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.


Composition of blood

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

Physiology of blood

Composition of blood          To return to main

Blood is composed of two principal components :

  • The cells (the 3 main types of which are red cells or erythrocytes, white cells or leucocytes, and platelets).
  • The plasma, itself composed of :

      An ionic solution : Water (90%) containing ions of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, etc. )

      Proteins, etc : albumin, globulin, coagulants such as fibrinogen, prothrombin...)

Blood plasma which has lost its fibrinogen is called blood plasma.                To know more about composition of blood


Physiology of the blood          To return to main

                    In the living body :

               The blood circulates as a fluid. During certain illnesses, one notices :

  • either a tendency to increased coagulaton : (thrombosis)
    • which can be arterial, causing strokes and heart attacks, or;            
    • which can occur in the veins, giving rise to thrombophlebitis,
  • or a tendency to reduced coagulation which can result in haemorrhage.

                    In the dead body :

  • If there is a wound in the wall of the blood vessel the blood will coagulate, (just as in a living person), in the minutes immediately after death.
  • If there is no wound in the walls of the blood vessel, the blood will remain liquid for several days, after which it starts to decompose. The blood in the arteries tends to drain into the capillaries and veins. (This phenomenon probably gave rise to the ancient belief that the arteries carried air and played a part in respiration, and it is interesting to note that modern thinking on the circulation and physiology of the blood started only around the beginning of the XVIIth century, about 300 years after the Shroud was first known to have been put on display). If a big vein is cut after death, e.g. during an autopsy, the blood runs ; and if this is done very shortly after death this blood will coagulate. In effect, the blood cells continue to live for several hours after the person has died. In the past, in Russia, successful blood transfusions have been made using blood taken from people who had just died.


Coagulation           To return to main

                    In the case of a cut or rupture of the blood vessel wall, the escaping blood comes into contact with collagen (contained in the tissues which surround the blood vessel). This contact triggers off the coagulation process. Initially this is a series of complex chemical reactions, lasting about three minutes, and involving trace protein and tissue factors. Then the soluable Fibrinogen gets converted into the insoluble protein Fibrin., and in 10 to 12 minutes, this Fibrin has formed an initial barrier over the wound, initially a soft clot containing serum and blood cells. Under the action of coagulation factor XII, this clot shrinks, expelling the liquid serum that it contains. In 1 to 3 heures, the quantity of serum ejected corresponds to about half the volume of the initial clot. If the coagulation takes place on the exterior surface of the body, the clot dries to form a scab (we have all seen this on our own skin after a scratch or cut). If the coagulation takes place inside the body, the clot stays humid, and does not dry to a scab.

                    Most of us will have noticed, on the dressings and bandages that have protected wounds, that there is often a sort of clear halo around the central point ; this halo is formed by exuded serum, containing mineral salts, proteins and water.

                    The blood cells in the clot contain most of the elements that were present in the cells in the blood, notably haemoglobin, the main constituant of red cells (Note that haemoglobin is rich in iron), and some antigens, such as those responsible for the different blood groups A, B, AB, rhesus, that we normally find in the red blood cells. (Note that Group O signifies only the absence of the antigens A or B),...

          Footnote 1 -- When the old-time local butchers made black pudding, they needed blood that did not coagulate, so they whisked vigorously the blood that ran from a stuck pig (a pig with its throat cut). By doing so they broke up the fibrin as it formed, and apparently prevented the blood from clotting. In reality it still coagulated, in the bio-chemical meaning of the word, but the clots were mini-clots and not visible.

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