Shroud of Turin Facts Check  > Face on the Shroud

This is the face on the Shroud of Turin as it is seen in a photographic negative. The actual image on the cloth seems to be negative (or at least acts like a negative) thus making a photographic negative into a positive image. Why this is so is not well understood and why a faker of relics or an artist would have created such an image is not at all clear.






Face as it appears on Shroud



Notice the the dark vertical streaks on both sides of the face just at the outer edge of the eye sockets. This darker color is not part of the image but is part of the color of the cloth. This suggests that the threads of the cloth were bleached before weaving, a method used in the first century but not used in medieval Europe.

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