Forgive my ploughing on, but I have sincerely appreciated some of the comments I have received so far. I have returned to the question of reweaving, and been carrying out further experiments on the degradation of cellulose, all stimulated by replies to this thread. Such was the original purpose for my joining it, so thank you all. I have floated my comments on the first two videos proposed by Kurieou in his OP, and here are my comments on the third (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7AGuSspvzM
Video 3 attempts to ascertain whether the body whose image is on the Shroud can be shown to be Christ’s. There are very few people who disagree with this, although some have argued for some other crucifixion victim, or perhaps Jacques de Molay, the last of the Knights Templar. Obviously, anybody attempting to represent the dead Christ in medieval times would give his image as many biblical comparisons as he could - particularly nail and spear wounds, the crown of thorns and scourge marks.
Next, the video attempts to relate the Shroud to the Sudarium of Oviedo, which has itself been dated to the 8th Century. Marc Guscin’s analysis of it is masterly, but the Sudarium is so blood-soaked that it is hardly surprising its stains coincide with those of the Shroud all over the place.
Then we move onto the discovery of some flakes of aragonite limestone, which is typical of Jerusalem - but also of central France, where the Shroud is first recorded in the Middle Ages. The description of the limestone as “very very rare and indigenous to an area outside of Jerusalem” is simply wrong.
Finally the video moves on to an attempt to authenticate the depiction of the wounds by a comparison of them with known crucifixion practice.
1) The nail holes are not in the palms of the hand. This is a common but misguided claim. For a start there is only one blood mark from the nail holes in the hands, but more importantly, we do not see the palm of the hand at all, so cannot see where the nail went in. By comparing the position of the knuckles with the position of the exit wound, there is nothing to prove that a medieval artist did not intend his mark to illustrate the exit wound from a nail through the palm. Furthermore, although Pierre Barbet demonstrated that nails through the fleshy part of the palm would tear through it if subjected to the full weight of a body, there is plenty of literary and artistic evidence for either a sedile (seat) or suppedaneum (foot-rest) being common, which would relieve the weight considerably, such that crucifixion victims often lived for days. The video’s statement, that we “actually know [nails through the wrist] is consistent with Roman practice” is completely untrue. There is no archaeological or historical evidence either way, although marks about a third of the way along an arm bone associated with the only secure archaeological may suggest nail damage there, also nowhere near the wrists at all.
2) “All medieval representations depict a nail through the front of the feet.” This too is inaccurate. The vast majority of Byzantine depictions of the crucifixion, in medieval times and today, show Jesus standing on a suppedaneum, with two nails through the front of the feet. The Shroud does show what might be a wound right at the bottom of one heel, as if a nail had been driven from the top (front) of the foot downwards and out through the bottom of the heelbone. The airy quote, that the Shroud shows a wound through the “heel or ankle” is disingenuous. Heel yes; ankle no. There is only one single example of a crucifixion known to archaeology, a heelbone with a nail still stuck in it, passing horizontally through it, and not going anywhere near the bottom of the foot, heel or sole, where the blood marks so clearly are. To deliberately confuse the bottom of the heel with the side is disingenuous, I feel. Again then, to say that the marks on the Shroud are “consistent with Roman crucifixion” suggesting that there is evidence to demonstrate this, is incorrect.
3) Then we have the usual model of a Roman flagrum. In this example the lead ‘dumb-bells’ are made lying laterally to thongs of the lash, and there are others in which the ‘dumb-bells’ lie longitudinally. The fact that no-one has studied the difference in marks that these two make is evidence that they know little about them. Furthermore, although it is often touted that the marks on the Shroud exactly match the ‘dumb-bells’ on the model, it is rarely mentioned that the reason for that is that the dimensions of the model were taken directly from the Shroud! There are no known archaeological examples of flagra or the pieces fastened to the lash, and of the few contemporary illustrations, such as on coins and medals, none resemble the models claimed to be accurate reconstructions.
Astonishingly, this video concludes with an interview with an Ahmadiyya Moslem, who was persuaded that the Shroud was authentic by a study of the exhibition at this year’s Jalsa Salana in Hampshire. I say astonishingly, as it is a fundamental tenet of the Ahmadiyya sect that Jesus did not die on the cross, and was not resurrected from the dead. The Shroud, they believe, is conclusive evidence of that.