Re: Date of Ersari fragmant

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Posted by Marvin Amstey on June 20, 1999 at 20:07:13:

In Reply to: Re: Date of Ersari fragmant posted by Jim Allen on June 20, 1999 at 16:14:55:

: : Dear Yon,
: : What is the date of this rug with 2 standard deviations? That answer will provide a 95% confidence limit. As I read most of the reports on the dating conference, only 1 standard deviation was given, and the confidence limits were about as good as flipping a coin. Being the skeptic that I am, I need a lot more information for me to believe that this fragment is 350 years old. Certainly the photo in the book is of no help. Anyone out there have more info to convince us of the age?
: : Regards,
: : Marvin
: According to Kajitani , curator of Textiles at the Met, whether or not a piece has been washed can make a difference of a hundred years or so in its' C-14 results. Washing makes things older. In fact biologic life forms growing in and on a textile can affect its C-14 results. In my own professional life I have run across exotic technologies which yielded great results when administered by the inventor. In practice these exotic technologies often proved to be hard to master and accuracy was erratic. I strongly suspect that C-14 dating is such a technology. The man most major museums go to for important determinations is AJT Jull at Arizona. I have seen him perform against a double bind test set-up and achieve fantastic accuracy. I was entrusted with selecting several samples in a run the Met was doing testing on. As far as I know My one succesful sample is still the only piece Dr. JUll has dated to pre-1700. My own theories predict that several other pieces should be as old or older. Classical pieces look different under a microscope. For one thing there is almost always massive fiber breakage of knot bundles on the back. The color is different and impossible to match for repair. The dimensional effect of Classical drawing is palpatable to some. Slowly a picture is emerging about classical period Turkomen weaving and the gist of it is that these were as magnificent as Safavid Persian carpets but in their own unique way. I think this is a tremendously exciting period of rug scholarship and the future certainly holds some nice surprises. Jim Allen

JIm, I agree with you that the future may prove fruitful for dating, and I hope some genius comes along to discover the proper technology applied to rygs. I also agree that there was a "classical" period of Turkomen weaving, but it is yet to be defined. However, until the 95% confidence interval for c14 dating is down to a reasonable spread, that is not the technology with which I would be comfortable. Regards, Marvin

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