Re.S.Artes
Le regard de la Science sur les Arts et le patrimoine culturel

Materials

Organic materials

wood, ivory, textiles, seeds, teeth, bones, shells, ...

Carbon 14 dating (C14)

Organic materials from living organisms such as wood, textiles, ivory, seeds, teeth, bones, shells … are datable with carbon 14 method that determine the organism's moment of death. 
For authentication purpose, it is possible to know the maximum age of an object and to evaluate its accordance with the presumed antiquity.
For archaeological researches, this approach has a great interest in the reconstitution of the chronological history of a site.

Infrared spectrometry characterization (FTIR)

The nature of « transformed » organic components can be determined using infrared spectrometry (FTIR), in particular. 
For a painting, the identification of some pigments, binder or adhesive can give useful information about techniques employed, put into light restoration areas and validate a period of time for the completion of the work.
For archaeological items, this approach participates to the search for the function of some objects by analyzing the nature of the residual organic matter they still contain.

X-Ray imaging and state of conservation

For a condition report, X-Ray observation of a wooden sculpture or construction pieces leads to reveal the state of conservation of the constituent material (cracks, boring attacks …), to highlight assembly methods and to assess their fragility or to seek metallic elements used to consolidate an object.

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