Wood Identification: an overview of current and past methods

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Wood identification is an expertise vital in a variety of fields, from industry to art. Identification of the wood in works of art is usually underappreciated but it is as important as difficult. This article aims to provide heritage professionals with a brief overview of wood identification procedures available today, as well as, from an historical point of view, the methodologies that paved the way to the new approaches used nowadays. It also discusses some techniques that the general public usually relate with wood identification but that are meant to determine wood original location (stable isotopes), specimens dating (Dendrochronology) and geological dating (Radiocarbon, 14C). The final aim is to clarify the diverse procedures, with its advantages and limitations, that can be used for wood identification in works of art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-68
Number of pages24
JournalEstudos de Conservação e Restauro
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Wood identification
  • Works of art
  • Techniques
  • Preservation
  • Conservation
  • Restoration


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