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.

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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...)


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

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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


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


General look

Other marks                                          Gives access to the glossary where are some definitions of the main terms used in this study and which deserve some additional explanations.

Yellow traces
Pinkish stains
Other marks



The coins                   To return to main

                On the shroud, the image of the eyes is unusual. We have the impression that the eyes are open, globular, and to some extent, squinting. Not until the three-dimensional studies of STURP in 1978, completed by Father Filas, a Jesuit mathematician, physician and theologist, did a thorough study of the eyes reveal it is not the eyes we see, but small coins which were laid on the eyes of the dead person. In spite of enormous difficulties, due the the small size of the image in relation to the texture of the cloth, (the linen threads are 0.25 mm in diameter, while each coin is about 17 mm diameter, and the size of the letters on the coin are around 1mm x 4 mm), photography has made it possible to see these coins, and to identify almost categorically the one on the right eyelid. It is a Lepton, a coin that was in current use around the time of Christ (The coin that the Gospels call a "denarius" or "obol")

real aspect of the face; the left side of the face is situated to the left of the image.
Roman lepton coin on which can be clearly distinguished the letters TIBEPIO KAICA and the shepherd's crook. (5303 bytes)

The other lepton on which can be read TIBERI CAI ; note that this time the first letter of CM is a "C" and not a "K" as on the other lepton. The crook is also quite visible. (3584 bytes)

Enlargement of the image of the right eyelid. The image obtained was processed by computer in order to eliminate as much as possible the interferences due to the cloth. (8324 bytes)

In "The Truth on the Turin Shroud"
Stevenson and Habermas

In "Jesus and his times"
Selection by Reader's Digest

From "The Holy Shroud is authentic"
CRC, Christmas 1988

On this colour-highlighted photo, are the letters Y CAI, and the symbol of the Shepherd's Crook

lepton_vert_dessine.jpg (2018 octets)

               Clearly seen here, to the upper-left of the turn in the Shepherd's Crook, (or Crozier, or Bishop's Staff), are the letters Y CAI that form part of the full caption of the lepton : TIBEPIOY CAICAPOC  (Tiberiou Kaisaros : of Tibere Caesar). The image (in green) of the photograph, when seen under the microscope, leaves no doubt.

                    When the image of the coin was discovered on the Shroud, there were two obstacle to its identification as a Lepton. Firstly, the researchers believed that all Leptons used a"K" where this one used a "C". Secondly, there was a different orientation of the letters in relation to the Crozier. Then researchers started finding Leptons in other coin collections that contained this variation with the "C" spelling, and with different orientations of the lettering. It became clear that there had been several mintings of this coin, at different times, or in different places, and with differences in the lettering.

                    The Shepherd's Crook visible on the coin is the distinctive mark of coins minted under Pontius Pilate, who was Prefect of Judea from 26 to 36.


            Moreover, on the reverse of the leptons that were found and bore the name CAISAROS with a C, the date of the minting is written : LIS (L for the year, I for the ten, and S for 6). This date is therefore the 16th year of the rule of Tiberius, which started in 14. This lepton was therefore minted in the year 30 of our era.

               In 1996 Pierluigi Baima Bollone, the Pr. Balossino and the Doctors Zaca et Siracusa, conducted studies on the left eye where they found another round shape of the same diameter and situated slightly higher. They identified another coin with the wording TIBERIOU KAISAROS and, on the same side the wording LIS, which also dates this coin to the 16th year of the rule of Tiberius, i.e the year 30 AD. This one does not carry the image of a Shepherd's Crook, but a cup.

                    We are confronted with a detail which is apparently tiny, which escaped any analysis before 1978, and which could only be perceived using modern sophisticated equipment. This detail allows us to not only discard again the hypothesis of a forgery (it is becoming tiresome to repeat it), but also enabled the Shroud, and the death of the body it contained, to be dated with meticulous precision -- not before the time of Pilate, when the coin had not been minted, and not after, when this coin of little value was removed from circulation and replaced by a new coin. Note again that Pilate was procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD


The inscriptions          To return to main

                   On either side of the face, and under the chin, there are whiter stripes in the form of two "U" shapes fitted into each other, on which we can read inscriptions that had been suggested as early as 1979 by P. Ugolotti. Their study was conducted by Andre Marion and Anne-Laure Courage, of the Orsay Institute of Theoretical and Applied Optics. After a minutely detailed study, using the most sophisticated equipment available to them, they managed to bring these inscriptions into relief clearly enough for them to be deciphered. Their existence seemed incontrovertible at present, but nothing is known of their origin. Are they all from the same period, (and which one)? What was their purpose, their real significance? Several very probable hypotheses can be made.

  • They are certainly earlier than 1357, considerably earlier if you go by the style of writing.
  • They were traced on the hidden side of the cloth which was the upper side when the Shroud was folded in two, as if it contained the body. They can be seen as a mirror image on the visible side.
  • It is almost impossible that they were inscribed when the body was in the Shroud, considering the regularity of the writing, and the extreme irregularity of the surface of the cloth moulded around the face.
  • Nor is it probable that they were traced before the body was put in the Shroud, if you take into account the very short duration of the Passion (nobody knew the night before that Jesus would die the next day). The time that elapsed between the death (15 hours), the authorisation given by Pilate to return the body to the family, the deposition from the cross, the transportation to the tomb, the shrouding, and the closing of the tomb before 6pm, only allowed time to accomplish what was essential.
  • The fact that they are on the right side of the face must not shock us, in so far as these inscriptions were traces on the reverse side of the cloth, and not visible on the front - except at the cost of an extremely careful study.

Emplacement et interprétation des "Fantômes d'écriture" d'après André Marion et Anne-Laure Courage

             A study of the hidden face of the Shroud would probably tell us more about these inscriptions, and hopefully allow us to understand and date them.  

The mud           To return to main

            Macrophotography shows that under the heels, in particular the left heel, a quantity of compressed dust has adhered. Analysis showed that it was Aragonite, a type of calcium carbonate. The mineralogical study conducted by R. Levi-Setti showed great similarity to the Aragonite found in Jerusalem. The same traces of Aragonite were also found on the knee and nose but nowhere else. The obvious conclusion is that the man of the shroud walked barefoot, and that during his falls, his knees and nose hit the ground hard enough for dust to stick to him. (Perhaps typical of a fall forwards, where he was unable to reach forward with his hands and break his fall?).  

The pollen           To return to main

                    In 1973 and 1978, Max Frei, a Swiss botanist and criminologist, collected pollen samples from the surface of the Shroud and studied them. He identified 58 varieties of pollen. For 17 of these, the host species lived in Europe, and for the other 41, in Africa or Asia. The only region in the world which contains, simultaneously, 38 of these 41 species is the Judean hill country between the Mediteranean and the Dead Sea. The work of Max Frei, who died in 1983, was taken up by other scholars (Paul Maloney, Orville Dahl, Avinoam Danin, Uri Baruk...) who refined Frei's conclusions and positively identified the following plants :

  • Cistus Creticus, a small bush which grows only in the region of Jerusalem.
  • Gundelia Tournefotii, a thorny bush which grows between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. This species alone represents 50 percent of the pollen found on the Shroud. Its presence cannot therefore be due to contamination by the winds, by pilgrims, etc
  • Zogophyllum dumosum : a caper shrub which lives in the region of Jerusalem, in the Jordan Valley, in the Sinai.

                  There is no other place in the world where these three species grow simultaneously.

                  The great abundance of Gundelia Tournefortii pollen on the Shroud, infinitely higher than anywhere in the environment in Palestine, led Uri Baruk to think that the flowers of Gundelia were laid directly on the shroud. This species blooms in Spring, and Passover is in Spring. Baruk also suggested that the Crown of Thorns could have been plaited with twigs of Gundelia.

                   There is one observation that is not obvious at first sight but which is fundamental. No trace can be found on the Shroud of any decomposition of the body, no discharge of body fluid, nothing that shows that the body stored in the Shroud had started to decompose in any way. This detail will be given its full importance later, when we ask ourselves where the body went which had been in the Shroud.


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