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Radiocarbon dating of artworks

Krajcar Bronić, Ines; Horvatinčić, Nada; Barešić, Jadranka; Sironić, Andreja (2015) Radiocarbon dating of artworks. In: Nikolić, Sonja; Meštrić, Vesna; Peteh, Igor; Rastija, Vesna, (eds.) 3rd International Interdisciplinary Scientific Symposium: Technological Innovations: Art & Science, CroArtScia2015. Zagreb, Ruđer Bošković Institute and Society of Culture and Art Ivan Filipović, pp. 23-24 .

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Absolute dating of artworks and cultural heritage objects is one of the most important issues in art history studies and essential for evaluating original art objects, differentiating between originals and later imitations and/or frauds and recognizing subsequent repairs and restauration works. The radiocarbon dating (14C dating) method is one of the most well-known radiometric methods of absolute dating, which can be applied for dating materials of biogenic origin, such as wood, charcoal, bones, grains, paper, parchment, textile, etc. The range of 14C age determination spans from the 19th century up to ~60, 000 years in the past. Due to a very low natural 14C concentration the radiocarbon dating method requires special techniques for chemical preparation of samples and measurement of 14C. Particular care must be taken in sample collection and/or storage as well as during sample pre-treatment and chemical preparation. As a result of the measurement one obtains a so-called conventional radiocarbon age of the sample, expressed usually in years Before Present (BP), where 0 BP = 1950 AD. However, conventional 14C years do not directly equate to calendar years because atmospheric 14C concentration varies through time. Hence, a calibration is required to convert the conventional radiocarbon age to the calendar age. Several cases of 14C dating of various objects of arts will be presented here. Special attention will be paid to the interpretation of calibrated ages and the meaning of the radiocarbon dates. One must keep in mind that radiocarbon dating gives the age of material (e.g., wood) and not of the artwork itself ; however, the production date of the artwork cannot precede that of the material.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item published in conference proceedings (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: 14C; dating; artworks
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics
Divisions: Division of Experimental Physics
Depositing User: Ines Krajcar Bronić
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 10:17

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