Apr 03

Jesus crucified in a “Y” position?

New analysis of the Shroud of Turin suggests it could be a medeival forgery. The theory follows the logic that whoever created it thought crucifixion involved the hands being nailed above the head because of blood flow. Of course, traditional “T” crucifixion would also involve blood flowing down the victim’s arms with the body slumping on the cross, but I digress.

 Matteo Borrini at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK wanted to know if the “bloodstains” on the left arm, the clearest ones, were consistent with the flow of blood from the wrist of a crucified person. So he asked Luigi Garlaschelli of the University of Pavia, Italy, to assume different crucifixion postures, while a cannula attached to his wrist dribbled donated blood down his arm.

They found that the marks on the shroud did correspond to a crucifixion, but only if the arms were placed above the head in a “Y” position, rather than in the classic “T” depiction, New Scientist reported. It would have been nice had they tested the “slumped body” configuration.

Borrini said that this would have been a very painful position and one which would have created difficulty breathing. Someone crucified in this way may have died from asphyxiation. He added that similar positions were used during medieval torture, but in those cases the victims were suspended from a beam by binding their wrists with rope, rather than using nails.

 

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