In 1898, the first photograph of the original shroud photo was taken by Secondo Pia, an Italian photographer. As he developed the negative, he saw a much clearer image of a man. He realized that the original image on the shroud was the negative and the clearer image on his negative plate was the positive image. The question was how a negative image could get onto an ancient cloth when photography was only invented in the nineteenth century.
The shroud image has photographic negative qualities but it is not a photograph. Photographs have sharp edges and are two-dimensional, while the shroud image has tapered edges and is three-dimensional. A microscopic study of the shroud image over the nose showed no debris on or in between the fibers, as you would find with paint. Likewise, the microscopic study at a blood area over the chest wound shows debris in between the fibers.
At the microscopic level, we see that the blood marks were entirely different from the areas over the image. The parts that looked like blood on the shroud has been chemically tested and shown to be blood. The blood soaks all the way through to the back of the cloth. On removing the blood from the blood-covered fibers, it was discovered, instead of yellow fibers as they are in the image areas, the fibers were white. This means that the blood went onto the cloth before the image, and that the blood protected the fibers from whatever caused the image.
Blood on the face and hair indicate there were numerous puncture wounds around the head. They fit a pattern that could have been caused by a cap of thorns. The swelling under the right eye shows he was beaten. A lance pierced this man, possibly, as evidenced by the elliptical wound at the top of the chest where blood flows.
This man had been scourged as shown by the flesh wounds on the back of the man. They resemble the kind of wounds made by a first century Roman flagrum suggesting a first-century event. The scourge marks are slanted upward, horizontal, then downward on the legs, as if a soldier was standing behind the man and hitting him.
The blood mark on the wrists show the arm had to have been in the position of crucifixion in order for this blood to follow the force of gravity. The blood at the feet indicates that the feet were also nailed as was done routinely in crucifixions.
The blood marks were made when the cloth met moist blood clots that were on the body.
Pollen on the shroud came from flowers that existed in the Jerusalem area and Anatolia. The shroud showed faint floral images of flowers that come from the Jerusalem area that also flower in the spring of the year Passover, Easter.
Archeological evidence suggests that the shroud is from the first century. The scourge marks on the shroud show the same pattern of injury that would have been caused by a first century Roman flagrum.
Accounts tell us of an image of Jesus on a cloth “not made by hands” tracing back to the first century.
This was a Jewish burial, as proven by the procedure followed after death. The Jewish law requires that the body be washed prior to burial, except when the person dies a violent death. In this case, the body is not washed but is simply placed in a sheet and buried.
According to Jewish authorities, the blood of a man who dies a violent death is considered life-blood and should be buried with the body. On the shroud, we see the undisturbed blood marks of a crucified man. It took a great deal of effort to remove him from a position of crucifixion, place him in a burial cloth, and not disturb the moist blood clots on his body.
The blood marks formed when the cloth was draped around the face, but the image formation seems to be an entirely separate event. It seems as if the draped cloth was then flattened out and that this negative image was formed in between the blood marks that were originally on the cheeks and temples of the man who was under the cloth.
Experiments conducted by scientists in 2012 at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.
Previous results may have been skewed by contamination by fibers from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.
Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man's body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of interpreting it as a miracle.