Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Image on reverse of Turin Shroud

On Paleojudaica, Jim Davila points out this article on Discovery News with an extraordinary title:

Turin Shroud Back Side Shows Face
By Rossella Lorenzi

Now the scientific article on which that news piece is based has been published, with thanks to David Mackinder for the link:

The double superficiality of the frontal image of the Turin Shroud
Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo
Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics 6 (June 2004): 491-503

That link will take you to an abstract of the article:
Photographs of the back surface of the Turin Shroud were analysed to verify the existence of a double body image of a man. The body image is very faint and the background not uniform; i.e., the signal-to-noise ratio is lower than one. Therefore, image processing, developed ad hoc, was necessary to highlight body features. This was based on convolution with Gaussian filters, summation of images, and filtering in spatial frequency by direct and inverse bidimensional Fourier transformations. Body features were identified by template matching. The face and probably also the hands are visible on the back of the Turin Shroud, but not features related to the dorsal image.
From that page you can navigate your way to the full text of the article after having signed in or created an account. It is available free for thirty days (from today) only. The article itself is tough for non-experts like me to fathom, but there are lots of nice pictures and there is material that one can follow [TS=Turin Shroud]:
Therefore it has been ascertained that an image exists on the back of the TS. It certainly corresponds to the face and probably also to the hands, where the luminance levels are higher. In other words, there is an image on the bs corresponding with the one on the fs, which, at least as regards the face, corresponds to it in form, size, and position.

The face image is therefore doubly superficial. This means that, if a cross-section of the fabric is made, one extremely superficial image appears above and one below, but there is nothing in the middle (figure 17). (501)

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