Scourge Bloodstains on the Turin Shroud: An Evidence for Different Instruments Used by Barbara Faccini (fccbbr@ unife.it). Friday, August 15, 5:09 p.m.–5:29 p.m. 

Among the numerous bloodstains on the Turin Shroud, those traditionally ascribed to scourging have always been grouped together without distinction. The scientific exams of these marks began in the first half of the last century (Vignon 1939) and went on until recent times, led mainly by doctors and forensic pathologists (examples: Larato 1984, Baima Bollone 1999, Zugibe 2005). 

G. Ricci made a systematic visual study of the scourge marks on a 1:1 scale copy of the Shroud obtained from Enrie’s 1931 photographs (which were made with an orthochromatic film in order to enhance all details). He concluded that the Shroud man was scourged by two executors (one on each side of the body) with a similar instrument, identified as the roman “flagrum,” a whip with three leather straps having dumbell-shaped metal extremities with spiky spheres (Ricci 1989). 

However, thanks to enhancements and graphic elaboration of Judica Cordiglia’s 1969, Durante’s 2000, and Miller’s UV photos, three different types of “scourge” marks can be envisaged. 

The first type is found on the whole surface of the double image and can actually be associated to the kind of flagrum already mentioned. It is characterized by two blood circlets (where the sheet has been more soaked) connected by a much lesser evident bloody line. 

The second type is present mainly on the lumbar region, on the back of the thighs and on the chest. It has a wider shape and is more evanescent with respect to type 1. At higher enhancement and contrast, it appears to be formed by three parallel blood lines that fade into serum. 

The third type is very faint and detectable on the lower part of the calves. It is a kind of fan-shaped scratch. A graphic elaboration and comparison between the three types of scourge marks will be realized in order to show if these blood traces can be all attributed to the same whip or to different kinds of instruments.

- Baima Bollone P., Gli ultimi giorni di Gesù. Mondadori, 1999.

- Larato G., L’ignominiosa flagellazione secondo la Sindone: rilievi di fisiopatologia clinica. Proceeding of the III National Congress on the Turin Shroud, Trani, November 1984.

- Ricci G., L’Uomo della Sindone è Gesù, diamo le prove. Carroccio Eds., Vigodarzere, Padova, 1989. - Vignon P., Le Saint Suaire de Turin. Masson Eds., 1939.
 

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