How Old Is That African Mask?
A few years ago, I added a Near Infra-red (NIR) spectrometer to the small arsenal of tools in our conservation studio. NIR can be used for identifying pigments and binders, and it works by comparing unknown samples to known examples in a library of spectra.
Through trial and error, I discovered that NIR has great potential for determining the approximate age of wood. The following video is an introduction to the technique, which is being refined prior to publication.