Scientific dating of paintings

24-Jan-2020 17:24

That's much less than the several grams of carbon needed with radiocarbon dating.

The research included analyzing pictographs from numerous countries over a span of 15 years.

It validates the method and allows rock painting to join bones, pottery and other artifacts that tell secrets of ancient societies, Rowe said.

"Because of the prior lack of methods for dating rock art, archaeologists had almost completely ignored it before the 1990s," he explained.

"This program has algorithms predefined for working with rock art," says study leader Andres Troncoso, an archaeologist at the University of Chile.

"These new technologies are allowing us to account for a universe of representations that were poorly known because the conservation status of these paintings is bad," says Marcela Sepulveda, an archaeologist at the University of Tarapaca, who has done studies on rock art in northern Chile.

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Thanks to the laboratory's modern equipment, a painting can be subjected to analysis using infrared reflectography, Wood's light, a stereoscopic microscope, IR spectroscopy and other instrumental techniques.

All paintings are carefully examined on their arrival to the studio in order to understand their condition and determine the necessary treatment to be carried out.

In some cases it is necessary to use various scientific techniques that can add to our understanding of the structure of the painting, its materials and the techniques of the artist.

Techniques we use include: Cross section analysis of paint and varnish layers: Useful to determine later overpaint. Infra-red photography: To identify drawing lines the artist may have used in the production of the artwork.

Ultra-violet fluorescence examination: Very helpful in determining overpaint that is not visible to the naked eye.

Thanks to the laboratory's modern equipment, a painting can be subjected to analysis using infrared reflectography, Wood's light, a stereoscopic microscope, IR spectroscopy and other instrumental techniques.All paintings are carefully examined on their arrival to the studio in order to understand their condition and determine the necessary treatment to be carried out.In some cases it is necessary to use various scientific techniques that can add to our understanding of the structure of the painting, its materials and the techniques of the artist.Techniques we use include: Cross section analysis of paint and varnish layers: Useful to determine later overpaint. Infra-red photography: To identify drawing lines the artist may have used in the production of the artwork.Ultra-violet fluorescence examination: Very helpful in determining overpaint that is not visible to the naked eye.From the captured images, researchers singled out those from stones still bearing some sort of noticeable archaeological evidence such as pigment.