Microscale radiocarbon dating of paintings

Hendriks, L., Hajdas, I., Mcintyre, C. , Küffner, M., Scherrer, N. C. and Ferreira, E. S. B. (2016) Microscale radiocarbon dating of paintings. Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, 122(3), p. 167. (doi:10.1007/s00339-016-9593-x)

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Abstract

In this paper, radiocarbon dating of paintings using minimal sample sizes has been investigated, in an effort to address the problem of limited access to sample material in paintings. 14C analyses were conducted on signed and dated paintings from two Swiss artists of the twentieth century. The selected paintings dated from the 1930s and 1960s, provided the opportunity to evaluate the dating accuracy on paintings realized before and after 1950 AD when the 14C bomb peak was created, as a result of the nuclear tests conducted in the 1950/1960s. The work focused on the one hand on minimizing the size of the canvas sample required for accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon measurement on the gas ion source of the MICADAS and, on the other hand, on testing the possibility of dating the organic binder of the paint. Following careful characterization of the paint composition by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy, paints containing no other carbon source than the natural organic binder were identified and dated.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mcintyre, Dr Cameron
Authors: Hendriks, L., Hajdas, I., Mcintyre, C., Küffner, M., Scherrer, N. C., and Ferreira, E. S. B.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Publisher:Springer Verlag
ISSN:0947-8396
ISSN (Online):1432-0630
Published Online:22 February 2016

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