abgar V story - as we have it - in the royal archives. This king was concerned to provide his lands with a conversion by a direct disciple of Jesus. In fact, we now have evidence that Abgar VIII himself was converted to the orthodox Faith - and at a time when all manner of Christian teachings were competing for the minds and hearts of the people of Edessa. The writer of the DA [Doctrine of Addai] thus will have found in the archives that Abgar V. who suffered a crippling ailment, sent his agents on a mission to the Roman governor at Eleutheropolis ["a Roman city in Israel, some 53 km southwest of Jerusalem"[4]]. We know this information can only have come from Abgar VIII's time, since it was only about 200 that Roman emperor Lucius Septimius Severus renamed the town of Beth Gubrin as Eleutheropolis, to celebrate his granting of municipal status to its people. There is more: significantly, according to Rome's sixth-century Liber Pontificalis, King Lucius Abgar VIII - who took his nomenclature to honor his Roman conqueror, the same Lucius Septimius Severus - sent a letter to Pope Eleutherus (175-189) asking for missionaries to come and preach the Faith in his city. We also know from the important Roman historian Dio Cassius (150-235) that this Abgar, now friend of the Roman Empire, paid a celebrated state visit to Rome in the time of Pope Eleutherus. The coincidence of Abgar letter to the pope and his presence in Rome argue strongly for Abgar VIII's studied acceptance of orthodox Christianity. It speaks to the determined efforts of this king to combat paganism (as his contemporary Bardaisan wrote in his Dialogus de Fato. In the pre-Nicene setting of Abgar VIII, still a time of multiple Christian sects, we may surmise that this Christian king wisely saw the value of his city's conversion by an immediate colleague of Jesus, one who would surely be in a position to teach the most orthodox form of Christian beliefs, as received from an intimacy with Jesus himself. Hence, we find the story of Abgar V's first-century conversion and the roles of Thomas and Thaddaeus/Addai inserted in the archives."[5]
The legend allegedly chronicles how the Shroud of Turin went from Jerusalem to Turkey before arriving in Turin, Italy, where the Catholic Church preserves it in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. That the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud was taken from Edessa in 944 to Constantinople is well- established:
"943 A large army sent by the Byzantine emperor Romanus arrives at the walls of Edessa, then still under Arab Muslim control. The Byzantine general promises to leave Edessa untouched, to pay a large sum of money, and to release 200 high-ranking Muslim prisoners, all in return for surrender of the Jesus-imprinted cloth. After Edessa's emir consults with the Muslim leadership in Baghdad a deal is struck, much against the wishes of Edessa's citizens, and the cloth is taken off to Constantinople.
944 15 August. After a long land journey across the breadth of what is today Turkey, the Jesus-imprinted cloth of Edessa is received in Constantinople amid great celebrations. It is accorded its own feast day, 16 August. Because of the awe in which the cloth is regarded in Eastern Orthodox thought, there is no public showing, only privileged private showings. The cloth is installed in the Pharos Chapel of Constantinople's Imperial Palace, the repository of other most sacred relics of Jesus."[6]
That the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud was in Edessa in 544 is also fairly well-established:
"544 Persian king Kavadh's son and successor Khosraw arrives before Edessa's walls with a yet more formidable army. The Persians are again repulsed - but this time reputedly thanks to the protective powers of the Jesus-imprinted cloth now confidently referred to as having been brought to Edessa during the reign of Abgar V five centuries earlier. According to later Byzantine sources this cloth had recently been found sealed in a niche above one of the city's gates. Its immediately famed facial imprint of Jesus is unequivocally described as 'not by hand made'. Some near contemporary accounts refer to it as on a sindon, also as tetradiplon, doubled in four, suggesting that it was on a large cloth folded considerably smaller than its full size.
540s At much this same time there appear in Christian art the very distinctive depictions of Jesus as long-haired and bearded that are essentially universally accepted as his likeness to this day. According to manuscripts recently found at St Catherine's monastery, Sinai, Syriac- speaking monks of this time travelled from Edessa and its surrounds carrying with them depictions of this likeness. Directly drawn from the Jesus-imprinted cloth of Edessa, these depictions were used to decorate newly founded churches in Georgia and elsewhere. Meanwhile the original cloth itself is housed in Edessa's Hagia Sophia cathedral, reputedly one of the most beautiful shrines in all Christendom."[7]
But that the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud was discovered in 525 in one of Edessa's walls after a major flood:
"525 Edessa suffers its most serious flood yet, with thirty thousand citizens estimated killed in the disaster, and several major churches destroyed. From Constantinople the very able emperor-to-be Justinian initiates a major reconstruction programme. This involves re-routing Edessa's river Daisan, reconstructing the city's walls, and completely rebuilding several churches, including the cathedral, subsequently to be known as Hagia Sophia, like its Constantinople counterpart. These are the likely circumstances in which the Jesus-imprinted cloth became rediscovered."[8]
is not well-established and indeed contrary to the evidence. Pro- authenticist attorney Jack Markwardt's theory[9] is more plausible that the Mandylion/Shroud had been hidden in one of Antioch's gates until a major earthquake in 526 followed by a fire destroyed most of Antioch's buildings and uncovered the Mandylion/Shroud's hiding place (see below). The Mandylion/Shroud was then taken to Edessa in 540 where it had a lower status than Abgar V's (forged) letter from Jesus (see my "Chronology of the Shroud 31-176"), until as a last resort the Mandylion/Shroud was instrumental in repelling the Persian siege of Edessa in 544. The Edessans then raised the status of the Mandylion/Shroud to Edessa's primary palladium and falsely `retrofitted' the true uncovering of the Mandylion/Shroud's hiding place in Antioch's walls after the 526 earthquake, to Edessa's flood of 525. Dayvault must be aware of Markwardt's Antioch theory because Markwardt's first presentation of two papers on his Antioch theory "Antioch and the Shroud" (1998) and "The Fire and the Portrait" (1998) [10] were at the 1998 Dallas Symposium at which Dayvault presented four papers[11].

The archeological find in Turkey In an interview with WND, Dayvault recalled it was May 21, 2002, when he found the ISA Tile mosaic "in the innermost sanctum of the archaeological museum in faraway Şanliurfa, Turkey." "I was there because I was researching ancient oil lamps ... I asked the director a second time for permission to conduct a `look-see' in the innermost sanctum, and he finally gave me permission to go in there and look around." ... It was a small area, some 20 by 30 feet in size, that was accessed only through a series of locked gates and doors. "In there, the most priceless artifacts were maintained by the museum," ... in the corner, on the second shelf, I found the ISA Tile, the mosaic that immediately caught my attention." ... "The Muslim curator with us, realizing I had spotted this, exclaimed, `Isa, Isa,' which I knew meant `Jesus, Jesus.' "Isa" means "Jesus" in Arabic[12].

[Above (enlarge): Edge views of the Sanliurfa mosaic in the article, photographed by Dayvault in 2002. Note that the mosaic base is limestone, not clay as the Keramion was (see below).]

"... I had immediately recognized the face on the mosaic as the same face as the crucified man in the Shroud of Turin." The museum had apparently kept the ISA Tile from public view for decades. But upon finding it, the curator explained to Dayvault's translator that the mosaic was actually the Muslim director's "most prized possession" of all artifacts in the museum. ... "The museum inventory records officially described the mosaic tile simply as depicting `a bearded man,' without any suggestion the bearded man was Jesus Christ." As mentioned in my previous post about this, the Museum Director told Ian Wilson and Mark Guscin that it was a mosaic of the "Image of Edessa":

"DR MEHMET ONAL sipped a glass of tea as we looked out over his excavation site. `I have a surprise for you both,' he said. `We have a mosaic of your "Image of Edessa" here in Sanliurfa.' ... As Sanliurfa's museum director Erman Bediz explained to us, it was just a six-inch-by-eight-inch fragment some local citizen had found while making structural alterations to his house. He had hacked it out then sold it to the museum on a no-questions- asked basis. It was not even on public display, kept hidden away in one of the museum's storerooms. Even so, as the very Islamic Dr Onal and his companions had already perceived, this was quite unmistakably some early mosaicist's interpretation of the prophet Jesus's face as imprinted on this city's one-time 'Image of Edessa' ... The point also immediately apparent to Mark Guscin and me, from our familiarity with depictions of the Image of Edessa to be found elsewhere, was that stylistically this unique Sanliurfan example dated somewhere between the sixth and seventh centuries. It was therefore not only the earliest- known such depiction; it came from the very city from which the legend of this mysterious cloth had originated"[13].
Dayvault admits that if this account is true, then "the ISA Tile would have been only a copy of an even earlier prototype":
"The provenance of the Shroud has been relatively historically determined, but even less so for the ISA Tile, or the historical Keramion. Its vague historical provenance suggests a time in nearby Hierapolis, or possibly even Georgia; and later, in Constantinople. The museum obtained it in 1972 from a local citizen who said he had `cut it out of a wall' while renovating a house. According to a confidential source, museum officials were never able to obtain the exact location of this house. The donor had sold it to the museum for an `undisclosed amount of money' and on a strict `no-questions-asked' basis, a fairly common practice in Turkey. If his story were true, the ISA Tile would have been only a copy of an even earlier prototype" (his emphasis)[14].
That is presumably because Dayvault would have to explain how this mosaic came from Constantinople in 1204 (see below) to a house in Edessa, which was, and has been continuously since 1144, under Moslem rule.

In his recently published book, "The Keramion: Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God," [See book cover] he describes the discovery and discusses the importance of the find. As mentioned in that previous post, I have ordered Dayvault's book but it hasn't arrived as yet [It arrived on 15th April]. When it does I will briefly review it in a Shroud of Turin News [See above for my change of plan.] ... Dayvault ... took photographs of the ISA Tile from different angles and views. "The ISA Tile looked heavy, like concrete, but it was surprisingly as light as a feather when picked up," ... "The overall size of the tile was approximately 9x12x4 inches. This is an important account of Dayvault's handling and photographing of the mosaic, since Wilson and Guscin apparently never saw it, let alone handled it:

"The photo of the mosaic reproduced as this book's plate 110, and on the back cover [see previous post], does not carry the Sanliurfa Museum's official permission. When Mark Guscin and I were told of the mosaic's existence, we positively pleaded to be allowed to view the original, only to be told by the museum director that this needed approval from Ankara. But despite this being obtained we heard nothing back from the museum, and at the time of going to press have been unable to obtain an official photo and permission despite our best efforts. The photo, reproduced from a Turkish journal, is therefore provided here in the public interest." (my emphasis) [15].

The beveled substrate base of the tile was most likely tufa, or a volcanic ash and limestone mixture, extremely light and durable in nature." This alone proves false Dayvault's claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion" (see below). The Greek word "keramion" derives from keramos, which means "clay" and includes "a roofing tile":

"keramion ... a dimin[utive] fr[om] keramos ... an earthen vessel, a pot, jar; a jug or pitcher ... Mk. xiv. 13; Lk. xxii 10 ... keramos ... 1. clay, potter's earth. 2. anything made of clay, earthen ware. 3. spec. a (roofing) tile."[16]
And apart from the fact that a mosaic is not a clay tile, "tufa" is "a variety of limestone":
"Tufa is a variety of limestone, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from ambient temperature water bodies."[17]

The legend According to the legend of King Abgar V, shortly after the Ascension of Jesus Christ, in about A.D. 30, Judas Thaddeus, one of Christ's 12 disciples (or Thaddaeus, one of the seventy-two disciples), allegedly carried to King Abgar V in Edessa – an ancient city in upper Mesopotamia that is now modern-day Şanliurfa, Turkey – a cloth that bore the face of Jesus Christ. See above quote by pro-authenticist historian Dan Scavone, that the Abgar V legend is anachronistic and therefore false. As I mentioned in another previous post, even in Eusebius' ~325 mention of the (unknown to him forged Abgar letter) there was nothing about an image of Jesus on a cloth.

It was known then as the "Image of Edessa," which many today associate with the current Shroud of Turin. That the Abgar V legend is false does not change the fact that the "Image of Edessa" is rightly called that because the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud was at Edessa for four centuries from 544 to 944 (see above).

The legend relates that King Abgar V, afflicted with an incurable illness speculated to be gout or possibly leprosy, supposedly had heard of the miracles being performed by Jesus. So he wrote to Jesus and asked him to come to Edessa to cure him. The historian Eusebius records that while Jesus was unable to come to Edessa, he was impressed that Abgar believed without seeing him, while many who had witnessed Jesus did not believe in him. Upon seeing the cloth, King Abgar V was healed. Dayvault begins to mislead his readers, in order to support his false claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion":

"While conducting ancient oil lamp research in museum depots in Turkey during May 2002, Philip E. Dayvault, of Raleigh, NC, discovered a mosaic which depicts the Face of Christ and is remarkably derived from the Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus Christ. By comparing its image with various ancient Christological depictions, i.e., paintings, Icons, frescoes, and mosaics, he subsequently determined this mosaic to be the prototype of numerous Christological depictions; and also, the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion"[18]
But as Scavone pointed out, in Eusebius' "version there is no mention of a portrait" (or cloth) and it was Jesus' "letter which cured Abgar":
"The Abgar story was also told, somewhat differently, by Eusebius, fourth century Bishop of Caesarea (in Palestine). In his version there is no mention of a portrait. He alters another point: He reports that Jesus sent his reply to Abgar in a letter, and it was this letter which cured Abgar and was kept with all honor and care"[19]
In response, he converted to Christianity and Edessa became one of the first Christian communities outside Jerusalem. That Abgar V (r. 13-50) sent one of his servants Ananias (a Jewish name) to ask Jesus to come and heal him and Jesus promised verbally to send a disciple after His death, resurrection and ascension, to heal Abgar and preach the gospel in Edessa, which subsequently happened through Thaddeus, I accept as the likely "kernel of fact"[20] behind the Abgar V legend. The legend continues that King Abgar displayed the cloth and had a tile bearing the facial image of Jesus Christ placed over a Western Gate of the "City" (Citadel), as a memorial directing visitors to Edessa to pay homage to the image of Jesus Christ. The Western Gate was NOT the "Citadel." See the map of ancient Edessa below which shows the "West Gate" is different from the "Citadel" and in fact they are

[Above (enlarge): "Edessa in its heyday as a Christian city ... only the citadel remains"[21]. Note that the "West Gate" (middle left) is different from the "Citadel" (lower left).]

about 700 metres (~2300 feet) apart. Also as can be seen in the Google Earth photograph of the Citadel below, it had no western gate. Indeed the Citadel did not exist in the time of Abgar V,

[Above (enlarge): "Edessa citadel, Urfa, Turkey (TR)"[22]. As can be seen, especially when enlarged, the Edessa Citadel has no western gate. As would be expected, the only access to it is from within the city, from the north.]

having been built by Abgar VIII in 205 (see quote below)[23]! Dayvault is trying to force the facts fit his theory, rather than the other way around. Because only the Citadel exists today, Dayvault has `matched' his photograph of the underside of the Sanliurfa mosaic with vague features on a stone block at what he falsely called "the Western Gate

[Above (enlarge): Dayvault's claimed "unique features" of a stone block at what he calls the "Western Gate" of Edessa's Citadel and the underside of the Sanliurfa mosaic[24]. Note that the "Toolmark Impressions" and "`Screw like' Mark(s)" would be on the wrong sides if the mosaic was placed over the block. This can be verified by printing out the photograph, pushing a pin through the "W. Gate Stone Block" photograph at the arrow points of the "Toolmark Impressions," "`Screw like' Mark" and "Triangulated Point," then cutting out the underside of the tile photograph around the "Consistent Margins." When the cut out of the tile is laid over the "W. Gate Stone Block," face to face, aligned with the "Consistent Margins" and a pin is pushed through the latter's pin holes through the overlaid tile photograph cut out, it can be seen that the respective arrow points are nowhere near each other! Also the "`Screw like' Mark(s)" don't look anything like each other. And the "Consistent Margins" have just been drawn by Dayvault.]

of the Citadel"[25], and then falsely claimed that was where the Sanliurfa mosaic tile (which Dayvault falsely claims is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion") had been!

In A.D. 57, the second son of King Abgar V, named Ma'nu VI, Ma'nu VI (r. 57-71) was evidently not Abgar V's son but his grandson (see below), i.e. Ma'nu V's (r. 50–57) son [26] assumed the throne and reverted to paganism, at which time the cloth bearing the image of Jesus, the Keramion tile and an oil lamp were concealed in a tunnel niche of the Western Gate of the Citadel. This is simply false. As we saw above, not only was there no "Western Gate of the Citadel," the Citadel did not exist in "A.D. 57" but was built by Abgar VIII in AD 205:

"Biblical scholar Adolf Harnack [1851-1930] first noticed in 1904 that the interpolated King Lucius in the Liber Pontificalis was really King Abgar VIII, full name Lucius Aelius [Aurelius] Septimius Megas Abgarus VIII (177-212 [aka Abgar IX]), first Christian king of Edessa and the only King Lucius who espoused Christianity in the late second century, time of Pope Eleutherus. Harnack also revealed the crucial fact that Edessa was sometimes referred to by a term describing its citadel: in Syriac Birtha, in Latin Britium. The sixth-century Syriac Chronicle of Edessa announces that "in the year 205 Abgar VIII built the Birtha."[27]
And as Scavone showed above, it was Abgar the Great (177-212), who was "the originator of the legend of Abgar V ... It was he who inserted the Abgar V story - as we have it - in the royal archives."

But even according that legend, on which Dayvault bases his entire claim, it was clearly "the public gate of the city" (i.e. Edessa's Western Gate - see map above), not the non-existent Western Gate of the then non-existent Citadel where "the cloth bearing the image of Jesus, the Keramion tile and an oil lamp were concealed," as can be seen in the 945 "Story of the Image of Edessa":

"A statue of one of the notable Greek gods has been erected before the public gate of the city by the ancient citizens and settlers of Edessa to which everyone wishing to enter the city had to offer worship and customary prayers. Only then could he enter into the roads and streets of the city. Abgar [V] then destroyed this statue and consigned it to oblivion, and in its place set up this likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ not made by hand, fastening it to a board and embellishing it with the gold which is now to be seen, inscribing these words on the gold: `Christ the God, he who hopes in thee is never disappointed.' And he laid down that everyone who intended to come through that gate, should-in place of that former worthless and useless statue-pay fitting reverence and due worship and honor to the very wondrous miracle-working image of Christ, and only then enter the city of Edessa. And such a monument to and offering of his piety was preserved as long as Abgar and his son [Ma'nu V] were alive, his son succeeding to his father's kingdom and his piety. But their son and grandson [Ma'nu VI] succeeded to his father's and grandfather's kingdom but did not inherit their piety, but spurned their piety and deserted to demons and idols. Therefore, as intending to pay their due to demons, he wished just as his grandfather had consigned that idolatrous statue to oblivion so he would bring the same condemnation on the image of the Lord also. But this treacherous move was balked of his prey. For the bishop of the region, perceiving this beforehand, showed as much forethought as possible, and, since the place where the image lay had the appearance of a semispherical cylinder, he lit a lamp in front of the image, and placed a tile on top. Then he blocked the approach from the outside with mortar and baked bricks and reduced the wall to a level in appearance. And because the hated image was not seen, this impious man desisted from his attempt. For the following reason, I think the priest decided to place the tile in front of the image namely that there might be no rot from the dampness of the building or the wetness of the mortar in the receptacle of the image which might increase the damage done by lapse of time. Then a long interval of time elapsed and the erection of this sacred image and its concealment both disappeared from men's memories." (my emphasis)[28]
They remained hidden there for some 468 years before being discovered by workmen rebuilding the walls in AD 525 after a devastating flood. This is highly implausible (to put it mildly) that the "the cloth bearing the image of Jesus, the Keramion tile and an oil lamp," having been bricked up above Edessa's public gate with no one noticing (itself highly implausible), it would then be completely forgotten by everyone. Much more plausible is Markwardt's Antioch theory that the Mandylion/Shroud had been hidden in one of Antioch's gates in 362 (and not necessarily forgotten), and had been taken to Edessa after its hiding place was uncovered following Antioch's 526 earthquake and before the Persian destruction of Antioch in 540:
"In October of 525, a great fire ravaged a considerable part of Antioch and, seven months later [in May 526], a major earthquake destroyed almost the entire city, including the Great Cathedral, and killed the Patriarch and more than 250,000 other people. ... This paper proposes that, in the process of clearing away the debris of the earthquake ... the Monophysites discovered the Shroud in the place where it had been hidden in 362. Persecuted by both Patriarch Ephraemius [d. 545] and Emperor Justinian [c. 482–565], the Monophysites could not exhibit the cloth; however, their possession of the Shroud may have been rumored. In ... 540 when King Chosroes I [of Persia] invaded Syria and marched his army to Antioch. ... This paper proposes that, before the Persian attack, the Monophysites of Antioch fled with the Shroud to a nearby safehaven where the local Christian Church had maintained a long tradition of ecclesiastical independence and where Monophysites constituted the religious majority and had their own bishop. In 540, the city of Edessa was clearly the most logical destination for the Monophysite refugees of Antioch. In 544, a holy icon "not made of human hands" was present in Edessa during its siege by King Chosroes. Ernst Von Dobschutz [1870–1934] concluded that this date indicates, more or less, the arrival of the icon in the city and his conclusion finds support in the fact that, prior thereto, no icon is mentioned in Edessan literature ..."[29].

Resemblance to artistic depictions of Jesus Dayvault wrote that "almost immediately after the Shroud's rediscovery in A.D. 525, Christian art flourished around the world, as fast as couriers and artists could travel, with many of the depictions bearing a resemblance to the Keramion face." First, the "Official History" does not say there was a "face" on the "tile" placed on top of the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud (see above). According to the "Official History" that was another tile which was at Hierapolis, Syria (modern Manbij):
"Christ entrusted this letter to Ananias, and knew that the man was anxious to bring to completion the other command of his master, that he should take a likeness of Jesus' face to Abgar. The Savior then washed his face in water, wiped off the moisture that was left on the towel that was given to him, and in some divine and inexpressible manner had his own likeness impressed on it. This towel he gave to Ananias and instructed him to hand it over to Abgar so that the latter might have some consolation for his longing and disease. When he was returning with these things, Ananias then hurried to the town of Hierapolis ... He lodged outside this city at a place where a heap of tiles which had been recently prepared was lying, and here Ananias hid that sacred piece of cloth. ... The Hieropolitans ... searched the spot and found there not only what Ananias had placed there, but also, in one of the tiles nearby, another copy of the likeness of the divine face. Unexpectedly and incomprehensibly the divine image had been transferred to the tile from the cloth without being drawn ... they retained the tile on which the divine image had been stamped, as a sacred and highly valued treasure. ..."[30]
That tile with "a likeness of Jesus' face" was still at Hieropolis when the 945 "Official History" was written, and was only transferred to Constantinople in 968:
"968 Byzantine Emperor Nicephoros Phocas [c. 912–969] orders the keramion, the tile reputedly discovered with the cloth of Edessa, to be transferred from Hierapolis [Syria] to Constantinople." (my emphasis)[31]
So it was this other tile, which had "a likeness of Jesus' face" on it, not the tile which was taken with the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud from Edessa to Constantinople in 944. I myself had not realised this.

He further contends that while the ISA Tile (Keramion) was displayed over the Western Gate of the Citadel in Edessa during its "public years," from approximately A.D. 30 to 57, it was readily available for artists to copy, paint and possibly even trace into copybooks. The "ISA Tile" is NOT the "Keramion" (for starters it is not made of clay which is what "keramion" means - see above). And it was NOT "displayed over the Western Gate of the Citadel in Edessa" (for starters "the Citadel in Edessa" did not exist until 205 - see above).

These copybooks were then used to transport the image likeness to other locations throughout the empire, where it was replicated in frescoes, mosaics and other works of art in cathedrals and catacombs. And there was NO "image likeness" on the tile placed on top of the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud. That "image likeness" was on another tile at Hierapolis, Syria, which was only transferred to Constantinople in 968, and was presumably the tile then called "the Keramion" - see above. And why would artists want to copy the face image on the Hierapolis (not Edessa) tile when they could copy the face image on the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud?

"I believe the ISA Tile, likely created in the time of King Abgar V as a representation of the image regarded today as the Shroud of Turin, served as the prototypic model for numerous ancient depictions of Jesus Christ that have survived today … and bearing the traditional image we recognize as the face of Jesus Christ," Dayvault wrote. Again, "the ISA Tile" was NOT "created in the time of King Abgar V." For starters Wilson and Guscin (the latter a world authority on the Image of Edessa) date the Sanliurfa mosaic (called by Dayvault "the ISA Tile") to "between the sixth and seventh centuries" (see above). And again, why would "the ISA Tile," being a mere "representation of the image" [on] "the Shroud of Turin" (i.e. the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud) be "the prototypic model for numerous ancient depictions of Jesus Christ" and not the "Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud" itself?

As evidence, Dayvault identified a long list of unique features known to Shroud scholars as "the Vignon markings." Many are observed when comparing the image of the bearded man on the ISA Tile to the image of the crucified man in the Shroud and to various artistic portraits of Jesus. Again, why would Dayvault claim that this "ISA tile" is the source of "the Vignon markings" and not the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud itself? Especially since (as we saw in my previous post, "Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity," the Sanliurfa mosaic has only "nine (9) Vignon markings" (which is impressive) but the Shroud has all fifteen (15)!

One such portrait is the famous image of "Christ Pantocrator," a painting made with hot wax and pigment on a wooden panel reportedly commissioned by Emperor Justinian and gifted to St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, Egypt, dating back to around A.D. 527. Again, why would Dayvault claim (or even think) that this Pantocrator was based on the Sanliurfa mosaic and not on the Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud original?

Several other christological depictions dating to circa A.D. first and second centuries have also been forensically examined and determined to have derived from the ISA Tile. Yes, "forensically examined and determined by" Dayvault!

Examining the ruins of the Western Gate of the Citadel from the ancient city of Edessa that are still standing in Şanliufa, Turkey, Dayvault believes he has found the hiding place inside the tunnel of the Western Gate of the Citadel. Since it can be seen above that there is NO "Western Gate of the Citadel," how could Dayvault, having been there, write this?

There, blocks were removed and a portion was chiseled out of the limestone or marble wall to accommodate and hide the Shroud of Turin, the Keramion and an oil lamp from the time when Ma'nu VI came to power. No, as we saw above, "the Shroud of Turin [as the Mandylion], the Keramion [no, just a tile-the Keramion was at Hierapolis until 968 - see above] and an oil lamp" were bricked up inside "the public gate of the city."

This was to prevent their certain destruction. He also identified several physical features still there, including two prominent marble pillars with Corinthian capitals that appear in paintings such as one dating from 1678 currently in the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve of the Moscow Kremlin Museums. What Dayvault omits to inform his readers is that these "Corinthian capitals" are at the Northern Gate of the Citadel of Edessa (see below). As the map below with a location key

[Above (enlarge): Corinthian capitals at the Citadel of Edessa[32].]

to the above photo of the Corinthian capitals shows.

[Above (enlarge): Extract of map with key showing the approximate location of the above Corinthian capitals (click on the original link to verify). They can be seen on the photo of the Citadel above as being at the Northern gate of the Citadel, not the non-existent Western gate, as Dayvault must know since he has been there but does not tell his readers[33].]

It depicts the discovery of the burial cloth of Christ, traditionally known as the "Mandylion" from its hiding place in the city walls of Edessa. That an artist in the 17th century depicted the "two prominent marble pillars with Corinthian capitals" which are at the Northern gate of the Citadel, in his painting representing the legend of the discovery of the Image of Edessa at the Western Gate in 525 (which didn't actually happen - see above), is

[Above (enlarge)[34]: A "seventeenth-century Russian icon of the cloth of Edessa in the Verkhospassky Cathedral, Moscow, showing the [legendary] discovery of the Edessa cloth in the sixth century, hidden in a niche above one of the city's gates"[35]. Presumably this is the "painting... dating from 1678 ... in the State Historical and Cultural Museum... Moscow ..." that Dayvault is referring to. Note the two columns in the distant background, above right, which presumably are meant by the artist to be those at the Northern gate of the Citadel.]

irrelevant. The artist was probably ignorant of the exact layout of Edessa in the first century, given that Edessa had been under Moslem rule since 1144. But even if he wasn't, a painting is not a photograph and the artist likely exercised "artistic license" in adding the Citadel's Corinthian columns in the background. However note that they are in the background, and the Edessa gate that the Mandylion is depicted as having been found in is clearly not the gate of the Citadel, which still exists today, with its Corinthian columns.

In conclusion, I wrote in a previous post:

"It would be a pity if Dayvault had sat on his important discovery for nine years (2002-2011) and only published it in 2011 after Wilson had beaten him to it in his 2010 book. It is a further pity that Dayvault has detracted from the importance of his discovery in its own right by making the grandiose (and evidently false) claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is `the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion'."
I haven't as yet (12th April) received Dayvault's book, but Dayvault had himself commented on that previous post and did not deny that he had kept this important discovery to himself, unpublished, for "nine years (2002-2011)." If so, then Dayvault deserves discredit for withholding this important discovery from the Shroud pro-authenticist community and the wider public. Especially if Dayvault's motive was to make money by publishing it in a book[36] with the sensationalist title: "The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God." But as we saw above, this Sanliurfa mosaic cannot be "The Keramion," i.e. the tile which bore an image of Jesus' face[37], found and kept at Hierapolis, Syria[38] (modern Manbij), transferred from Hierapolis to Constantinople in 968 or 969[39] and disappeared during the sack of Constantinople in 1204[40]. Because, in summary:
  • Wilson and Guscin (a world authority on the Image of Edessa) dated the Sanliurfa mosaic to "between the sixth and seventh centuries."
  • Dayvault admits that if the Sanliurfa museum's account is true, that the tile had been cut it out of a wall in a Sanliurfan house, then it would only be a copy of an earlier prototype.
  • Edessa's King Abgar VIII (177-212), originated the story of Jesus' letter to Abgar V and inserted it into Edessa's archives.
  • The Mandylion/Shroud was not hidden above Edessa's gate in ~57 and found there in 525, but was brought to Edessa from Antioch following that city's great earthquake of 526.
  • The Greek word keramion derives from keramos, which means "made of clay" but the Sanliurfa mosaic's base is not clay but tufa, a variety of limestone.
  • The 945 "Official History of the Image of Edessa" states that the Mandylion, tile and lamp were hidden above "the public gate of the city" (i.e. the Western Gate) not the Citadel which has no Western Gate.
  • Dayvault's claimed "unique features" of a stone block at the Citadel and the underside of the Sanliurfa mosaic don't match.
  • Edessa's Citadel did not exist in 57 but was built by Abgar VIII in 205.
  • The "Official History" does not say there was an image of Jesus' face on the tile hidden with the Mandylion and lamp in Edessa's gate. It says the image was on another tile at Hierapolis, which was 686 miles = 1105 kms from Edessa, and was only transferred to Constantinople in 968-969.
  • The Sanliurfa mosaic has only 9 Vignon markings, compared to the Shroud's 15, so the Shroud, not the mosaic, is the "prototypic model" of the depictions of Jesus from the sixth century.
  • The two pillars with Corinthian capitals that appear in a 17th century painting in Moscow depicting the discovery of the Mandylion above an Edessa gate, are in the distant background, and presumably are those at the Northern gate of the Citadel, which further refutes Dayvault's claim that the Mandylion was hidden and discovered above the Citadel's gate.

So at every key point above, Dayvault's claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion" is false! As stated above, when I receive Dayvault's book, on which this article is based, I will briefly review it in a Shroud of Turin News, and if the above key points are still valid, I will also review the book on, and in the interests of the truth about the Shroud, I will recommend that prospective buyers do not waste their money on it.

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., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.2. [return]
3. "Hype," Wikipedia, 6 March 2016. [return]
4. "Eleutheropolis," Wikipedia, 2 November 2015. [return]
5. Scavone, D.C., 2010, "Edessan sources for the legend of the Holy Grail," Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images, ENEA Frascati, Italy, 4-6 May 2010, pp.1-6, 1-2. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.300). [return]
7. Wilson, 2010, pp.298-299. [return]
8. Wilson, 2010, p.298. [return]
9. Markwardt, J.J., 1998, "Antioch and the Shroud," in Walsh, B.J., ed., 2000, "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, pp.94-108. [return]
10. Markwardt, J.J., 1998, "Antioch and the Shroud," in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, pp.296-319 & "The Fire and the Portrait, Ibid, pp.320-334. [return]
11. Dayvault, P.E., 1998, "CSST-An Overview," in Minor, et al, 1998, pp.145-148; "The Frei Collection Digitization Project," Ibid, pp.215-217; "The Sanctuary of the Shroud: A Security Challenge," Ibid, pp.343-347 & "Security Matters!," pp.348-350. [return]
12. "Isa (name)," Wikipedia, 27 March 2016. [return]
13. Wilson, 2010, p.2. [return]
14. Dayvault, P.E., 2011a, "`FACE of the GOD-man': A Quest for Ancient Oil Lamps Leads to the Prototype of Sacred Art...and MORE!," Shroud University, May 11, p.7. [return]
15. Wilson, 2010, p.296. [return]
16. Thayer, J.H., 1901, "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament," T & T. Clark: Edinburgh, Fourth edition, Reprinted, 1961, p.344. My transliteration). [return]
17. "Tufa," Wikipedia, 21 January 2016. [return]
18. Dayvault, P.E., 2011b, "Face of the God-man: A Quest for Ancient Oil Lamps Leads to the Prototype of Sacred Art...and MORE," Christian Newswire, May 17. [return]
19. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, p.81. [return]
20. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, p.17; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.188. [return]
21. Wilson, 2010, p.131. [return]
22. "Edessa citadel in Urfa, Turkey (Google Maps)," Virtual Globetrotting, 2016. [return]
23. Scavone, D.C., 2002, "Joseph of Arimathea, The Holy Grail & the Edessa Icon," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 56, December. [return]
24. Dayvault, 2011a, p.25. [return]
25. Ibid. [return]
26. "Rulers of Osroene," Wikipedia, 2 March 2016. [return]
27. Scavone, 2002. See also, Scavone, D.C., 2002, "Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and the Edessa Icon," Collegamento pro Sindone, October, pp.1-25, p.10. [return]
28. "Court of Constantine Porphyrogenitus `Story of the Image of Edessa' (A.D. 945)," in Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.280-281. [return]
29. Markwardt, J., 1999, "Antioch and the Shroud," in Walsh, 2000, pp.100- 101. [return]
30. Wilson, 1979, pp.276-277. [return]
31. 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.269; Wilson, 1979, p.132. [return]
32. Elżbieta, 2015, "Edessa - citadel," [return]
33. "Citadel of Edessa [Urfa],", 2016. [return]
34. Polverari, S., 2014, "From the Mandylion to the Shroud," Shroud of Turin: The Controversial Intersection of Faith and Science Conference, October 9-12, 2014, St. Louis, Missouri, pp.1-9, 4. [return]
35. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.107. [return]
36. Dayvault, 2011b. [return]
37. Wilson, 1979, p.169; Currer-Briggs, N., 1984, "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, p.18; Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, pp.70-71; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.132. [return]
38. Wilson, 1979, p.132; Currer-Briggs, 1984, p.18; Currer-Briggs, 1988, pp.70-71. [return]
39. Wilson, 1979, p.132; Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.71; Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, p.74; Wilson, 1998, p.268; Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, p.256. [return]
40. Currer-Briggs, 1984, pp.6,70; Currer-Briggs, 1988, p.73; Wilson, 1998, p.273. [return]

Posted: 4 April 2016. Updated: 6 May 2016.


Steve Calovich said...

This is really interesting!

Stephen E. Jones said...


>This is really interesting!

It is a pity that Dayvault didn't just publish in Shroud literature, e.g. the BSTS Newsletter, or, in 2002 his discovery of the Sanliurfa mosaic as the earliest known example of the Image of Edessa.

But instead Dayvault sat on it for ~9 years, seeking funding to write a book, which would sensationally claim that the Sanliurfa mosaic is THE Keramion (Gk "keramion: an earthen vessel" (keramos, "potter's clay"), "a jar" or "jug," occurs in Mark 14:13; Luke 22:10)" ("Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words").

That is, the CLAY tile (not mosaic) which according to the 945 "Official History of the Image of Edessa," also had Jesus' miraculous image on it, and which had been attached to Edessa's Western Gate in Abgar V's time (died AD 50). But later when Abgar V's son Ma'nu VI (57–71) reverted to paganism, the tile, the Mandylion/Shroud, and Jesus letter to Abgar V, were, according to the "Official History," bricked up in a niche in the Western Gate behind where the tile had been.

Up to here it is just a 10th century story that had been added to over the centuries and was clearly false in parts. For example, Jesus' letter to Abgar V and its story had been inserted into Edessa's archives in the time of Abgar VIII (aka "Abgar IX (the great) (177–212)"), according to the evidence discovered by pro-authenticist historian Dan Scavone (see post above).

However what is real history was that the Image of Edessa/Mandylion/Shroud, Jesus letter to Abgar V, and the tile were in Edessa's relic collection and taken from now Moslem Edessa to Constantinople in 944. In 1204 the Shroud (now known to be full-length) and the tile (now called the Keramion) disappeared in the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. Jesus' letter to Abgar V was not mentioned so it had probably disintegrated by then.

The Shroud resurfaced at Lirey, France, in 1355. It had probably taken from Constantinople in 1204 to Athens by one of the Fourth Crusade leaders, Otto de la Roche (c. 1170–1234). The Shroud was then taken back to Bergundy France, by Otto and then passed down through his descendants, who included a long line of Governors and Bishops of Besançon, who had the cathedral to keep the Shroud in. Jeanne de Vergy (c. 1332–1428), the wife of Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300–56), the first undisputed owner of the Shroud, was a direct descendant of Otto de la Roche.


Anonymous said...

Are Mr. Dayvault's comments and your reply still present on your website or have they been deleted ?

Stephen E. Jones said...


Unlike the Shroud, the Keramion has never resurfaced. My guess is that it was just a roof tile that had a pareidolia image that looked a bit like the Image of Edessa (like seeing Jesus' face in a piece of toast).

There is a second story in the 945 "Official History" about another tile with Jesus' miraculous image on it. That story says that Abgar V's servant Ananias returning to Abgar V with Jesus letter, and also Jesus' image on a towel which He had washed His face and imprinted on it, slept at Hierapolis and put the towel and letter under a stack of roof tiles. And miraculously in the morning Jesus' image was also imprinted on one of the tiles.

I assume that this second tile is one and the same as the first, i.e. the Keramion, which had been taken from Hierapolis to become part of Edessa's relic collection.

And the story about the first tile being attached to Edessa's Western Gate and then bricked up with the Mandylion/Shroud, as well as Jesus' letter to Abgar V, in the time of King Ma'nu VI (57–71), is obviously false. For starters, taking down the tile with Jesus' image on it that had been attached to Edessa's Western Gate and then hiding it, and the other relics, behind new brickwork where the tile had been on the Western Gate, would not escape the attention of ANYONE in Edessa, let alone King Ma'nu VI and his officials.

If so, then presumably the Keramion, being nothing special, when separated from its Edessa context, became lost after 1204.

In view of the above, Dayvault's claim that the Sanliurfa mosaic is THE Keramion, apart from it being clearly false (see above), is based on a FANTASY. The evidence is that there was NO tile (at least not one with Jesus' miraculous face image on it) attached to Edessa's Western Gate in Abgar V's time.

Stephen E. Jones
MY POLICIES Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that comments under my latest post can be on any Shroud-related topic without being off-topic. I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Are Mr. Dayvault's comments and your reply still present on your website or have they been deleted ?

They are under my first post on this topic, "Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity": Shroud of Turin News - February 2016."

That first post is referred to, by its full subject name, with a link to it, in my post above.

Stephen E. Jones
Reader, if you like this my The Shroud of Turin blog, and you have a website, could you please consider adding a hyperlink to my blog on it? This would help increase its Google PageRank number and so enable those who are Google searching on "the Shroud of Turin" to more readily discover my blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Okay thanks and keep it easy.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Okay thanks and keep it easy.

Presumably "keep it easy" means "keep it easy to understand."

If so, I try to make my blog's posts and comments as easy as possible for readers to understand.

But I write to, in the following priority order: 1) please the Man on the Shroud (i.e. Jesus); 2) learn myself more about Jesus through His Shroud; and 3) help my readers to understand more about Jesus' Shroud and Him.

So I am not going to `dumb down' my blog to an "easy to understand" lowest common denominator level to gain and hold more readers. The bottom line is that if someone doesn't like my blog, they don't have to read it.

Stephen E. Jones
"By way of guidance as to what I mean by `offensive' and `sub-standard,' I regard comments to my blog as analogous to letters to the Editor of a newspaper. If the Editor of a newspaper would not publish a comment because it is `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' then neither will I. It does not mean that if I disagree with a comment I won't publish it. I have published anti-authenticist comments and other comments that I disagreed with, and I have deleted `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' comments that are pro-authenticist. `Sub-standard' includes attempting to use my blog as a platform to publish a block of text of the commenter's own views, and also bare links to other sites with little or no actual comments. By `off-topic' I mean if a comment has little or nothing to do with the topic(s) in the post it is under (except for the latest post-see above)." [05Jan16]