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ArtLaw

Radiocarbon dating of antique objects — how can we avoid analysis for the illicit market?

Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material. From the development of the method in mid-20th century, it has been widely used primarily by archaeologists to date antique material. The article, provided by Dr. Irka Hajdas, an expert from ETH Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics in Zurich, describes not only the historic development of the method, but also its potential indirect, but strong effect which might be misused in support of illicit market. The latter is where a Pandora's box is being open and the author suggests certain minimal standards for experts (analysis performers) to be followed in order to avoid supporting illicit trade in cultural goods.*

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