The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ

the shroud draws you in, doesn't let go, and reveals itself gradually

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How tall is the image of the man on the Shroud of Turin?

The man on the Shroud of TurinIt is hard to know. Estimates generally range from 5'8" to 6'1".

A formal study "Computerized anthropometric analysis of the Man of the Turin Shroud," a series of tibio-femoral indices calculations by Giulio Fanti, Emanuela Marinelli and Alessandro  Cagnazzo, to date, is the most comprehensive statistical analysis. It puts the height of the man (presumably Jesus) at between 5'8" and 5'9''.

A study by Isabel Piczek, a mural artist with significant expertise in human anatomy determined that the body was close to 6' tall. She wrote:

I have approached the question of height from the design point of view - an image which describes a 3D object and vice-versa, including the problem of foreshortening. I have also analyzed body type, muscle structure and proportion. I determined the height to be 5'11½" to 6'1", give or take 1" for linen stretch and shrinking, both of which are possible. Because of the body type, even with shrinkage, the man cannot be under 5'11½". I lean more towards 6'0". Whether Jews in Jesus's time were smaller or larger is not relevant here. Jews were not small to start with, judging by the finds in the 1st century cemetery excavated near the wall of the Temple in the sixties

One reason is that we don't know how flat the body is on the cloth, assuming the image is representative of the man's height.  If the image is anatomically correct, as it seems to be, we can be certain that the knees are bent and the head tilted forward as though resting on a pillow.

Overlooked, often, is the certainty that cloth's size has been altered by stretching. It has been held aloft, nailed up for display, rolled up and folded. It has been exposed to sunshine and dampness. It was seared in a fire that was doused with water. During a restoration effort in 2002 it was stretched with weights and steamed to remove wrinkles. By some estimates the length of the cloth was increased by eight centimeters during the restoration.


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