Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 337–343 | Cite as

Genuine or forged? Assessing the authenticity of a confiscated manuscript using radiocarbon dating and archaeometric techniques

  • Khaled Al-Bashaireh
  • AbdelRahman ElSerogy
  • Emad Hussein
  • Muhamad Shakhatreh
Original Paper
  • 152 Downloads

Abstract

The authenticity of a confiscated parchment manuscript written in medieval Hebrew was examined using radiocarbon and archaeometric techniques. The owners of the manuscript claimed that it is old and valuable. Transmitted light showed folios of uniform thickness and opacity, while examination under ultraviolet light displayed the absence of conservation treatments. X-ray fluorescence showed the ink used was iron gall ink. On these grounds, the manuscript could be dated to the Middle Ages. However, the precision and homogeneity of the hand writing, sewing, dimensions, and margins suggest that it is a much more recent artifact. Post-bomb radiocarbon dates for the folios and threads clearly demonstrate the recent vintage of the manuscript. Biological analysis suggests that the manuscript was buried in a soil intentionally amended with animal wastes to achieve rapid aging and deterioration features.

Keywords

Confiscated manuscript Deterioration features Archaeometric analyses Radiocarbon dating Jordan 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khaled Al-Bashaireh
    • 1
  • AbdelRahman ElSerogy
    • 2
  • Emad Hussein
    • 3
  • Muhamad Shakhatreh
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan
  2. 2.Department of Conservation and Management of Cultural HeritageYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan
  3. 3.Biology DepartmentYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan
  4. 4.Department of Medical Laboratory SciencesJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan

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