CT Scans in Art Work Appraisal

Figure 7

A. Dog, China. Terracotta, 58 cm.
Thermoluminescence (TL) analysis gave an age of 2000 years (± 20%) and an analysis of the chemical composition of the terracotta revealed no anomaly.

B. CT: thin axial sections through the head, the forequarters and hindquarters (markers shown in Figure A). They reveal that the main tubular structures are composed of terracotta slabs. The CT scan emphasizes the different density of the slabs, proving that the dog has been assembled. The bulging cement joints inside the statue, which are of lower density and therefore lighter, show up clearly (arrows). The technique of assembling terracotta slabs cut out of excavation bricks and then carving them into a sculpture gives TL results compatible with an ancient piece.

Detail: further views
Detail: larger photo view