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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.

Shows the page before the one you are reading, if you were reading a book it would take you back a page.

Gives access to general information concerning the images on the Shroud : its aspect of "photo negative", the general study of the yellow traces which form the silhouette of the body, study of the pinkish traces which correspond to the wounds and to the flows of blood, the other images visible on the shroud ( traces of the small coins, traces of writing...)

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Gives access to the detailed study of the images visible on the Shroud, focussing in particular on their anatomo-pathological and physio-pathological aspects.

Shows the page that follows the one you are reading, as if you were turning over the page of a book.

Gives access to pages containing complementary information about the Shroud. .

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

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

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Detailed study

STUDY OF THE LOWER MEMBERS          Gives access to the glossary where are some definitions of the main terms used in this study and which deserve some additional explanations.

The head
The trunk
The upper limbs
The lower limbs
Removing
On the front:

                    At the first glance:

  • The two lower members are together. One knee is overlapping the other. The imprint of the lower parts of the legs, and the feet, are not very visible

                    With a little attention :

  • The imprint of the left thigh and knee are more visible than those on the right. The left knee is slightly higher and more forward than the right knee.
  • We can see on the visible parts, the same pinkish marks that we have already seen on the rest of the body

                    On close inspection:

  • The two kneecaps are abraded. The right, more seriously than the left. There are two round wounds about 2 cms diameter above and outside the right kneecap.

 

front of the body as its image appears on the Shroud after boosting the optical contrast. (18062 bytes)
 

On the back:

                    At first glance:

  • The two feet turned inwards are crossed, the left foot in front of the right. The print of the sole of the foot is particularly visible (which means that it rested flat on the cloth, in hyper-extension, almost in line with the leg). On it can be seen two rather pronounced pinkish stains, one at the heel and the other at the junction between the lower third and the middle third of the sole of the foot. The image in three dimensions that leaps to your attention is that of a body lying on its back, resting on its head, trunk, buttocks and right foot. The thighs and the legs being slightly bent.

                    With a little attention :

  • The heel of the left foot is slightly higher than the right and is also marked with a pinkish stain which has three diverging outward branches.
  • All over the backs of the thighs and legs can be found the same pinkish traces as seen on the rest of the body.

                    On close examination:

  • The right member is stretched more than the left, the popliteal (hollow at the back of the knee) is more visible.
Back of the body as its image appears on the Shroud after boosting the optical contrast. (18341 bytes)
Image of the sole of the right foot, clearly visible on the Shroud. The left foot, which was nailed above the right foot had remained slightly raised after deposition in the sepulchre, on account of the rigor mortis, and its print is much softer, especially the sole and the forefoot. (8860 bytes) The image of the right foot shows, besides the general form of the sole :
  • A round stain at the level of the heel (highlighted yellow)
  • A round stain a little lower than the middle of the foot (highlighted blue)
  • A streak of blood which links these two stains
  • Some blood that flowed along the external edge of the foot (highlighted green)

 

On this image, the main items of interest have been coloured to make identification easier. This is obviously the print of the sole of the right foot. (3282 bytes)
 

The round stain of the heel : It appears hollowed out, like a wound or sore produced by walking barefoot on rough ground (carrying a heavy weight?).

The round stain in the middle of the foot : It stands out in relief and could correspond to a wound situated in the Tarsus, (highlighted by the red spot), immediately in front of the navicular (or Scaphoid bone), between the cuneiform bones (2 - highlighted blue) and (3 - highlighted yellow-green). There are clearly-individualised extensions of the blood flow in the direction of the five toes. These rivulets of blood happened when the heel was situated higher than the toes.
This opening between the bones (the red spot in the drawing), where the nail went through, is inaccessible in a foot in its normal position. Pierre Barbet had never found it, which led him to believe the nail had been driven between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsian bones. However, if you stretch a foot out in hyper-extension, (which is how it is nailed to the stake in a crucifixion), this space opens up, and a nail could be driven through it without breaking the bones of the tarsus. This gap was first noted by Doctor Pierre MERAT, and since then this anatomical space bears his name.

The thick streak linking up these two stains : It corresponds to a blood flow which could only come from the wound in the middle of the foot, and run in the direction of the heel, for there is no structure in the heel that might produce a large enough venous haemorrhage. This bleeding apparently happened while the foot was positioned with the toes higher than the heel.

 

Anatomic sketch of the skeleton of the right foot : the phalanxes have not been drawn in. From top to bottom can be seen : in dark grey, the calcaneum, then the cuboid and then the fourth and metatarsian bones In light grey, the astragal, in pink, the scaphoid, in light grey, the the first cuneiform, in blue the second and in green the third cuneiforms, in front, in light grey, the first three metatarsian bones. The "Merat Space" is highlighted by a red dot.(8586 bytes)

 

The blood flow along the outside edge of the heel :

          First there is an obvious symmetry to the stain, (see the vertical green line), which suggests there was a fold in the shroud, and that the blood running "post mortem" onto the Shroud impregnated symmetrically the two sides of the fold. For the blood to continue running after death, the wound had to be originally quite large. This excludes that in the heel, so the only one left is the wound in the middle of the foot. Such a haemorrhage can only happen after death from a venous wound. The only venous structure which could have produced this, is that in the deep arch of the foot. Once the body had been laid in the tomb, the slight bend of the knees caused the venous blood which was in the legs (in the parts situated between the knee and the ankle) to drain a little towards the feet, under the effect of gravity, and seep from the wound in the tarsus in the direction of the heels. This appears to be the small haemorrhage that seeped into the Shroud.

          All these observations point to the following conclusion : The foot was in a position close to vertical, heel higher than the toes, with the wound in the middle bleeding in the direction of the toes. As the wound was plugged with a nail, it was a moderate flow of blood (with small blood clots). Then, once the nail was removed when the body was taken down, the wound bled more profusely "post mortem". This time the heel was lower than the toes so the blood ran towards the heel. Once the body was wrapped in the Shroud the blood stained the Shroud with this tell-tale pattern.

          It is hard to conclude otherwise. The legs were close together, the knees slightly bent, the left one a little higher than the right one, the feet in hyperextension overlapping each other, the left one forward and a little higher than the right one, the wound in the sole of the right foot... All these signs suggest with quasi-certainty that the death occurred while this man was nailed vertically through his feet onto a firm surface, one nail immobilising the two feet. Then when he was put in the Shroud, with the nails taken out, the blood flowed profusely from the gaping wound that his struggles on the nail had enlarged....
Shows the page before the one you are reading, if you were reading a book it would take you back a page.

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Shows the page that follows the one you are reading, as if you were turning over the page of a book.