Skip to comments.Pollen is evidence that the Holy Shroud is indeed a winding sheet
Posted on 06/07/2012 3:52:04 PM PDT by NYer
In a recent conference held in Valencia, on the Holy Shroud, the work of one Marzia Boi, a university researcher at the University of the Balearic Islands stood out in particular. Boi is an expert in Palynology, which is the science that studies pollen.
As history lovers may already know, the fabric of the Holy Shroud is covered in pollen and Bois report clearly highlights that the pollen is proof that the shroud, which is kept in Turin, was a winding-sheet and was used according to rituals common in the Middle East over a thousand years ago. We have therefore taken the liberty of drawing the following conclusion (which we would like to point out was never made by the researcher herself): this discovery is strong proof against the theory of the shroud being a medieval fake. It seems somewhat incredible (and it would be a true scientific miracle) that a medieval forger would have known what ointments and oils were used in Jewish funeral rites in I century AD and that this same forger would have put together aromas and ointments in the knowledge that a few centuries later tools that had not yet been invented might reveal his work.
Marzia Boi wrote in her report in Valencia: The pollen traces on the Holy Shroud which have so far been linked to the geographic origin of the relic reveal what oils and ointments were put both on the body and on the sheet. These discoveries have an ethno-cultural meaning linked to ancient funeral practices. These non-perishable particles capture the image of a 2000-year-old funeral rite and thanks to them it was possible to discover what plants were used in the preparation of the body that was kept in the sheet. The oils allowed the pollens, as fortuitous ingredients, to be absorbed and hidden in the shrouds fabric like invisible evidence of an extraordinary historical event. According to Jewish custom the dead bodies and the winding sheets were treated with oils and perfumed ointments following a meticulous ritual.
Bois research analyses published work concerning the pollen residues on the Holy Shroud. Max Frei, the great Swiss expert on the subject, left a wealth of documentation. The analysis, carried out with more advanced tools than those available over thirty years ago, has made it possible for Boi to rectify some mistakes in pollen-identifications. Among these, an particularly important discovery was made: I can see that what was believed to be Anemone pollen, actually comes from Pistacia. I identify pollen from Ridolfia Segetum as coming from a plant called Helichrysum which is part of the Asteraceae family.
She also made another discovery. The pollen which had originally been identified as Gundelia Tourneforti (tumbleweed) pollen, is actually not. Gundelia Tourneforti is one of the 23,000 species in the world belonging to the Asteraceae family and it grows in the mountain-deserts across Asia Minor. In 1999 two great Jewish experts, Danin e Baruch, in their book Flora of the Shroud, confirmed that the pollen on the shroud came mainly from the Gundelia species and suggested that the Crown of Thorns might have been made with the leaves of this plant.
Marzia Boi disagrees. Her examination with the electron microscope yielded a different result: the main pollen residue comes neither from Ridolfia, nor Gundelia, but from Helichrysum (29.1%). Cistaceae pollen (8.2%), Apiaceae pollen (4.2%) and Pistacia pollen (0.6%) are also present on the shroud in smaller quantities. All the plants mentioned here are entomophilous, that is, their pollen is carried by insects rather than air. This shows that there must have been direct contact with either the plants or the materials used for the funeral. The list of pollens reveals traces of the most common plants used in ancient funerals. The pollens identified clarify that the holy shroud was rubbed with oils and ointments, just as the body contained within it did. There used to be a balm made from Pistacia leaves, fruits and bark that was also used as an ointment. However, a high quality oil was once produced from the Helichrysum and this oil was used to protect both body and shroud.
The use of this oil in ancient funeral rites is documented in various countries, from Arabia to Greece.
Marzia Boi concluded: Identifying the main pollen traces found on the Shroud captures a snapshot of a funeral rite that followed the customs of Asia Minor, 2000 years ago. They are the components of the most precious oils and ointments of the time and have extraordinarily remained sealed in the fabric
The correct identification of the Helichrysums pollen, wrongly believed to be that of the Gundelia flower, confirms and guarantees that the body wrapped up in the sheet was an important figure.
It is not difficult to believe that whoever faked the shroud would use an antique middle-eastern burial fabric as his original material.
Tin foil hat time
SHROUD OF TURIN PING.... PALYNOLOGIST shows that pollen on the Shroud was anointed with funery oils used 2000 years ago in the middle east.
If you want on or off the Shroud of Turin Ping list, Freepmail me.
Yes, it is... He would have had to know that centuries later there would be scientist such as palynologists and electron microscopists, as well as chemical pyrologists and world class experts on hemoglobin and it's derivatives investigating his cloth so he had to find an ancient cloth with known provenance of 1300 years from a specific area with a specific type of limestone dust imbedded ONLY on the backside of the cloth of the dorsal image and the front side of where the feet would have touched... A limestone that exists only around Jerusalem, Travertine Aragonite... SURE! When any old long tablecloth would have served his purpose for the scamming of ignorant peasants? It is impossible to believe! You infer to this medieval faker an encyclopedic knowledge that is far MORE miraculous than if it IS the Shroud of a known miracle worker!
bumpus ad summum
Sorry, but your ignorance is showing. The scammers of the period WERE in the business of scamming ignorant peasants... and ignorant priests. The pilgrims who made donations were ignorant peasants. The priests were not much more educated beyond studying Latin and the Bible. Relics brought in donations to perpetually needy churches and chapels. That was NOT the case where the Shroud was involved. The Shroud was in the possession of Geoffrey De Charney, he was not a crook, in fact, he was the author of the French Code of Chivalry, and the Standard Bearer for the King of France, who in battle was the knight chosen to fight at the King's side! HE paid for the building of a Chapel in Lirey to house the Shroud and fully funded it, and accepted no donations! In fact, he nearly bankrupted his family doing so. It was this bankruptcy that resulted in the Shroud being finally sold after Geoffrey's death to the House of Savoy, the Royal Family of Italy... where it also was not used to gather donations.
The Shroud of Turin is the single most studied object in history. And it is not studied today by psuedoscientists but rather by people who are top experts in their fields of study who publish their findings in scientific journals. I am quoting from those peer-reviewed scientific journals that have stood up to criticism by others in the same areas of expertise. It is the SKEPTICS who refuse to publish their works for criticism.
And you are wrong... the specific type of Travertine Aragonite type that was found on the Shroud IS unique to a twenty mile radius around Jerusalem and it is NOT from Aragon Spain... The Catholic Church WAS indeed taken in by many "cheap fakes" at the time. It was unnecessary because SCIENCE was non-existent. There IS NO EVIDENCE of your claim... none what so ever. To date, only one other shroud has been found in a Jerusalem tomb... because Jewish burial practices cause a shroud to decompose with the body... and a year after burial, the family returns to collect the bones and toss them into a central ossuary with the rest of the ancestral bones. The cloth would not survive.
Your argument that using an old shroud would account for the hemoglobin is absurd as well... it would require finding a shroud that covered a body that spilled its blood, further limiting the pool of available shrouds. In addition, since that hemoglobin is found ONLY in the blood stains matching the blood stains of a crucified man, are you claiming the found shroud MATCHED that too? More absurdity on absurdity. The blood stains on the shroud have been identified by world renowned scientists whose specialty IS in blood and its derivatives to be human blood, with all of its proper and expected components... and to have come from a body that was in extreme trauma. The high bilirubin content, created by that trauma, explains why it has remained reddish, when most ancient blood becomes black with age. Again, Stormer, this has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, subjected to retest, and confirmed. The ONLY scientist who found other wise was Walter C. McCrone, a microscopist who claimed he saw Iron Oxide and Vermillion paint in his optical microscope, something that not one of the hundreds of other scientists who HAVE looked have been able to find, and declared the Shroud image a painting.
Through science we now KNOW what the shroud image is composed of, and it is NOT paint. It is not something that could have been applied by any technology of the 12-14 century... or even of the 21st Century... although it could have come about by natural means. The image is a subtle chemical alteration of the soap-bubble thin coating of the fibers of the flax of the linen that was applied before the cloth was woven in the retting process when it was washed with Soapwort. Somehow, only in the area of the image, the coating has turned to a caramel-like substance, 180-600 nanometers thick, and is thinner than most bacteria. It is essentially a similar substance that gives beer and toast its color and can be created by heat, or chemically. This change in the coating does not exist inside the threads or under the blood stains... indicating the blood stains were made before the image was.
No, you are the one using pseudoscience and psuedoscholarship to push YOUR agenda. I actually do follow the peer-reviewed science.
Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark.
It takes an inordinate amount of suspension of disbelief to conclude, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the Shroud was a Middle Ages hoax.
If pollen and fabric technology were the only factors, yes, it is possible that the hoaxer found a well-preserved shroud from a grave in the Holy Land. Given that no one at the time had the instrumentarium to tell the difference, and the fact that e-Bay was not invented yet, that is an unlikely effort on the hoaxer’s part, but it is possible.
If you take into account the unknown imaging technology of the Shroud, the tale of a hoaxer producing a fake, even from historically accurate material, crumbles.
Happily awaiting links to the peer-reviewed journals you cite. Specifically those discussing your claim that the shroud is “the single most studied object in history”, your claimed geochemical evidence, and the bilirubin content.
Thanks for the ping!
I've always appreciated the time you take to add more detail to the shroud articles.
You are totally right, and he would have also know that photography would be invented so that the shroud would show up as a negative...When Jesus went through the resurrection the force of the light of the spirit/soul reentering the body would have been powerful enought to make the image. imho. Just a picture of Jesus left behind for us that believe...
Thanks so much for your logical and insightful comments to demonstrate the Shroud is truly a miracle of Christ’s Resurrection!
The non-believers simply cannot provide a 21st century answer to explain the shroud - that in itself should be enough to convince the doubters.
But like socialists, they are unwilling or unable to intellectually grasp the factual reality.
As an aside, I visited the Turin/Milan area a few years ago on business. My guests took me to dinner in a restaurant located in a narrow alley in downtown Turin - the downtown being MUCH larger than I imagined.
After dinner, we walked the area including passing the Church that holds the Shroud. Although it was night, it was lit quite brightly and the feeling as I walked by was unbelievable!
Since I have literally posted dozens of such articles on Freerepublic from those journals, I am not going to do your homework for you. The articles exist. There is no single extant historical object that has been subjected to the scientific and scholarly scrutiny the Shroud of Turin has. . . nor the number of published articles. Not one other. If you can name one, feel free. There are lots of articles on FreeRepublic relating to the Shroud and a Shroud of Turin Ping List which I maintain with several hundred members all who can vouch for the accuracy of my information. You are the one who is unaware of the science that has been done.
Try looking at Shroud.com the website maintained by Barrie Schwortz, the principal light photographer of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), who is Jewish, which maintains a clearing house of scientific and scholarly papers on the Shroud. Or you could look at fellow freepers more accessible Shroud ABC Which has a lot of the data in article form.
Incidentally, many of the shroud researchers are not Christian... some are Jewish, including Barrie, Dr. Alan Adler and Dr. John Heller, the blood specialists. All are excellent scientists trying to investigate a mystery... and all EXCEPT Dr. Walter C. McCrone, an atheist, submitted their work to peer-reviewed scientific journals. McCrone published his ONLY in his own in-house magazine, The Microscopist, edited and reviewed by Walter C. McCrone.
About the answer I expected.
Thank you for the ping...and for your excellent post #13! Really appreciate all that you do.
It's not his job to do your research, it's your job to prove or disprove any of the data.
Christ lived and died nearly 2 thousand years ago - leaving a rather large "window of opportunity". This proves nothing. Indeed, time and again, God has specifically avoided leaving objects of worship because people become idolatrous.
Thing is - even if this really IS Christ's burial should - we will not know. We don't have DNA evidence. WE don't have any way to prove it. And what is the point of saying "where's your faith?" Personally, I don't need some 1000+ year old piece of fabric to tell me my Savior lived, died for my sins, and rose from the grave. THAT is where my faith is, not in some piece of fabric that nobody can prove where it came from.
Thanks for this interesting post. I believe the Shroud is real and that Christ left it for people who need tangible signs. He reached out to all of us in all generations in every possible way.
Won’t lead you by the hand.
Gee, he provided links and yet you cannot even get yourself to go study them?? You don't have the honesty or integrity to admit that you have absolutely no interest in studying the Shroud. You only want to insult those who have studied it at great length.
The rudeness you have expressed is to be expected.
Some of the scientific data from the 78 testing was flawed in samples taken, and some ignored and not followed up. If that material was still available, it should be given another go around with the improvements in technologies since then.
Whether you believe the Shroud is real or not, the one simple fact remains that it takes extraordinary effort to even come close to replicating it.
“You infer to this medieval faker an encyclopedic knowledge that is far MORE miraculous than if it IS the Shroud of a known miracle worker!”
Swordmaker, you are correct. Each confirmatory scientific analysis on the Shroud is in itself amazing. The evidence has been unfolding over many years, and I have found it extraordinary.
There are those who absolutely will not accept any of the positive evidence from scientific evaluation on the Shroud because they consider it ‘another of those Catholic relics’ that should have no standing.
Why is it so hard to believe that God might want such a thing as this Shroud to be preserved and found? Our same God put signs in the heavens to proclaim the birth of His Son Jesus. Signs that Eastern ‘astrologers’ were able to read and understand...hence the three ‘wise’ men who came to give Jesus homage. Why not evidence to establish the power unleashed when new life entered the body of our Lord Jesus as he resurrected from the dead?
Btw, I am not a member of the Roman Catholic church, but I am a member of the body of Christ, and I cannot toss disparaging darts at the Shroud each time there is additional evidence that it could really be the Shroud that covered the body of my Lord and Savior.
To quote from the article you linked:
The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.
There is one major problem with Garleschelli's cartoonish attempt at making a shroud duplicate. He hasn't. Even superficically his image shows none of the subtle shading of the original. Most importantly is the fact the original image fibers contain NO PIGMENT, or pigment residue all the way down to the electron microscopic level. Even devices capable of determining subtle variations in the composition of the inert vinyl of the sample bags the thread samples were placed in after being taken could find no trace of any pigment! Garleschelli's laughable attempt at reproducing the Shroud of Turin did not evince any of the quasi 3D terrain mapping of the original (it's a mere transfer print), the image exists under the blood stains he placed, is easy to see close up, is soaked into the fibers, and appears on the back of cloth, both conditions unlike the Shroud. In other words, it fails ALL tests required to duplicate the Shroud in all respects. Earlier attempts by Joe Nickell did a better job, although they failed the same requirements.
Much of the material is being re-evaluated on an on-going basis. Exactly what data do you maintain was flawed in the samples taken in 1978? What has been ignored? What not followed up on? You might be surprised at what has been done in the 34 years since 1978.
Unfortunately, an idiotic, self-proclaimed fabric expert, Mechthild Flury-Lemburg, convinced the even more ignorany and idiotic custodians of the Shroud to permit it to be secretly "restored" in 2002 and that so-called restoration destroyed much of the in situ evidence on the Shroud by vacuuming, washing, stretching, steaming, cutting away "still burning" sections (from the fire of 1532!!! I know, I know!), and a host of other ill-advised offenses against the Shroud's original, pristine untouched status! Finally, she suggested the cloth be stored in an atmosphere heavily saturated with hydrocarbons, saturating the cloth with modern C14!!! An Idiot of the 32nd order!
This means that the Shroud itself is no longer a good primary source for samples! It has been irreparably compromised by bad decisions made without scientific input!
The presence of pollen on the Shroud has been known for decades. Israeli botanist Avinoam Danin and Dr. Alan Whanger (Professor Emeritus, Duke University....and a personal friend) laid out this work many years ago.
By the way, the cloth wasn’t “wound” at all.
They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face. The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.Not even close.
Excellent post. I have only half- heartedly followed the evidence on the Shroud. Your post has given me the incentive to research further. Thanks.
Now as to the data, reviewing the C14 info, and the previous botanical data should shed newer light on the Shroud's travels.
The skeptics will always call it a fake, those who have faith will always believe.
As for me. for the Shroud to be a fake would have taken an intimate knowledge of the implements used by the Romans at the time of Christ, the linen, weave, materials available, the method and tools for the abuse of the body depicted, and a volunteer to not only take the abject abuse, but die in the process. They would have to know bloodflow in both living and dead individuals, and the dynamics of crucifixion as practiced by the Romans.
And that is just to name a few things to believe it's a fake.
I'd agree with that. This one wasn't. It wasn't even in the top 50. *Grin*
And that is just to name a few things to believe it's a fake.
Exactly... but at that time, given the general degree of gullibility, all it would take to fool both churchmen and pilgrims of the period is to use a long table cloth complete with grease and stains, splash pig, chicken, or beef blood on it, allow to dry and dirty it up, and claim it's the "Shroud of Christ", and voilá, instant relic, sufficient to bring in donations to fill your Cathedral's coffers for the next Century or two! Even the image would be superfluous! Especially one that had the nail holes so obviously in the "wrong" position, according to the mistaken art of the period! And, (BLUSH) Jesus would NEVER appear naked! He would be modest... all other pictures of Jesus Crucified from the period and earlier have him modestly covered with a breechclout! So, why go to all that effort and irrelevant scholarly revisionism?
Take a look at the Veronica of Manoppello, a relic that is supposed to be the holy face of Jesus, made by him on the Via Delarosa on the way to the Cross by pressing his beaten and sweaty face to the veil of a woman named Veronica who offered it to him to wipe the sweat off his brow... but what it most probably is is a self portrait of Raphael painted on either Cambric or Byssus that was spoken of in letters exchanged by Raphael and Dürer in which they discussed the technique and sent each other such self-portraits a Century before the "Veil of Veronica Image" appeared in the village of Manoppello in the possession of a soldier who claimed to have stolen the Veronica from the Vatican! The only problem was that there never was a theft and the Veronica, a Linen cloth with a crude, dim image on it, is still in the Vatican's possession. (Other theories hold that the TRUE source of the Veronica legend is the Shroud itself, displayed in a frame, folded to only show the face of the image.)
However, the Manoppello image while being an obvious paintingwhite pigment is visible in the eyes and teeth areas of the imagepeople of faith still believe it's the authentic Veronica, a miraculous image created by Christ, made without pigments.
In the 17th Century it was a no-brainer for the Church at Manoppello to accept the bequest of the cloth, even though the Vatican issued an announcement that no theft had ever taken place! In the 21st Century, the current Pope has made a pilgrimage to Manoppello to venerate the imagean image of a 16th Century artist. Go figure.