This post "2.6. The other marks (1): Burns and water stains" is part 12 of my series, "The Shroud of Turin." As the title indicates, it is about the burn marks from the 1532 fire and water stains from putting out that fire. The previous post was part 11, "2.5. The bloodstains." The series was originally titled, "The Shroud of Jesus?" but I have changed it to "The Shroud of Turin" so that posts in the series are more easily found by a search engine. For further information about this series, see the Contents page (part 1).
2. WHAT IS THE SHROUD OF TURIN?
2.6. THE OTHER MARKS (1): BURNS AND WATER STAINS
© Stephen E. Jones
By "other marks" is meant those significant marks on the Shroud of Turin which are not wounds (see "2.4. The wounds") or bloodstains (see "2.5. The Bloodstains"). They are considered below in the order of most to least obvious (not the most to least important).
Burns The most obvious (and no doubt most puzzling to a newcomer to the Shroud) marks on the Shroud are burns from a fire in 1532. A copy of the Shroud painted in 1516 which is held in the Church of St. Gommare, Lierre, Belgium, does not show these burns.
[Right: Burns to the Shroud from the 1532 fire (outlined in green): Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical: Overlays: Burn Holes (1532 A.D.)]
Since 1502  the Shroud had been kept within a silver casket, behind an iron grille secured by four locks, and set into a wall of the Savoy royal family's Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) at Chambéry, France.
[Above: Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry, France: Wikipedia.]
On the night of 4 December 1532 a fire broke out in the chapel , but the grille's four locks required four different keys: two held by the Duke of Savoy, one by the Duke's counsellor Canon Philibert Lambert, and one by the President of the Treasury . As the Shroud would have been destroyed by the time the other keyholders arrived with their keys, the Duke's blacksmith, Guillaume Pussod, was summoned to force open the grille. If it were not for the courage and strength of this unsung hero the Shroud would have been destroyed. So intense was the heat that the Shroud's silver casket had started to melt but Pussod forced open the grille, and with the help of Lambert and two priests, carried the casket to safety. However, a piece of molten silver from the casket's lid fell into the casket and set fire to one edge of the Shroud. After pouring buckets of water into the casket the fire was put out . But it was found that the piece of molten silver had burned itself through one edge of all forty-eight layers in which the Shroud had evidently been folded. Miraculously, however, the image, except for the front shoulders and upper arms, was not affected.
[Above: Interior of the Sainte-Chapelle, Chambéry as it is today. The hole in the wall (see inset) where the Shroud was kept in a silver casket behind an iron grille from 1502 to 1532, is behind the altar to the left.]
And as we shall see in "6.Science and the Shroud," the intense heat generated by the fire, estimated to have been between 200° to 300°C inside the casket, and the superheated steam generated by dousing with water the molten silver within the close confines of the Shroud's casket, formed a "natural experiment" which provides further evidence that the Shroud image is not a painting nor is it a bas relief or statue powder rubbbing because the image did not run, migrate or change colour as any medieval paint, pigment, dye or powder would have under that very high temperature. This therefore is another problem for the forgery theory[§10].
In 1534, to stabilise the damage to the Shroud, it was sent to Chambéry's convent of Poor Clare nuns where four nuns sewed linen patches over the burns and added a Holland cloth backing. It wasn't until 2002 that the patches and Holland cloth were removed as part of a restoration of the Shroud.
Water stains After the burn marks the most prominent marks on the Shroud are water stains. These are from the water poured onto the burning Shroud in its casket on the night of the 1532 fire (see above). Iron oxide particles from the retting process of making flax were found to have migrated to the edges of the water stains but no paint, pigment, dye or powder did. So this is yet another problem for the forgery theory[§11].
[Above: Two sets of three repeating water stains on the Shroud (e.g. the oval shape between the front and back head images is a water stain as is the diamond shape below the man's chest.): Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical]
1. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, pp.11-12. [return]
2. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.24. [return]
3. Wilson, 1979, p.25. [return]
4. Wilson, 1979, p.218. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.2. [return]
6. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.22. [return]
7. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.65. [return]
8. Ruffin, 1999, p.67. [return]
9. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
10. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.4. [return]
11. Crispino, D., 1982, "The Report of the Poor Clare Nuns," Shroud Spectrum International, March, p.19.[return]
12. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
13. Rinaldi, P.M., 1978, "The Man in the Shroud," Futura: London, Revised, p.20. [return]
14. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.64. [return]
15. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
16. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
17. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.253. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
19. Wilson, 2101, p.14. [return]
20. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
21. Rinaldi, 1978, p.20. [return]
22. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
23. Wilson, 1986, p.2. [return]
24. Wilson, 1998, pp.22-23. [return]
25. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
26. Moretto, G., 1999, "The Shroud: A Guide," Paulist Press: Mahwah NJ, p.19. [return]
27. Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, p.236. [return]
28. Wilson, 1991, p.176. [return]
29. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.48 [return]
30. Antonacci, 2000, pp.48. [return]
31. Antonacci, 2000, pp.73-74. [return]
32. Antonacci, 2000, p.48. [return]
33. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, pp.85-86. [return]
34. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
35. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
36. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
37. Wilson, 2010, p.15. [return]
38. Wilson, 2010, pp.14-15. [return]
39. Rinaldi, 1978, p.2. [return]
40. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, pp.60-61. [return]
41. Antonacci, 2000, p.48. [return]
§10, §11. To be further examined under "9. Problems of the forgery theory". [return]
Continued in part 13, "2.6. The other marks (2): Poker holes."
Last updated: 15 July, 2013.