The front :
- The images of the shoulders and upper arms are invisible, having been
destroyed by the fire of 1532.
- Under the right pectoral, there is a pinkish stain, larger and darker
than the other traces. This stain is made up of two parts :
1- A regular oval shape, 4.5 by 1.5 cms, with
clear limits (in blue on the photo);
2- Below that, a thick pinkish stain. It runs in two directions. On the body below
the wound, and on the cloth behind and below the repair. This wound therefore bled while
the body was already in the Shroud. A study by ultraviolet fluorescence has confirmed that
the diffuse halo, quite visible to the naked eye, around the wound, reacted like blood
serum. The blood had therefore partly coagulated inside the chest, and it is the serum
which spread to the cloth.
With a little attention :
- The pectorals are bulging, contracted, raised up.
- The hollow of the epigastrium is depressed. The lower abdomen is swollen
- More or less everywhere, there are numerous pinkish stains
There is a gaping wound on the right. On a living
person a wound causes a reflex phenomenon in which the muscles around it contract to try
to close the wound. On a dead body, it is different. A wound made to a corpse, even
shortly after the death, remains open. This wound, therefore, was made by a weapon that
punctured the body, leaving a wound with a lozenge shaped cross section, 4.5 x 1.5 cm and
the injury was done after death, because the muscles did not respond.
The spear heads photographed here, are from Roman spears. They were found on a battlefield
site in the Middle East. One such spear, is kept in the Vatican, and has a blade 4.5 cm
wide. It was probably a similar weapon that caused the wound which is visible on the
At first sight:
Thick pinkish streaks run
sideways across the kidneys.
With a little attention :
- A wide pinkish stain, covers the
shoulder blade and the right trapezius muscle.
This wound is where the skin has been scraped off.
If you look at the front of the chest you see that this stain extends onto the right
shoulder down to the level of the collarbone. Another
pinkish stain, covers the left shoulder blade, and is particularly visible in its lower
These abrasions on the right shoulder suggest the
carrying of a heavy rough surfaced object, several centimetres wide, which would have
grated the skin long enough to scrape it off. This object would have been carried on the
right shoulder over the back, almost horizontally, with the back bent forward. The object
sometimes resting brutally on the back, at the level of the point of the left shoulder
blade. If we consider what objects could have caused this, then carrying a very heavy,
wooden beam would top the list.
Many pinkish stains are distributed over the back, from below the abrasions on the
shoulders, down to the buttocks.
Over almost all of the rest of the surface of the body, we
find marks about 3 cms long, formed of two small wounds of 10 to 12 mm diameter, about 13
mm apart. They are in the shape of dumbbells, grouped in twos, or more. Barbet counted
between 100 and 120 of them, Ricci about 180. They seem to be distributed in a swallowtail
pattern, often grouped in pairs.
These wounds evoke whip lashes with one or more small weights at the striking end.
These marks seem to have been laid on horizontally, at waist level, going down obliquely
on the legs, and up sideways on the trunk. They seem to fall into two series of patterns,
one coming from a whip on the left of the victim, the other from a whip on the right. For
more detail see the chapter "Flagellation" in the Annex.
The pectorals are swollen, contracted, pulled upwards. The chest is distended. The
epigastric hollow is very hollow, the lower abdomen is swollen, pushed down by the
contraction of the diaphragm. This man died of asphyxiation, incapable of emptying his