Glass Hydration: A Method of Dating Glass Objects

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Science  27 May 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4293, pp. 975-976
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4293.975


A new nondestructive method for dating or authenticating man-made glass is proposed, and the initial results of an exploration of the potential of this method are presented. The method is based on a relation between the age of a glass object and the thickness of the layer of hydrated glass on its surface, with the thickness of this hydrated surface layer being measured by means of the 15N nuclear resonance depth profiling technique. A qualitative age scale is established for some common 19th- and 20th-century American glass.