Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. (Matthew 27:59-60)

We do not base our faith, or hopes, on an artifact but, although controversial, it does provide confirmation of the brutal torture and trauma of crucifixion that Jesus suffered.


Juan Manuel Miñarro López

Google English translation of
See also The Shroud of Turin


The following text, illustrated with drawings and photographs, represents the conclusion of six years of personal work and research on the Shroud of Turin (Italy) and the Holy Shroud of Oviedo (Spain), as a member of the EDICES (International Research Team of the Centro Español de Sindonología), but it also represents the most complete compilation of the most complete legal medical research that has ever been carried out on an object closely related to the Passion of Christ.

The work of eminent specialists in the field of legal and forensic medicine, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, has been fundamental to understanding the syndone and the Shroud; but also thanks to the contribution of other specialists belonging to different fields of science, such as anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, physicists, chemists and artists.

Never has an ancient object brought together such a complete multidisciplinary team. Science does not currently have a satisfactory answer to explain the formation of the image of the Shroud, and no one for or against has been able to present science with definitive evidence that will withstand relevant scientific analysis.


The body that we have represented, in its general and particular aspect, obeys the studies contributed by physical and forensic anthropology: the image or imprint present in the Shroud corresponds exactly to the appearance of a recent corpse, of about five or six hours, in a state of intense rigidity established instantaneously or very early, characteristic of cases due to violent deaths, extremely tiring, painful and accompanied by severe dehydration aggravated by a sustained state of fever.

In the anatomical areas of slopes, referring to the position of the body on the cross, and due to the action of gravity after death, hemostatic or cadaveric spots have been represented, with the tonality that can be expected in a corpse of a few hours. These spots are formed by the accumulation of blood due to gravity, so it is a clear indication of the position in which a body remains at the time of death.

The morphology of the trauma, color and texture of the blood, has been carried out thanks to the forensic advice of Dr. Alfonso Sánchez Hermosilla and by the medical analyst Dr. Antonio Petit Gancedo. Thanks to their contributions, I have been able to represent the hematic morphology according to the different types: venous, arterial and post-mortem hemorrhage. Likewise, fluids due to serum and fluids of origin in cadaveric pulmonary edema have been distinguished.

The somatic constitution, according to Judica Cordiglia, could be described as that of a tall man of stature (between 178 and 180 cm), keeping the lines of his trunk and extremities a harmony and sculptural proportion; balanced in both width and length. Reason why the man of the Shroud can be defined as a normotype; that is to say: it presents a completely peculiar somatic structure, being outside and above any type of ethnic classification.

Regarding the disposition and composition of the body, the head is slightly bent forward (approximately 40º angle) and the nape is elevated and tense, with marked cervical kyphosis; the sternocleidomastoid, trapezius and inspiratory muscles appear stiff, as do the deltoids, and supinator muscles of the arms; the thorax is dilated, as in a forced inspiration; the pectoralis major muscles are contracted and protruding; the scapular muscles are also contracted and attached to the ribs; the sunken epigastrium; the prominent hypogastrium; the dorsal-lumbar muscles very tense, with accentuated lumbar lordosis; the belly is swollen, a characteristic symptom of a suffocating death; the legs are represented bent: the right at an angle of 64 degrees and the left at an angle of 77 degrees; the nail wound in the feet has been located according to Dr. Smith’s theory, at the point of confluence of the calcaneus, talus, navicular and cuboid, a space that leads to the sinus tarsi; the left foot is flexed 90º and the right is hyperextended 155º, a position called by Palacio Carvajal “standing equine”; the arms are less rigid than the rest of the muscles of the body and are placed crossed over the pubis, but in such a way that a clearly forced pose results from the fact that they had to overcome the rigor mortis set by the cross position; the hands appear with the thumbs folded over the palms, due to a possible injury to the palmar nerve arch caused by the nails;


The studies carried out reveal a swollen face, typical of a man who has been very mistreated and who at the same time received the placement of a lacerating object on his head, like a crown or helmet of thorns.

More than fifty puncture wounds are seen over the visible regions of the head. The crushing of the nose and the swelling of the eye and right cheekbone reveal the type of injuries that could have caused a blow from the stick; a cylindrical object about 4.5 cm in diameter. You can also see the lack of hair in the beard, as if pieces had been deliberately pulled out.

By its appearance, the face reveals traces of an intense beating. It presents injuries caused by both direct and indirect blows, perhaps due to falls: swelling in the forehead area, region of both superciliary arches and mid-frontal area; tumescence continues in the arch of the right eyebrow, more pronounced in the outer part of the eye, which should condition its partial closure; abundant clots of vital blood on the forehead, temples, neck and scalp; profusion of arterial or venous hemorrhages, compatible with wounds caused by sharp objects, arranged peripherally on the skull  (cap of spines of ziziphus jujuba); large contusion under the right zygomatic region (right cheek) in the shape of a triangle, the most elongated vertex of which is directed towards the crest of the nose; at the level of the left vertex of the nasal dorsum, there is a bruise and bruised area caused by a blow that must have fractured the nasal cartilage, causing the nose to deviate to the left; the nose has a flattened and flattened left wing; the lips, mustache, chin and beard are impregnated with blood; abundant streams of blood mixed with saliva and fluid from pulmonary edema, coming out of the right corner of the mouth; very bruised chin, and abundant streams of blood coming out of the nostrils, forming two jets that cross the right side of the mouth and the center of the lower lip.


Practically the entire body is covered with small wounds, equal to and similar to small dumbbells of about 3 cm in length. The marks, paired and pinpoint, are formed by small circles of about 12 mm in diameter, somewhat separated from each other but joined by a transverse line, in many cases visible. Some of these marks are not very visible on the Shroud with the naked eye, but are clearly revealed by ultraviolet light photographs. They are undoubtedly those that would be left by the Roman torture instrument, known by the name of “flagellum taxillatum”, named for the balls or “taxilli” that finished off its three straps formed by nerves obtained from animals.

The representation of these lesions is located throughout the body: back, legs, chest, belly, gluteal area and, possibly, even on the genitals. Obviously, we think that the man must have been totally naked when he received this brutal and systematic punishment.

The study of the syndonic image reveals some characteristics that should be highlighted, and that have been applied in the realization of the body: the punishment was applied by two executioners or lictors right-handed, located on each flank of the inmate, approximately 1 meter away, distributing the blows in a fan shape throughout the victim’s body, systematically and viciously; the number of blows amounted to about 120, not counting those that we have not been able to study due to the lack of traces of a large part of the arms, an area of ​​the image lost due to the 1532 fire in Chamberí (France), in addition to the no side or side image of the man’s body in the Shroud (aspect not yet satisfactorily explained); During the flagellation, the posture of our man must have been hunched, which is deduced from the studies carried out by computer on ultraviolet photographs obtained from the Shroud, By means of which the cancellation of the blood and serum streams in the different parts of the body can be verified; in the stooped position, the spurs of the upper dorsal part fell to the sides with an angulation of 100º, 90º and 70º, during the application of the punishment, later, already in an upright position or sitting, the spurs fell downwards following the action due to gravity, something similar happened in the gluteal areas, and in the lower extremities the streaks are clear and are directed, almost always, downwards; The great clarity with which many of these trails are appreciated can be explained by the time that passed from the flogging until they were dressed again, the time necessary for them to dry and not be absorbed by the tunic, remaining in the body and then passing to the shroud through a process that cannot be explained only by contact; In the upper part of the back, the tracks and the marks of the “taxilli” have disappeared, being seen to be blurred and compact, in addition the area is very abraded, as if the wounded skin were scorched by friction against some type of rough surface (The patibulum?); Finally, the knees are also heavily injured: the right one presents numerous excoriations of different sizes at the level of the patella, and a loss of substance is sensed in the same place, while the left one presents less extensive wounds. The explanation for these injuries is obvious: on the way to the torture, the man must have fallen, and perhaps on several occasions.


The first thing that catches our attention in the Shroud, when we look at the crossed arms (left over right), is the existing wound at the level of the left wrist (and not in the palm of the hand, as is always represented in sacred art). Dr. Pier Barbet carried out experiments with recently amputated arms, still alive, and confirmed that the most suitable area to insert a nail was through the carpus, and not in the palms. In these areas the tissues do not have structures to support the weight of a body.

We calculated a weight of about 80 kg for the man from the Shroud, hanging in a vertical position and with the arms forming an angle of approximately 65 degrees. It is easy to deduce the weight that each arm would support depending on the mentioned angle, applying the following mathematical formula: 40 kg / cosine of 65º = 95 kg. The palms could not bear this weight; however, the wrists can withstand up to 200 kg of traction. Therefore, according to Barbet and many other specialists, the nail had to penetrate through a space between the carpal bones, called the “destot point”, a space that Barbet, and later other syndonologists, had placed between the large bone and the lunate. In turn, Barbet maintained that this injury caused the injury of the median nerve and the abduction of the thumbs. However, according to recent studies by Dr. Palacios Carvajal, a specialist in traumatology, there are two possible spaces in the carpal area, in this case absolutely certain, where the nail could penetrate. Although he also considers that Barbet’s other theory about the supposed lesion of the median nerve, to explain the absence of traces of both thumbs in the syndonic image, does not seem true or plausible either, and maintains that the thumbs may not be seen because they are simply retracted, as is almost normal in every hand in an attitude of relaxation.

From all the above, what seems at least plausible is that the nail penetrated through the carpal area and not through the ulnar radial space. Although this is another anatomical area, it must also be considered feasible to achieve a stable suspension. Furthermore, it is relatively so close to the carpal region, difficult to see clearly enough in the Shroud, that we cannot at the moment make an absolute judgment.

The nail wound in the feet has been located according to Dr. Smith’s theory: at the point of confluence of the calcaneus, talus, navicular and cuboid, the space that leads to the sinus tarsi.

In the dorsal image the feet appear somewhat crossed: converging toes and separate heels. The right foot presents all its marked sole, which indicates the most flexed disposition of the right knee. Of the left foot we only see the heel and the central part. The heel of the left foot, profusely stained with blood, has marks that appear to be caused by the fingers of one hand.

With complete security, the left foot was nailed on the right, pressing the wound on that side, in such a way that the blood that flowed was slowed by the pressure, forming a trapezoidal and irregular stain that extends to the left in a trail oblique. This would happen when the blood does not flow freely due to the pressure of the left foot already mentioned. However, the entry point of the nail is clearly visible on the left foot, as well as some free-flowing trails of blood.


The wound in the side is located between the fifth and sixth rib. It may be an evident proof of the practice of “exactus mortis”, a mere verification of death effected with an accurate blow of the spear. We know that the crucifiers normally practiced the “crurifagium”, a violent blow with the mace with which their legs were broken to accelerate their death. We know from the Gospels that such a technique was not necessary for Jesus, since he died relatively quickly. It was only necessary, by order of the Roman attorney Pontius Pilate, to verify the reality of his death.

According to what we see in the Shroud, the wound on the side can be irrefutable proof of death, especially because of its appearance and morphology. Different forensic authors describe characteristics of a post-mortem hemorrhage, showing how the blood mass is already separated from the plasma or liquid medium in which the red blood cells float. In addition, the halos formed by serous liquids are clearly visible in the entire periphery of the clots, especially if we apply ultraviolet light. Also, the edges of the wound remain open: there is no retraction in the skin, there is no life.

On the other hand, these blood serum or serous fluids probably come from a severe pulmonary edema caused by the flogging and aggravated by the asphyctic death of the prisoner. This same effect and type of stain can be seen in the central part of the Shroud of Oviedo. In the case of the spear, these liquids were perhaps the cause of the phenomenon described to us by Saint John the Evangelist, a witness to the “exactus mortis”, explaining it in the Gospel passage as an emanation of blood and water that gushed out from the side of Jesus.

The hemorrhage from the side continues on the back through compact, cadaveric-type streaks, which in this case are in a transverse direction with respect to the vertical, so it must have occurred when the body was no longer on the cross. In the Shroud we call it the “lumbar belt” and we think that it is blood from the wound on the side, caused when the corpse moved, which caused drainage of the inferior vena cava and traces of fluid from pulmonary edema, serum and pleural fluid.

Recent studies have discovered an exit hole for the spear on the left side of the back, below the scapula. If this is true, the prophetic phrase “look at the one they pierced” would be real and literal.

Reconstruction of the way he was shrouded in the linen sheet
Note from La Hornacina: this Reclining Syndicate by the Sevillian sculptor Juan Manuel Miñarro, carved in polychrome cedar wood (approximately 178 cm high), is the main axis of the traveling exhibition on the Shroud that has been seen this year in Malaga and next 2013 it will be seen in Seville (Sala Antiquarium), as well as in other Spanish cities such as Toledo, Zaragoza, Santiago de Compostela or Alcalá de Henares.

Google English translation of
See also The Shroud of Turin

Comment on the Shroud of Oviedo (Spain) – face cloth

See also:

The Life of Jesus – Blog
The Life of Jesus – PDF eBook
Amazon link – paperback, hardcover, Kindle

Includes an appendix on the Shroud of Turin

Crucified and Risen

Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF

Alternate Chronology – 3 days & nights










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  1. Thank you for allowing us to read the findings by the experts. I am overwhelmed by what I read and saw. The suffering by our Lord and Savior Jesus is unimaginable. God bless you and all that took part in this.

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