Industrie Biosourcée
CiramMeasuring the past, innovating the future
Art MarketDating and analysis of your art objects
ArchaeologyStudy of the remains of the past
Biosourced IndustryRadiocarbon and bio-based products
Leader in dating and analysis

around the world

In 2005, CIRAM revolutionised science for art by defining a new approach based on high scientific standards and constructive dialogue with the market.
Since then, on all continents, many players in the art and heritage market have placed their trust in us on a daily basis.

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+ 18 000analysis
+ 1 000partners around the world
18 yearsof experience
Auction houseSotheby'sParis - londres
New York - Hong Kong
CompanyBostik France
MuseumDu LouvreParis

"I became acquainted with the CIRAM laboratory through a magnificent publication ... a very professional work, demonstrating the acceptance of CIRAM and its examination methods by the French archaeological community and its services for the State. Thereafter, a very close collaboration was established between us. Their expertise has protected me from mistakes and it is an integral part of a dealer's duty to consult them in case of any doubt. CIRAM is a serious laboratory that I enjoy working with, particularly because it is independent and not subject to any outside influence. "

Mr. Jean-David CAHN, gallery owner/dealer of ancient art in Basel

"We have been waiting for a laboratory like yours for a long time..."

Mr. Pascal Bertrand, INRAP NAOM

Discover our guides Art | Archaeology | Industry > Obtain

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ciram imagerie scientifque
Scientific analysis on boards
Tuesday June 06th 2023

Révéler l'invisible d'un tableau à l'aide de l'imagerie scientifique. L’analyse scientifique des tableaux est indispensable pour dater le support, observer une signature cachée, un repentir ou un dessin préparatoire, et identifier les pigments. Découvrez les différentes méthodes d’imageries utilisées par les laboratoires CIRAM afin de révéler l'invisible de vos tableaux.


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Carbon 14 - the post-bomb effect
Tuesday May 30th 2023

Why is 1954 a carbon-14 frontier? Atomic bombs and atmospheric nuclear testing have artificially increased the amount of carbon-14 in the air. CIRAM laboratories explain the significance of this change.

Authentication of stone sculptures
Wednesday May 17th 2023

To authenticate stone objects, CIRAM laboratories observe the passage of time and the alteration of materials. Our scientists achieve a thorough study through an effective analytical strategy.

Augmented carbon 14 dating dedicated to Tribal Art
Monday May 15th 2023

Born from CIRAM innovation, augmented carbon 14 dating dates your Tribal Art objects, no longer to within 250 or 300 years, but with an accuracy of only a few decades.

Dating of burnt bones
Wednesday May 10th 2023

In this article, CIRAM scientists explain the protocol used for Carbon-14 dating of bioapatite.

Diet of ancient populations
Tuesday May 02nd 2023

Methods to understand the diet of our ancestors have been diversifying for more than a decade in archaeology, but also in anthropology thanks to new physicochemical techniques.

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CIRAM laboratories are specialized in dating of your works of art, your archaeological artifacts, as well as the analysis of your biobased products worldwide.

Thanks to the know-how and experience of our scientists as well as state-of-the-art equipment, CIRAM is a specialist in radiocarbon dating and the analysis of your biobased products.

Thermoluminescence dating, carbon-14 dating, microanalysis, spectrometry, discover all our methods as well as our fields of application.

CIRAM, analytical laboratory for the art market

For more than seventeen years now, CIRAM laboratories have been revolutionizing science in the art market worldwide.

Museums, antique dealers, auction houses or institutions trust us for the dating and authentication of their works of art.

Thanks to our scientists and rigorous and relevant analyses, we deliver a rigorous and reliable expertise.

The dating of all materials

It is possible to date and analyze all works. In our laboratories, we study objects composed of:

  • Wood, ivory, paper and textile by carbon-14 dating;
  • Terracotta, earthenware and ceramics by thermoluminescence to date the last firing of the material;
  • Bronze, iron, silver and gold by scanning electron microscopy;
  • Glass and enamel by X-ray fluorescence;
  • All stones by optical and electron microscopy.

For the dating of artworks, we mainly use carbon-14 or thermoluminescence dating, but it is possible to couple them with other methods to obtain an accurate result.

The analysis of paintings

The dating of a painting or a pictorial work also allows the authentication of the object, it is also a preliminary step in the framework of a restoration.

To analyze a painting, we proceed by imaging with:

  • Grazing light: a technique carried out using a halogen lamp. It allows us to define the state of conservation of the varnish and pictorial layers as well as the presence of alterations or the presence of restorations already made;
  • Natural light;
  • Ultra-violet imaging: this method makes visible the surface repaints present on the varnish;
  • Transmitted light;
  • X-ray radiography: highlights areas of restoration and gives an idea of the general state of conservation of the painting;
  • Infrared reflectography: which will reveal the preparatory drawings as well as a hidden signature.

Laboratories for the analysis of materials found in archaeological contexts

The CIRAM laboratories also work with objects found in archaeological contexts. In these cases, we offer, in addition to laboratory analysis by sample, to come to the site with mobile equipment to analyze the remains in context.

CIRAM performs dating and material analysis services for preventive archaeology.

Dating and characterization in archaeology

Carbon-14 dating is the first analysis done in archaeometry. This analysis technique allows us to date all organic materials, we measure the 14 isotope of carbon present in the material.

To meet all your needs and constraints related to archaeology, our laboratory scientists also offer:

  • Isotopic analysis: the isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur give important information about the diets of the time. We use this analysis technique on bones and teeth;
  • Organic residue analysis: this allows us to study the remains of food or drink contained in archaeological artifacts;
  • X-ray imaging and 3D tomography: our teams examine artifacts using imaging to check the state of conservation in real time without touching the object;
  • Anthracology and xylology: our scientists also analyze the wood or charcoal. Thanks to their knowledge, our teams study the properties of wood and identify species or species.

By combining all the methods, the analysis of your objects in an archaeological context is both reliable and complete.

Bio-based analysis laboratories

CIRAM laboratories verify, analyze and certify your bio-based products. Our scientists use EN 16640, ASTM D6866, EN ISO 21644, EN ISO 16620, EN 16785.
Our laboratories:

  • Measure the biobased vs fossil fraction in products to define the natural and the synthetic parts;
  • Check raw materials and validate regulatory and normative compliance;
  • Certify products to obtain an eco-label or other certification.

The fields of application of our analyses

The CIRAM laboratories offer the analysis of biobased products in the fields:

  • Food;
  • Biofuels;
  • Biopolymers;
  • Cosmetics;
  • Construction;
  • Pigment, paper, packaging;
  • Solid recovered fuel.

CIRAM laboratories, the reference for analysis and dating

For more than seventeen years, CIRAM laboratories have been the reference for the dating and characterization of your objects in an archaeological context or in the art world.

Microanalysis, metallography, spectrometry, chromatography, imaging, etc. For more information on our fields of application and analysis, contact us.