Dating works

We are called upon to conduct forensic inspections, diagnostics, pigment and fibre sampling for date range identification and Carbon 14 dating, alongside forensic imaging on-site, throughout the world in support of art authentication procedures and attribution and legitimacy issues, legal litigation and criminal investigations. Working from Forensic Laboratories in the UK, Europe and North America, we employ the finest scholars, forensic scientists and academics, all of whom are leading exponents in their respective fields. Freemanart administer and undertake varied practical forensic investigations of fine art: Textile, canvas dating, regional manufacture and fibre analysis Signature and inscription verification and authentication, forensic handwriting analysis and label authentication procedures. Much as you would need to know if you were taking a legal case to court. So we prefer to make a preliminary and vital professional pre authentication assessment for clients first. This is based upon the images you supply, the details and the items history.

Defining the age of a rock or cave painting

How do we analyse to find out if they are as old as we think they are? The problem is that they are just marks cut or incised into the rock and our ability to age them is not as good as with organic materials. Defining the subject and age of rock paintings can mean archaeologists are able to determine more about the life of prehistoric peoples and acquire a better understanding of our origins. However, dating rock art has been a struggle for archaeologists ever since the first discoveries of it in the late 19th century.

In this article, an overview is presented of the status of the radiocarbon dating of iron-based materials. Recent advances include simplification in sample preparation and reduction in sample size for accelerator mass spectrometry measurements, and the potential use of rust as a viable source of material for radiocarbon dating.

Those findings, published in the journal Science, were reported Thursday by scientists who examined artifacts dating from , years ago unearthed in southern Kenya, roughly the same age as the earliest known Homo sapiens fossils discovered elsewhere in Africa. The researchers described ochre pigment that produced a bright red color, which could have been used for body painting or other symbolic expression, and tools fashioned from obsidian, a volcanic rock that yields extremely sharp blades, which contrasted with clunkier ones used by earlier species in the human evolutionary lineage.

The researchers found abundant evidence of long-distance transfer of obsidian to the Olorgesailie Basin location from sites up to 55 miles away over rugged terrain, leading them to believe it was acquired from another group through trade, although it was unknown what was provided in exchange. The researchers described obsidian tools that were smaller, more carefully crafted and more specialized than larger stone tools called handaxes used by earlier human species. The obsidian was used in a wide range of tools including scrapers, implements with chisel and gouging edges and also in small points that could be placed at the end of a wood or bone shaft for use as a projectile weapon.

Cobalt blue

Uffizi, Florence Uffizi Gallery, Florence In the great part of renaissance and baroque history painting s, the figures, architectural elements and props were drawn from various monochrome drawings and afterward recomposed on a cartoon or on the canvas itself. Rarely, if ever, did the painter have the whole scene set up in his studio , to say nothing of outdoor scenes. Thus, we must presume that lighting was largely a factor of artistic invention and pictorial convention.

If a foreground repoussoir figure was represented immersed in a dark shadow with the background powerfully lit, it was not because the painter saw his scene this way in the moment he began paint, but because he either he had noted a similar effect in nature or he had copied the effect from another painting. It should always be remembered that the human eye is particularity forgiving with respect to lightning in the visual arts.

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Natural Dyes and Pigments About Natural Dyes and Pigments Natural dyes consist of end products of roots, nuts, and flowers occurring freely in nature. They are termed as natural dyes because they are extracted from natural sources like plants, animals or minerals. The tradition of extracting dyes dates back to the dyers who extracted colors from various flowers, leafs, roots and the the outer and inner barks of trees.

Natural dyes are the result of centuries old knowledge and skill, which have been handed down through generations and manufacturers were secretive about their production techniques. With the plethora of chemical dyes available and recognition of the harmful effects of these substances, natural dyes have are being looked at with renewed interest. Chemical dyes are harmful to the environment, are carcinogenic and result in increase toxicity and pollution.

Pigments are substances that impart color to other materials and are the basis of paints. For thousands of years, various cultures have been using them for different purposes. Pigments are ground colored materials and were mostly in the form of ground earth or clay. Using spit or fat. Pigment and dyes differ in a basic sense. While pigments are insoluble, dyes are either liquid or soluble.

Colorants can be used as a pigment or a dye, depending on the vehicle that is used. Records of the use of natural dyes dates back to as a far as BC in China.

Shroud of Turin

Three species of the genus Rhamnus the name derived from the Greek rhamnos, a branch are possessed of the same medicinal properties in varying degrees. The Common or Purging Buckthorn, a much-branched shrub, usually about 6 feet high, but sometimes as much as 10 or 12 feet, is indigenous to North Africa, the greater part of Europe and North Asia. Though found throughout England in woods and thickets and near brooks, it is practically confined to a calcareous soil, except in a few counties, such as Bucks.

In Scotland it occurs only in a single locality. The smaller branches generally terminate in a stout thorn or spine, hence the ordinary name of Buckthorn, and the older names by which the shrub has been known:

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Contemporary age Painting techniques The Minoans are attributed with inventing the fresco by applying pigments directly to a fresh lime surface. The pigments they used were earth pigments because they were unaffected by alkalis. Egyptian artists covered limestone walls of tombs with a fine layer of plaster, onto which they painted various scenes. Painters used primarily black, red, yellow, brown, blue, and green pigments. They mixed their colors in a binder to make them stick to the dry plaster.

Paints were made by using the ground pigment with gums or animal glue, which made them workable and fixed them to the surface being decorated. The encaustic painting technique was used widely in Greece and Rome for easel pictures. In this technique, the binder for the pigment is wax or wax and resin.

Using Radiocarbon Dating to Establish the Age of Iron-Based Artifacts

Disclaimers, Notes and a quick explanation of the column headers: The Color Index is an internationally recognized standard of pigment classification. The Color Index generic name uses the pigments basic usage designation and hue plus the a unique pigment serial number i. These generic names are often abbreviated to the colors usage and hue initials, followed by the serial number. To open a pigment color page simply use the navigation menu above and click on the color of interest.

The Pigment Database was designed to help creative artists, craftsmen or craftswomen that are looking for information on the pigments used in their creations.

The difficulty with carbon dating pigments is that they are often made from rocks, and do not contain organic matter. Where there are engravings or paintings that lack any organic pigments or binders there is no basis for the build up of natural carbon

Stone Age culture, please see: This makes it the earliest art of its type ever recorded, albeit only by a whisker – see the important Sulawesi Cave art, cited below. Discovered in by the Spanish archaeologist Hermilio Alcalde del Rio, a famous expert in the prehistoric art of Spain, the metre long cave is one of several ancient rock shelters in Monte Castillo, a conical limestone mountain situated near the town of Puente Viesgo, south of Santander in the Cantabria region of Spain.

The El Castillo Cave consists of two basic areas; a large entrance chamber the “Gran Sala” , and a subsequent extensive labyrinth of narrow galleries totalling almost a kilometre in length. The parietal art on the walls of the galleries consists of over images, including several rock engravings of deer as well as images of animals aurochs, bison, goats, horses along with some rare images of dogs, many of which are superimposed, as well as a large number of hand stencils and disks created by spraying paint onto the rock surface through a tube.

For another important Spanish rock shelter in the Asturias, see: Tito Bustillo Cave c. For another important Aurignacian site of cave painting from Central Europe, see: These shelters are found along the Pas river in the Castillo mountain, just at the intersection of three valleys, close to the Atlantic coast, an ideal location to support the hunting and fishing activities of several Paleolithic settlements.

The Cave Paintings Much of El Castillo’s Stone Age art is figurative and includes a number of outstanding drawings of horses, bison, deer and mammoths as well as some rare images of dogs. Of these, the black paintings have been assigned to the era of Solutrean art c. However, the abstract art – including some 40 red ochre hand stencils and dozens of large red discs – belongs to the earlier period of Aurignacian art c.

Most of the stencils are grouped on a panel in a narrow gallery known as the Gallery of the Hands which lies beyond the Gran Sala, although isolated stencils and pictographs can be found in deeper, more remote locations in the cave. For details of the earliest hand stencils found in South America, see:


Does a pigment analysis date a painting? Does it determine when it was painted? So what is the purpose of a pigment analysis? A pigment analysis determines what type of pigments were used.

Analysis of paint pigments Medieval oil paintings contained specific pigments to achieve the deep impressive color effects. A list of typical dating of the manuscript. FeSO 4 + gallotannic acid. Raphael de Mercatellis The relative high Fe, Zn content is characteristic for Mercatellis and.

A researcher uses a portable x-ray fluorescence scanner to analyze the pigments of a Lower Pecos pictograph panel. Courtesy Karen Steelman But recent research is yielding new impressions of the ancient glyphs, revealing for example that prehistoric artists who painted in different styles used different ingredients for their pigments. Karen Steelman, a specialist in archaeological chemistry at the University of Central Arkansas, came upon these findings with her colleagues while studying the pictographs of Seminole Canyon State Park in southwest Texas.

With support from the archaeology nonprofit SHUMLA , the team used this technology on different styles and sizes of pictographs in order to compare results. But the same cave also bears pictures made in a simpler, smaller-scale style known as Red Linear — portraying stick-like figures of people and animals in more quotidian scenes, like hunting parties or fertility rites. But all of the black paint used in Red Linear scenes in the same cave, and another nearby site, turned out to have been rendered in charcoal.

Do the two styles and use of different pigment represent different cultural groups? Or are they different functions of art within the same society? This image of a deer was found to have been rendered in charcoal. Another black deer nearby, painted with manganese in the Pecos River style, was dated to CE, thousands of years more recent than the style was thought to have been used. As the earliest known style in the region, Pecos River painting is thought to have been the fashion among Texas Paleoindians about 4, years ago, but radiocarbon dating of one such pictograph — a painting of a deer — was dated to around the year CE.

Or is our radiocarbon date for the black deer an outlier?

Ink Testing and Analysis

The Art of Love and Leisure. The Venetian Red is very special. From the beginning they specialised in dispatching art materials world wide, and continue that tradition to this day. They are proud that their store looks like a nineteenth century apothecary, and they sell more than 2 dozen rare and obsolete pigments including a couple that are impossible to find anywhere else. Genuine Chrome Green is on their list of colors although I am not certain why anyone would want to use it for anything other than consevation.

Accelerator radiocarbon dating of human blood proteins in pigments from Late Pleistocene art sites in Australia – Volume 64 Issue – T. H. Loy, Rhys Jones, D. E. Nelson, Betty Meehan, John Vogel, John Southon, Richard Cosgrove.

The pigment contains the elements Yttrium, Indium, Manganese, and Oxygen. Instead of a new, high-efficiency electronic material, what emerged from the furnace was a brilliant blue compound – a blue that Subramanian knew immediately was a research breakthrough. Blue pigments dating back to ancient times have been notoriously unstable — many fade easily and contain toxic materials. The fact that this pigment was synthesized at such high temperatures signaled to Subramanian that this new compound was extremely stable, a property long sought in a blue pigment, he says.

To read further about the historical context of this discovery, see here. The intensity of the color can be systematically tuned by adjusting the In: Mn ratio, as shown below. By measuring the spectral properties of this series shown in the figure below , it was found that YIn1-xMnxO3 exhibits high absorbance in the UV region and high reflectivity in the near-infrared region when compared to currently-used Cobalt Blue pigments.

To read further about the physical properties of this pigment, see here. Patent Office for the new pigment US As a result of this testing, Shepherd Color Co. Since then, Subramanian and his team have expanded their research and have made a range of new pigments to include almost every color, from bright oranges to shades of purple, turquoise and green.

Look closer at art & pigments

Traditional Aboriginal Painting Methods Contemporary Aboriginal artists use a considerable variety of materials and techniques in painting. Some of these materials are rooted strongly in tradition – such as the use of ochres in the Kimberley and, to a lesser extent, ochres on bark from Arnhem Land. Other artists have adopted modern media and work with acrylic paints on canvas, gouache or ochres on archival paper or other surfaces.

Apart from the materials used, Aboriginal artists have shown considerable innovation in the techniques they adopt for applying paint and creating designs – ranging from the crushed end of a stick, as used for example by Emily Kame Kngwarreye in some works to produce characteristic large smudged dots, to the fine brushes used to produce the delicate rarrk patterns of Arnhem Land art.

The traditional method of painting a shield in north east Queensland was for two men to work at opposite ends using lawyer-cane brushes. Ochre Pigments and Paint Ochre was the most important painting material used traditionally by Aboriginal people.

Dating pigments, the carbon black exception In order to date cave paintings archaeologists rely on indirect evidence which means, for example, that they will date organic materials found in the cave (bones and burnt woods) with radiocarbon.

Egyptian Blue is considered to be the earliest known artificial pigment with origins dating back to BCE. Even on artefacts dating back several thousands of years, Egyptian Blue still glowed brightly in the near infrared. Smith asked if Lewis had considered using artistic pigments in his fingerprint research? The rest as they say, was history. Egyptian Blue pigment was found to be a promising candidate as luminescent fingerprint dusting powder.

Under visible light it lit up the fingerprints in the near infrared against non-porous or patterned surfaces, such as polymer notes or soft drink cans, outperforming commercially available fingerprint dusting powders. The findings could bring new colour not only to the field of modern forensics but also challenges in artefact conservation, demonstrating how the past could provide solutions for the future. The colour is a synthetic product, prepared with a mixture of copper-containing material, sand and a strong alkali.

Ancient Egyptian mask image showing Egyptian blue pigment. The faience technique used a blue ceramic glaze that contained Egyptian Blue on art objects such as amulets and figurines.


See Cadmium Pigments above. Carbon Black An ancient black pigment, it was traditionally made by charring organic materials like wood or bone. It was a pure form of carbon, and was referred to by a variety of names, depending on how it was made. Synthetic versions have now replaced these traditional organic forms, except in certain specialized arts, like calligraphy and Oriental painting.

The cactus insects were first heated in ovens, then dried in the sun, to produce “silver cochineal” from which the finest pigment was made. Cochineal is still made in Mexico and India.

The selection of pigments for 14 C dating was dictated by the available amount of material; consequently, only two samples: 1B (white pigment) and 2D (red pigment), were chosen as representative of the two pictographic types.

In Depth Tutorials and Information Ink Analysis Introduction Chemical and physical analysis of inks on questioned documents provides valuable information regarding their authenticity. Comparison of these chemical and physical properties of two or more inks can determine: When dating tags are detected, it is possible to determine the actual year or years when the ink was manufactured. Dating tags are unique chemicals that have been added to ball-point inks by some ink companies as a way to determine the year the ink was made.

Relative age comparison tests performed on inks of the same formula and written on the same type of paper with the same storage conditions performed by measuring changing solubility properties of inks can estimate how long inks have been written on paper. This is done by: In cases where known dated writings are not available for comparison with questioned inks, accelerated aging heating the ink to induce aging of the ink can sometimes be used to estimate the age of ink using any or all of the above described techniques.

Iron-based inks can be dated by measuring the migration of iron along the fibers of the paper by Scanning auger microscopy.

A Vault of Color: Protecting the World’s Rarest Pigments