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Current Developments in the Scientific Dating of Wood

Bridge, M; (2019) Current Developments in the Scientific Dating of Wood. Regional Furniture , 33 pp. 119-123.

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Abstract

The date of a given piece of furniture is often a crucial factor in a full appreciation of the object, and this has traditionally been assessed on the basis of style and patina, along of course with any historical records for the ownership of the item that may be available. Occasionally there may be some doubt over the authenticity of claims for the age of an object, or there may be conflicting stylistic issues that mean that some form of independent dating technique is needed to establish its bona fides. Another factor that may be of interest is the growth area origin of the wood used, and in some instances it may be possible to indicate this to a greater or lesser extent. In the case of wood, a number of techniques may be used to establish age, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. This article sets out to give a basic introduction to these specialist techniques and some of their limitations. The best available technique is probably dendrochronology, as this can establish the date of a ring sequence with annual resolution, whilst also giving an indication of geographical provenance of the growth area of the tree used. Yet it has many drawbacks, as we shall see below. Radiocarbon dating is an established technique that is evolving rapidly and will be useful for many wood types where dendrochronology is not an option, and isotopic dating is another area that is rapidly becoming a possible third option.

Type: Article
Title: Current Developments in the Scientific Dating of Wood
Location: UK
Publisher version: https://regionalfurnituresociety.org/2019/11/14/re...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086687
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