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A Simple, Natural Mechanism for the Transfer of Dry Bloodstains onto the Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is a large linen cloth that bears the faint image of a crucified man containing bloodstains corresponding to scourging and crucifixion. Although the Shroud has been heralded as the most studied archaeological object in the world, the nature and origin of the image remains enigmatic, with explanations ranging from the natural to the supernatural. The bloodstains have been demonstrated to contain authentic blood components including hemoglobin, albumin, and immunoglobulin, although the species of origin remains to be determined. Controversy exists regarding the proposed blood transfer from a body to the cloth, particularly if certain bloodstains occurred in a dry state. The suggestion has been made that dried blood was thrust onto the cloth by a brief radiation burst emitted from the body, although demonstration of such a process is lacking. Here, a simple, natural mechanism is shown that could account for the imprinting of dried bloodstains onto the Shroud. Specifically, these studies examine the idea that temperature and humidity conditions like those described for a cave tomb environment are sufficient for the rehydration and transfer of dry blood stains. Moreover, these data demonstrate that high humidity imprinting faithfully represents the original patterns of dried blood and dried serum stains on skin.

Turin Shroud, Blood, Humidity

APA Style

Kelly Kearse. (2023). A Simple, Natural Mechanism for the Transfer of Dry Bloodstains onto the Shroud of Turin. International Journal of Archaeology, 11(2), 17-21.

ACS Style

Kelly Kearse. A Simple, Natural Mechanism for the Transfer of Dry Bloodstains onto the Shroud of Turin. Int. J. Archaeol. 2023, 11(2), 17-21. doi: 10.11648/j.ija.20231102.11

AMA Style

Kelly Kearse. A Simple, Natural Mechanism for the Transfer of Dry Bloodstains onto the Shroud of Turin. Int J Archaeol. 2023;11(2):17-21. doi: 10.11648/j.ija.20231102.11

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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