Experiments with life models to attempt to reproduce image details of the shroud of Turin

Testing the nature of image formation from a living body to a linen sheet.

Whilst carrying out research for a book, The Second Messiah (published by Arrow, 1997), which I was planning to co-author with Chris Knight, I conducted a series of experiments using life models to test six important questions about the nature of the image formation on the cloth known as the shroud of Turin.

1. Could the image be formed by a contact printing process?

2. Did a soft underlay explain the nature of the dorsal image?

3. How was the perspective distortion created?

4. How had the whip markings been caused?

5. Could the blood flows seen on the image have been caused during crucifixion?

6. Did the male anatomy have implications for the nature of the image which would be formed? And would studying it help understand the circumstances of image formation?

These experiments underpin the hypothesis I put forward to explain the creation of the shroud of Turin. The detail of the experiments was too much to include in the book but I made a made a full photographic record of the work, which is reproduced here along with my commentary on the methods and results.