Radiocarbon dating and religion

The method, however, is invasive and in its early days required sampling tens of grams of material.

With the advent of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and further development of gas ion sources (GIS), a reduction of sample size down to microgram amounts of carbon became possible, opening the possibility to date individual paint layers in artworks.

Thus the additional dating of the paint reveals the forger’s scheme where the repainting of an appropriately aged canvas was used to convey the illusion of authenticity.

A common approach to uncover forgeries involves discrete material analyses (19–21).This approach provides relative age information only and thus may fail in proving a forgery.Radiocarbon (C) dating is an attractive alternative, as it delivers absolute ages with a definite time frame for the materials used.The microscale present in the photo on the , 40.8 cm × 51.1 cm.If possible, conservators sample from existing losses or damages. Interestingly, the resulting age range does not contradict the signed date of 1866, nor does it exclude a later creation date either.

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