Shroud of Turin Facts Check  > Abgar of Edessa

Tenth century painting of a scene from the legend in which King Abgar of Edessa is presented with the burial shroud of Jesus. The painting provides a significant clue that in the tenth century it was understood that the image of Jesus' face was centered in a horizontal picture. This is unusually today just as it was then.

However, when the cloth is folded into eight sections evenly, this is exactly what occurs. Persistent crease marks were found on the Shroud indicating just such a folding.



For additional information see: Carbon 14 Dating: Bones, Cloth Fibers, Wood


Face on Shroud as photographed

Face on the Shroud as it appears when photographed. This is the negative.

Gum encrusted fiber

Gum encrusted cotton fiber found only in the carbon 14 sample area and not elsewhere on the cloth.

Spliced thread

Close up view of spliced thread in the carbon 14 sample area showing that what was tested was likely a repair and not original cloth.

Mordant lakes

Photomicrograph, gum is swelling and slowly detaching from the fibers and alizarin mordant lakes can be seen. Yellow dye is in solution. Further evidence of repair.

Single fiber up close

Phase-contrast microscopy of a single image fiber. Image is a reddish-brown caramel-like complex carbon bond, a chemical change within a super thin coating of crude starch on the fabric's outermost fibers. It is not paint or any kind of applied pigment. It is likely caused by bodily amine vapors reacting with saccharides in the starch.
Close up of thread showing coating on fibers

Threads consisting of twisted bundles of fibers. Shows color in starch coating

Face as it appears on Shroud

This is how the face appears on the cloth.

Second face found on back of cloth

Second face image recently discovered with image analysis technology. This a a computer enhanced view. It matches the face on the front of the Shroud. The images are doubly-superficial meaning that nothing soaked through.

UV photo of sample area

UV photograph of carbon 14 sample area showing that the sample area is chemically unlike the rest of the cloth