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.
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.
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.
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?).
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 :
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.
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.