About Us

Artemis Testing Lab is the only US-based company that offers comprehensive authentication services using Thermoluminescence (TL), X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) and traditional X-Ray testing methods. Headed by Serge Fayeulle, PhD, Artemis Testing Lab provides expert testing / analysis to distinguish between genuine and fake ancient / ethnographic art. Results are guaranteed and can be delivered within as little as a few days.

Artemis Testing Lab authenticates pottery / ceramic antiquities and ancient art using the scientific technique of Thermoluminescence (TL), a dating method for archaeological pottery which can distinguish between genuine and fake / reproduction examples. TL Testing can be used to analyze fired pottery, earthenware and terracotta, and the casting cores of bronzes.

Artemis Testing Lab also offers XRF (X-ray fluorescence) authentication, a non-destructive analytical technique to determine the elemental composition of materials.  XRF testing can be used to analyze virtually any material, but is most commonly used for metal analysis.

Artemis Testing Lab also offers traditional X-Ray testing of pottery, metal and stone to get a better view than possible by the naked eye (to see hidden repairs, new material, extent of restoration).

  • US-based
  • Fast turnaround
  • Guaranteed results

If you would like to learn more about Artemis Testing Lab’s authentication services, please contact us. We look forward to putting our expertise to work for you.

Serge Fayeulle, Ph.D.
Owner / Chief Scientific Officer
serge@artemistestinglab.com

Phil Keck
Owner / Managing Director
phil@artemistestinglab.com

Our Services

Thermoluminescence (TL Testing)

The scientific technique of thermoluminescence (TL) is used to evaluate the authenticity of archaeological pottery. As pottery ages, it absorbs radiation from its environment. We extract a small sample from each piece we analyze and heat it until it glows with a faint blue light, known as TL. The older the pottery is, the more radiation it will have absorbed, and the brighter it will glow. This glow is measured to calculate the approximate age of the pottery.

Materials that can be dated by TL

Thermoluminescence can test fired clay such as pottery, earthenware and terracotta, as well as porcelain, stoneware and the casting cores of bronzes. Artemis Testing Lab can test pieces from any culture, as long as they have been fired to above 500°C and the clay contains a sufficient quantity of TL minerals (quartz and/or feldspars), as well as radioactive inclusions (normally uranium, thorium and a radioactive form of potassium). More recent pieces can be harder to test.

Accuracy of TL testing / dating

Generally speaking, when a sample is drilled and there is no information available about the burial environment, one may expect +/- 25% uncertainty, and this is more than adequate for authentication where the question is whether the piece was fired in antiquity or recently. The latest computer technology supports and completes analysis.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy

X-Ray Fluorescence / XRF spectroscopy is widely used for qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of archaeological samples. It is a nondestructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. XRF analyzers measure the fluorescent (or secondary) X-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary X-ray source. Each of the elements present produces a unique set of characteristic fluorescent X-rays, providing a conclusive analysis of the material composition.

XRF results include the proportions of elements present in the sampled archaeological or historical material. This may be used to establish likely provenance, manufacturing technique, mineral sources, and fabrication technology. The obtained data may detect inclusive material and/or detect reproductions and counterfeits.

Which materials can be tested by XRF?

XRF can be used to test a wide range of materials from ceramics to metals and glass. XRF testing provides a good, uniform detection level across a large portion of the Periodic Table and is applicable to a wide range of concentrations, from 100% down to a few parts per million (ppm). XRF is a safe and non-destructive process

X-Ray Analysis

Traditional X-Rays offer a simple, yet highly accurate look at what is beneath almost any surface. Artemis Testing Lab also offers traditional X-Ray testing of pottery, metal and stone to get a better view than possible by the naked eye (to see hidden repairs, new material, extent of restoration).

Rates

Thermoluminescence / TL Test
$275

Up to 3 sample cores taken per test.  Printed report will include full results, including graphs.  Rate does not include shipping cost of item to/from the lab.

Quantity discounts available for dealers, collectors and institutions.  Items can be sent to us or we can come to you.  Please inquire.

X-Ray Fluorescence / XRF Test
$200

Up to 2 sample locations per test.  Printed report will show exact composition of items – ancient vs. non-ancient.  Perfect for testing gold, silver, bronze, copper and other metallurgical compositions, as well as pottery / ceramic and stone.   Rate does not include shipping cost of item to/from the lab.

X-Ray Test
$75

Digital and/or film X-Ray images will show what’s ancient… and what’s not… as well as true condition of any pottery or metal object.  Price quoted is per test.  Rate does not include shipping cost of item to/from the lab.

With any of our testing services, you can expect to receive your Test Results within 7 days or less from when we receive your item(s).  Need results sooner?  Expedited testing available with results back in as little as 3 business days.

Interested in using our testing services?  Contact Us