Shroud of Turin experts - question regarding hair

Mar 2014
1
Seattle
#1
I've always been interested in the Shroud of Turin and am fairly up to date on theories for and again authenticity.

One of the questions that has always puzzled me is regarding the hair depicted on the shroud.
It looks like hair would look if a person was standing up and the hair was hanging down vertically. What I've never seen addressed in anything I've read or watched is why that is not in question. If a person was laying down on their back, and had long hair, their hair would fall backwards and not remain hanging straight down to their shoulders.

Would love to hear anyone's thoughts on what has always seemed questionable to me.

Thank you.
 

beetle

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
3,362
St. Louis
#2
Hi. I see this is your first post so may I issue you a warm welcome.

I've also been thru the pros and cons of the matter. My initial response is to consider burial customs which involve wrapping a body. This may indicate that a person isn't just laid down flat, but is carefully wrapped. One may speculate about how the hair might hang or how tight the wrap is, but keep in mind a deceased person on burial is treated in a rather reverential manner rather than careless.

What really caught my eye about your question of hair is what's on the back of the shroud - the back of the man's head regarding his hair. I'll quote from Kenneth Stevenson and Gary Habermas (Verdict on the Shroud; pub. 1981):

"One of the more curious features of the image is a long streak of hair which falls from the head to the shoulder blade on the dorsal image. This streak looks much like an unbound pigtail. Ian Wilson, the British historian, was the first to call attention to this detail. He calls it the most strikingly Jewish feature on the shroud. The German scholar Gressman and the French scholar Daniel-Rops have shown that it was a common fashion for Jewish men in Jesus' time to wear their hair caught at the back of the neck in pigtail form. Orthodox Jewish rabbis and scholars confirm this."

Oh, and please don't tag me with "expert":lol:. I'm happy to leave such like that for others to claim.:)
 
Feb 2013
543
Durham, UK
#3
Ah, the first post - always a nervous experience :)

Seriously though, you have raised an intriguing question. As I recall radiocarbon dating put the date of its creation to somewhere in the early 14th C, which begs the question of, if it is a fake, how was it done, and along with that the hair question?

If the shroud is a clever fake, then is it possible that the person who acted as a 'model' was standing up, and the sheet placed over the top of his head and an 'imprinting' process used to transfer a faint image to the material? This would then account for the hair being about the shoulders and not falling away to the rear as one might expect in a body that is lying in a horizontal position.

Again, as Beetle says, I'm no expert either, so its just a theory!:)
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#4
I've always been interested in the Shroud of Turin and am fairly up to date on theories for and again authenticity.

One of the questions that has always puzzled me is regarding the hair depicted on the shroud.
It looks like hair would look if a person was standing up and the hair was hanging down vertically. What I've never seen addressed in anything I've read or watched is why that is not in question. If a person was laying down on their back, and had long hair, their hair would fall backwards and not remain hanging straight down to their shoulders.

Would love to hear anyone's thoughts on what has always seemed questionable to me.

Thank you.
That's a good observation and question about the hair. The image on the shroud is very awkward to explain if we suppose it was genuine. Another good question I've seen raised, is regarding the image showing the general region covered with the hands.

This pose can't be done if you are normally proportionate. Try it yourself. Lie on your back on a hard surface, and try to duplicate the image. I had to stretch my arms in order to cover myself as shown in the image. It is not a relaxed position at all.

In order to pull off this pose in a relaxed state, Jesus would need to have disproportionately long arms, and according to others, perhaps he had pigtails too.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#5
beetle said:
My initial response is to consider burial customs which involve wrapping a body. This may indicate that a person isn't just laid down flat, but is carefully wrapped.
The imprint on the shroud would extremely distorted if the body was wrapped as they did in 1st century Palestine. The clear front and back images would only be possible if the cloth was draped, as they did in Medieval Europe.
 
Jul 2010
6,851
Not sure what it is
#6
Ah, the first post - always a nervous experience :)

Seriously though, you have raised an intriguing question. As I recall radiocarbon dating put the date of its creation to somewhere in the early 14th C, which begs the question of, if it is a fake, how was it done, and along with that the hair question?

If the shroud is a clever fake, then is it possible that the person who acted as a 'model' was standing up, and the sheet placed over the top of his head and an 'imprinting' process used to transfer a faint image to the material? This would then account for the hair being about the shoulders and not falling away to the rear as one might expect in a body that is lying in a horizontal position.

Again, as Beetle says, I'm no expert either, so its just a theory!:)
You probably should do a thread search on the Shroud in this forum. There were some excellent posts and one particular poster who obviously did extensive research on the Shroud. Or you can try The Shroud of Turin Website - Home Page which is by far the most exhaustive and in-depth source on the net.

Regarding the C dating, it was later found out that the testing materials were taken from the restored parts from a Medieval fire. Samples taken from the original Shroud date back to 1st Century.

Regarding hair, I think beetle has a good answer to that.
 
Feb 2013
543
Durham, UK
#7
You probably should do a thread search on the Shroud in this forum. There were some excellent posts and one particular poster who obviously did extensive research on the Shroud. Or you can try The Shroud of Turin Website - Home Page which is by far the most exhaustive and in-depth source on the net.

Regarding the C dating, it was later found out that the testing materials were taken from the restored parts from a Medieval fire. Samples taken from the original Shroud date back to 1st Century.

Regarding hair, I think beetle has a good answer to that.
Thanks for the info, Mandate, I shall go and have a look in the places you suggest - now that you mention it, I do recall it being mentioned a while ago that the parts they'd tested weren't of the original material but that of the repairs. Seems as I'm getting older my memory is fading!:lol:
 

beetle

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
3,362
St. Louis
#8
Just real quick, as I've been thru shroud debates before. Persons and academics who claim it is a painted image ignore the vast amount of detail the shroud discloses (and other things.) Others who claim it was made in other ways likewise ignore what such attempts aren't capable of creating in regard to this detail. As for a male lying on his back and being able to cross his hands over his groin, guys, the easiest response is to try it. If you can't do that your arms are too short.:) And if the man of the shroud has one arm an inch longer, well what may occur when a man with a dislocated shoulder has his arms outstretched and nailed to a cross for hours. 'Nuff said on this.

Persons who seek to discredit the shroud engage in the wildest speculations. I've heard everything from a da Vinci conspiracy theory to a heated barrel with a sheet wrapped around it. Now someone is trying to claim a man who has been severely beaten, tortured and then crucified can stand straight up and be the model for the shroud. Um, sure.

Anyway. The OP question was about the hair. Since this is in the area of the man's head, the only thing I can add involves the work done by an Israeli professor of botany from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in conjunction with researchers from Duke University in the US. Why botany? Because these folks (Alan and Mary Whanger at Duke and Avinoam Danin in Israel) identified the flora, the flowers placed around the man's head after his burial. The images of the flowers were produced by negatives and ultraviolet light scanning. The OP requests experts, so I'm bringing out valid ones who have done significant work. Not the sort who wrap a sheet around a heated barrel and then make claims about his own expertise. Or someone who claims a brutalized and dead man can stand straight up and have a sheet draped over him to produce an image. Yowzer.

Hey, stacy, what do you think?
 
Feb 2013
543
Durham, UK
#9
Just real quick, as I've been thru shroud debates before. Persons and academics who claim it is a painted image ignore the vast amount of detail the shroud discloses (and other things.) Others who claim it was made in other ways likewise ignore what such attempts aren't capable of creating in regard to this detail. As for a male lying on his back and being able to cross his hands over his groin, guys, the easiest response is to try it. If you can't do that your arms are too short.:) And if the man of the shroud has one arm an inch longer, well what may occur when a man with a dislocated shoulder has his arms outstretched and nailed to a cross for hours. 'Nuff said on this.

Persons who seek to discredit the shroud engage in the wildest speculations. I've heard everything from a da Vinci conspiracy theory to a heated barrel with a sheet wrapped around it. Now someone is trying to claim a man who has been severely beaten, tortured and then crucified can stand straight up and be the model for the shroud. Um, sure.

Anyway. The OP question was about the hair. Since this is in the area of the man's head, the only thing I can add involves the work done by an Israeli professor of botany from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in conjunction with researchers from Duke University in the US. Why botany? Because these folks (Alan and Mary Whanger at Duke and Avinoam Danin in Israel) identified the flora, the flowers placed around the man's head after his burial. The images of the flowers were produced by negatives and ultraviolet light scanning. The OP requests experts, so I'm bringing out valid ones who have done significant work. Not the sort who wrap a sheet around a heated barrel and then make claims about his own expertise. Or someone who claims a brutalized and dead man can stand straight up and have a sheet draped over him to produce an image. Yowzer.

Hey, stacy, what do you think?
I don't think anyone could have stood such a body up had it been in such a condition, brutalised and beaten in such a terrible way. How could they have kept it up, draped the sheet over the body, take the impression and yet not have any sign of the support the body would obviously require.

However I do think that we need to keep an open mind over the possibilities of fakery, especially as we know that such things were prevalent in medieval Europe. If we don't keep an open mind, then we close off every avenue and try to make every fact fit our conclusions.

Perhaps it is fitting that, like religion itself, the shroud remains an enigma, proved and yet unproved.
 
Jul 2010
6,851
Not sure what it is
#10
Thanks for the info, Mandate, I shall go and have a look in the places you suggest - now that you mention it, I do recall it being mentioned a while ago that the parts they'd tested weren't of the original material but that of the repairs. Seems as I'm getting older my memory is fading!:lol:
I think you will find this Sudarium of Oveido https://www.shroud.com/guscin.htm fascinating.
 

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