If Bannerjee et al’s conclusions are valid, then our samples, standardised for age and location, should be consistent in terms of weathering parameters.FTIR spectroscopy is a relatively destructive technique.to conclude that the changes observed in the spectra could be used to assess the relative date of the mammoth ivories.As a direct result of that publication, the possibility that FTIR spectroscopy could be used to date ivories quickly gained currency in the museum world, as it seemed to offer a less destructive alternative to radiocarbon dating.The development of a minimally-destructive dating technique has therefore been sought with some urgency.(2008), in investigating the relative state of the organic and inorganic components of permafrost-preserved mammoth ivory, demonstrated measurable differences in the crystalline state of the material in three different commercial qualities (i.e.The dating of bone and ivory objects is fundamental to their authentication, to the development of archaeological and historical typographies, and to the detection of the trafficking of CITES protected materials.
XRD, Rietveld method, and FTIR spectroscopy both detected an increase in the size, particularly the length, of the bioapatite (carbonated hydroxyapatite) crystals with increased weathering.
However, this technique requires a sample to be removed from the object; the sample size being determined by the level of survival of the collagen component of these organic/mineral composite materials.
In many cases, destructive sampling on the scale required is incompatible with the requirements of the preservation and curation of the object.
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