Accelerator radiocarbon dating of artistic artifacts

D. J. Donahue, A. J.T. Jull

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Accelerator Mass Spectrometry is used to detect the cosmic-ray-produced radioactive isotope, 14C, in the organic material associated with artworks. The measured radiocarbon content of an artistic artifact, combined with a tree-ring calibration curve that relates radiocarbon content to calendar age, gives information concerning the age of the artifact. This age information can then be used to assist in establishing the authenticity, or lack thereof, of the artifact. Applications of the technique to the study of several artworks will be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
EventScientific Detection of Fakery in Art - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 29 1998Jan 30 1998


  • Artworks
  • Radiocarbon dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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