Other Images - Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin

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The images of a large nail with two crossed smaller nails can be seen on the Shroud between a railroad spike for comparison on the left and a drawing of the images on the right.
The image of the upper end of the shaft of a spear can be seen on the Shroud between a drawing of the spear on the left and a model on the right.
The image of a sponge tied to a reed is just to the right of the model.
Composite showing the face image on the Shroud including a head phylactery on the forehead and the model below.
There are other items we have found on the large format life-size photographs of the Shroud. We knew that some Instruments of the Crucifixion, sometimes called Arma Christi, were depicted early on some ampullae (small lead bottles used for storing holy oil), frescoes, and other art work. The earliest depictions are of the nails, the spear, the sponge, and the crown of thorns. Having found the image of the crown of thorns on the Shroud, and knowing that the nails, spear, and probably sponge would have blood on them and thus by Jewish custom would have been entombed with the body, we wondered whether any of their images might be on the Shroud.

The first such image found was of a six and one-half inch long spike on the dorsal image half of the Shroud a few inches away from the body on the anatomic right side at thigh level. The spike is about one-half inch square with a larger head. It took some searching to find a photograph of a first-century Roman crucifixion nail, but we succeeded. The photograph found is of a heel bone with a crucifixion nail through it. This object had been found some years earlier in a stone ossuary in Israel. The nail could not be removed from the bone because the point was bent at a right angle from having been pounded against a knot in the wood. The finding of this bone with a nail is extremely unusual, because it was very seldom that crucifixion victims were allowed to be buried. Their bodies were generally tossed on the rubbish heap to be burned or left hanging on the cross for scavengers to destroy. This victim, named Johanon, was crucified about A.D. 9. He must have come from a very influential family in order to have been given burial. Be that as it may, the bone and nail were documented carefully and a replica is in the Rockefeller Museum of Archaeology in Jerusalem. The nail image on the Shroud and the Johanon nail are very similar but not identical. Several of the sixth-century ampullae from Jerusalem, now in Monza, Italy, clearly show depictions of crucifixion nails very similar to the nail on the Shroud. The size of the nail whose image is on the Shroud fits the size of the wounds in the wrist and foot.

The next object we found on the Shroud was the spear, located on the dorsal half of the Shroud near the edge on the anatomic left. The head or blade of the spear is about level with the head of the man. The upper part of the shaft apparently was made of wood. The upper end of the shaft is rounded. A narrow neck, which is inserted into both the shaft and the head, connects the shaft with the head. The outline of the lower part of the spear head is not difficult to see, but the upper part disappears into a water stain area.

The type of spear is a hasta or Roman thrusting spear. Some have suggested that the type of spear that would have been used was a pilum, or Roman battle lance, which has a long, thin blade, but this is not congruent with the Shroud image. Also, the hasta is the type of spear that is depicted with Christ on ampullae, frescoes, and other artwork. The hasta is also depicted on contemporary denarius coins of Tiberius Caesar.

Other images found include what we think are a sponge on a long stick or pole (identified as the reed Arundo donax), two small nails, a large hammer, a pair of pliers with curved irregular indentations on the inside upper of its jaws, two scourges (two groups of string-like objects), a trowel or spoon, two brush brooms, an entire sandal, a small coiled rope, a cloak and/or tunic, the title (or part of it) nailed above his head, and what appear to be gambling dice. Also found were a head phylactery, arm phylactery, and a Roman amulet.

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