.

Gives access to the anglophone version of the site's homepage.

Gives access to the basic information of the site, to the history of the Shroud as well as to the study of the cloth.

Gives access to the images on the Shroud, their macroscopic analysis and, when necessary, complementary studies.

Gives the main conclusions that can be drawn from the study of the Shroud : the definite, the uncertain, the hypotheses.

Reconstruction of the Passion of Jesus in the light of the Gospels and of the observations derived from the study of the Shroud.

Anatomical graphs giving the name and place of the main anatomical points studied.

study of the traces of scorching visible on the Shroud

Some facts about the physiology and the physio-pathology of blood coagulation.

study of flogging under the Romans, of its pathological consequences and of the main traces of it on the Shroud

List of the main works on which this study is based and of the main internet sites which refer to the Shroud

Gives access to pages containing complementary information about the Shroud.

Brief critical study of Carbon dating and of its application to the Shroud.

Click on FAQ to access the frequently asked questions forum, and on MAJ to find the latest pages.

Gives access to crucifixion procedures in Roman times.

gives access to the Table of contents of the site, from which you can access each chapter.

Gives access to the physio-pathological effects of the ill treatments endured during the Passion.

gives a definition of the main terms used in this study and which deserve some additional explanations.

*

The burn marks                                                      

The marks from the pre-1195 fire

                    At Lier, in Belgium, in the Saint Gommaire church, there is a copy of the Shroud, on a one-third scale, dated 1516, which shows minor burns marks. (These are sited between the patches sewn on in 1534 by the Sisters of Clarisses, Chambery, in order to repair the damage caused by the 1532 fire). There was, therefore, before 1516, a previous fire that had damaged the Shroud. These burns, finded by Doctor Yves Cartigny and studied with Dubarle, are minor compared with the damage caused by the 1532 fire, but they are hugely significant in themselves, for they were one of the most obvious physical marks on the Shroud before the 1532 fire damage, and they can be seen in an illustration in the Codex Pray, which dates to 1195, or before.

 

This sketch of the Shroud is included to show the way the Shroud was folded when it was first damaged by fire, and to show where it was scorched. The traces are highlighted by purple ovals in the front view and by green ovals in the back view.They are situated, more or less, in the continuation of the later scorch marks of 1532, and roughly equidistant with them, due to the symmetrical folding. (8241 bytes)

This schematic shows in mauve and green highlights, the areas damaged by a fire before 1195.

 

The front view of the body is on the left of the red axis drawn on our illustration of the Shroud.

(From Jerome Lejeune's anatomical & topological study of the Shrouds of Turin, Lier and Pray)

                   The symmetry of these (older) burns shows that the Shroud was folded lengthwise in two, along the blue axis shown on the schematic. The right side was on the left side, with the image on the exterior. This doubled sheet was then folded in two again, on the other axis (red line on the diagram), with the right side of the Shroud inside the fold. Thus we find in succession, from bottom to top, the left part of the front, then the right part of the front, then the right part of the back, then the left part of the back.

 

The first time the Shroud was scorched, its front was underneath, the right side covered by the left side. The result was that the scorching was deeper and more visible on the right side than on the left side. The two purple oval marks are shown again below, more clearly and enlarged. (6918 bytes)

The first time the Shroud got scorched, the back part was folded underneath, with the left side all on the surface. The reason for this manner of folding is not obvious. It seems that it was folded, and laid on a horizontal plane, probably covered with another cloth to protect it, and that small embers fell on it. The two green oval marks are shown again below, more clearly and enlarged. (7471 bytes)

                   
                    The detailed study of the (older) burns shows clearly that they are more numerous, and more marked, on that half of the Shroud that shows the rear of the body (where they literally burnt holes), and on the left side of the figure.
Enlargement of the front left scorch mark, the least visible of the four. (2337 bytes) Enlargement of the front right scorch mark, a little more visible than the left one, but less than the two marks on the back. (2617 bytes) enlargement of the right back scorch mark, distinctly more marked than that in the front, but less deep than the left one. (2580 bytes) Enlargement of the back left scorch mark, the most deeply marked; it was therefore this back left half which was on the surface when the Shroud was flooded the day when it probably was damaged by embers.(2914 bytes)

Details of the burn marks in the order they occur on the Shroud, which also corresponds to their order that they were laid on each other in the folded Shroud

 

The marks from the fire of the 4th of December 1532

                   

The layout of these burns and their symmetry is not random. It is the result of the way that the Shroud was folded and refolded on itself in 48 layers, and stored inside a silver chest. 

Explanation of how the Shroud was folded when the 1532 fire took place; thus carefully folded into 48 layers, it could fit into the silver reliquary which served as "custodia" for it. These successive foldings are unfortunately the cause of the creases which mark the Shroud, in particular the front, but just above and just below the face. Coincidence? Providence?... (4625 bytes)

The folding of the Shroud in its casket -- This model shows the results of the fire of 4 Dec 1532 (From Pr. Jerome Lejeune)

                   This schematic show that at the time of the 1532 fire, the Shroud had been folded first along its length (blue axis), then a second time along its length. Next it was folded once on the other axis (red axis), and then once again on the (new) red axis, and finally folded in three in the same direction, (with its free ends tucked to the centre). This gives a configuration that corresponds exactly to the position of the burns. These burns resulted when one side of the chest containing the Shroud got too hot, scorching the Shroud where it was touching that side. Then a drop of molten silver set fire to the cloth... The water that was used to extinguish this fire has left its trace.

top.gif (1293 octets)