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Authentication of stone sculptures

Friday 9 February 2024

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.

First and foremost, it is important to know that works of art must be studied with regard to a consistency between constituent materials and chronological attribution. The results of historical and stylistic aspects will have to be discussed by historians, art historians and art experts. In this context, CIRAM scientists are studying the physicochemical properties of materials in order to search for chronological markers.

For the study of art objects, the first and most obvious type of marker is the search for traces of the passage of time. For organic materials (wood, textiles, ivory and paper, etc.), CIRAM laboratories favor carbon-14 dating. However, for stone statues, there is no direct dating method to characterize human use of these materials.