The earliest confirmed debut of the shroud was in 1353 when it was displayed by it's owner, a knight in France. It was passed down through his family, stolen, reclaimed, sold, lost, found again and eventually was given to the Turin cathedral in 1578.
Scientists didnt really care about it until 1898 when the first pictures of it were taken. The real image on the Shroud is so faint that you can hardly see itbut when seen in the 'negative', the image became clearer; showing a detailed look at a crucified man, with nail marks in his wrists and feet and multiple whip slashes across his back. There were marks across the forehead from the Crown of Thorns Jesus was said to have worn and a gash in his side where, according to the Bible, Longenious (a Roman soldier) thrust his spear. Finding these marks was seen as proof of the belief that this was the burial cloth of Jesus.
In 1988 the pope gave permission for small samples of the Shroud to be tested. The samples were given to labs in Oxford, Tucson, Arizona and Zurich. Carbon dating placed the date of the Shroud in the area of 1260-1390 A.D.
This was also backed up by there being no record of it's existance before the 13th century.
Studies showed the image was indeed 3-D; the cloth's image hade faded to show "both curvature and distance" as if it had been wrapped around someone. The image doesn't penetrate the fibers as paint does, but is only on the top. No trace of pigments were found. However, the fact that it was clearly seen in a negative image inspired Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince the pursue the possibility that the Shroud was an early attempt at photography.
Enter stage left Leonardo DaVinci.
Leonardo had a deep interest in optics and experimented with just about everything that existed, and then some. Supposedly he belonged to a secret sect called 'The Priory of Soin' which believed religion had become the new opium of the masses...a form of control used by the Church that had left it's true 'religious", spiritual and Holy intent.
Supposedly Mr.DaVinci made the Shroud as a 'relic' to mock the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. The Shroud can easily be duplicated today using techniques available in his time, which Picknett and Prince were able to do.
The "holy relic" version of the story goes that the image was created by a 'divine burst of energy' from the body of Jesus at the moment of his resurrection.
The problem with this theory is that if this had happened, the radiated energy would effect any carbon tests and render them null and void.
Though tests on dirt, pollen and the construction materials of the cloth can still place it in the 13th century time frame and having been in loads of eastern locations, skeptiks suggest that this is just 'stuff' the Shroud picked up along the years.
The 'real life' theory is he used one of his supply of corpses (which he got for all his anatomy and dissection studies) on which he meticulously duplicated the wounds of Christ.
Some proof in this can be found in the head on the shroud. It is slightly detached from the body and has a different look to it. Thus it can be suggested that DaVinci used his own face as the head. The similarity is striking if not exact:
This explains the "detatched" look the head on the Shroud has, which is a bit too 'tall' to be the head of the body and makes the entire figure over 6' 3" tall.
It has been recorded that Leonardo was that tall (Obviously nobody knows about Jesus)
The ethnic and historical belief is that people of Jewish heritage back in those days weren't people of tall stature. So, the not-made-very-public opinion is the cloth is of 'recent' manufacture and Leo might very well be behind it.
Suggestion: Leonardo mocked up the shroud. Sorry Christian people...
Edited by AndyThorley, 28 May 2004 - 05:23 PM.