Art dating

    Carbon 14 dating of a work of art is involved in its authentication. Radiocarbon dating is used for wood, ivory, bone, paper, textiles… and all organic materials. The analytical approach of a work of art is global. In addition to carbon-14 dating, our teams of scientists can determine the nature of the materials through chemical analysis, observe the internal structure of an object through X-ray or 3D scanning, and identify areas of restoration or reassembly through scientific imaging.

    Laboratory analysis depending on the materials

    Analysis and dating of a work of art will vary according to the materials used. We will encounter datable materials: wood, ivory, textile, terracotta, ceramics, porcelain… Carbon-14 dating will be used for organic materials (wood, ivory…) and thermoluminescence will be used for heated minerals (terracotta, ceramics…). There are also non-datable materials, such as stone, metal, glass. For these materials, we will use scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX) and microanalysis to identify the material, measure its degree of deterioration and define the origin of this degradation. These studies correspond to an age test or authenticity test.

    Dating of archaeological artifacts

    Physical dating is a majority part of archaeometric issues. The chronological information obtained is preponderant for the understanding of archaeological sites. Our carbon-14 laboratory studies and dates all organic archaeological artifacts, such as wood, charcoal, bones, plant residues, peat, shells… Our luminescence dating laboratory (TL and OSL) will date archaeological furniture, constructions (oven, walls, foundations…) and sediments and paleosols.

    The different laboratory analyses

    Analysis of art and heritage objects, archaeological artifacts or industrial biosourced products requires different methods, which can be complementary. Our CIRAM laboratories offer:

    • Carbon-14 dating or radiocarbon analysis: applicable to all organic materials or materials that contain carbon;
    • The analysis of stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and strontium, can define a diet or identify a geographical origin;
    • The thermoluminescence dating (TL) is usable for heated minerals such as bricks, hearthstones, terracotta ;
    • Optically stimulated dating (OSL) will also be usable to date heated minerals, but it will be preferred for dating paleosols and archaeological sediments;
    • In addition to the various dating techniques, our teams also offer chemical analysis of organic, mineral and metallic materials, as well as various scientific imaging techniques in 2D and 3D.

    Archaeological dating requires a comprehensive expertise that relies on both laboratory equipment and the experience our staff.

    Biosourced analysis laboratory

    CRIAM laboratories quantify, verify and certify biobased industrial products in many fields, such as biopolymers, biofuels, solid recovered fuels (SRFs), building materials, paints, varnishes, detergents, bitumens, flavors, fine chemicals, heavy chemicals, food processing, cosmetics. Through radiocarbon analysis, we measure the percentage of natural (bio-based) ingredients versus synthetic (petro-based) materials.

    Different dating depending on the material.

    Our laboratories adapt the type of analysis to your materials and your issues:

    • Carbon-14 dating for art and heritage objects and archaeological artifacts made of wood, bone, ivory, textile, charcoal, seed, peat…
    • Thermoluminescence dating (TL and OSL) for art and heritage objects and archaeological artifacts made of terracotta, ceramics, heated minerals, porcelain…
    • Radiocarbon or carbon-14 analysis for bio-based industrial products;
    • Microanalysis, isotopic analysis and chemical analysis for non-datable materials or for off-chronology issues.

    International standards for the analysis of biobased materials

    To attest and guarantee the quality of the analysis of biobased products, CIRAM uses the following international standards: NF EN 16640:2017, ASTM D6866-22, EN ISO 21644:2022, ISO 16620-2:2019, NF EN 16785:2015. The use of these standards attests to the respect of protocols concerning the methods of determination of the biogenic carbon concentration of industrial products, whether liquid, solid or gaseous.

    CIRAM, world leader in dating and biobased analysis

    World leader in dating and specialist in the analysis of biobased industrial products, CIRAM has been working in France and internationally since its creation. We adapt our analytical protocols to your needs and issues, as well as to your products. Whether it is for dating works of art, archaeological dating or analysis of biobased products, our teams of scientists combine methods and examinations to guarantee the authenticity of your products. Discover our know-how and experience without delay.