25-27 Oct 2018 Bordeaux (France)



MoDIM 2018 continues a 10-year-old tradition of international meetings dedicated to radiocarbon and luminescence dating of archaeological lime mortars and anthropogenic carbonates in general. Previous Mortar Dating Workshops were held in Finland (2010), Spain (2012), Italy (2014), Switzerland (2015), and during specific sessions at several International Radiocarbon Conferences and International "Radiocarbon & Archaeology" Symposia.

The underlying theme of MoDIM 2018 is the characterization of archaeological lime mortar and lime plaster prior to radiocarbon and luminescence dating. More specifically, the focus of the meeting will be on methodologies aimed at identifying, isolating and removing potential sources of contamination for radiocarbon dating and at overcoming problems of residual geologic signals in insufficiently light-exposed materials for luminescence dating, and on how such procedures may improve the accuracy of age determinations.

The goal of the meeting is to promote the discussion regarding radiocarbon and luminescence dating of lime plaster/mortar from archaeological sites and historical architectures, and thus to develop the application of these methods to the study of cultural heritage. Therefore, we welcome contributions regarding analytical methods that address the chemical and physical properties of anthropogenic carbonates, including (but not limited to) FTIR and Raman spectrometry, XRD, XRF, EXAFS, cathodoluminescence, SEM-EDS, electron diffraction, stable isotopes analysis, and thin section petrography; contributions about procedures for carbon recovery and AMS measurements (including organics embedded in lime binders), and on protocols for luminescence measurements. Site reports that present mere lists of radiocarbon/luminescence dates without further methodological discussion will NOT be accepted.





Proceedings will be published in a special issue of Radiocarbon

Information for Authors




  • 08:30 – Registration (ongoing through the day)
  • 09:00 – Opening

Session 1: Characterization of materials for dating. Chairperson: Gilberto Artioli.

  • 09:30 – Keynote lecture by Gilberto Artioli, “Radiocarbon dating of complex mortars: can we assess the chances of successful dating?”
  • 10:30 – Asscher et al., “Characterization of ancient mortars by combined XRD, NMR and FTIR techniques”
  • 10:50 – Coffee break
  • 11:10 – Ricci G. et al., “The castle of Cannero, Lake Maggiore, Italy: an insight into XIV-XVI century mortar techniques and their bearing on the radiocarbon dating of complex mortars”
  • 11:30 – Poduska et al., “Assessing the feasibility of electrophoretic separation of CaCO3 polymorphs for archaeological applications”
  • 11:50 – Hayen and Boudin, “Historic mortar characterisation, useful tools for sample selection and data interpretation of mortar dating”
  • 12:10 – Válek et al., “Radiocarbon dating potential of lime binders used in Prague in Medieval Period”
  • 12:30 – Lunch break at the Archéopôle d'Aquitaine
  • 14:00 – Michalska et al., “How various carbonate components can affect the pretreatment protocol in radiocarbon dating of mortars”

Session 2: Radiocarbon dating. Chairperson: Elisabetta Boaretto.

  • 14:20 – Keynote lecture by Elisabetta Boaretto, “Radiocarbon dating of archaeological carbonate materials: difficulties, new directions  and applications”
  • 15:20 – Coffee break
  • 15:40 – Caroselli et al., “Radiocarbon dating of dolomitic mortars from the Convent Saint John, Mustair (Switzerland): first results”
  • 16:00 – Ringbom et al., “Delayed hardening in dating mortar”

Poster session (16:20-18:00)

  • Barrett and Reimer, "Mortar Dating: The use of FTIR and TGMS for screening samples and understanding variation in dating results"
  • Barta et al., "Roman building I. at Bratislava castle: characterization of mortar samples for 14C dating"
  • Javel et al., "Preliminary study of the lime mortars of the architectural complexes of Nanteuil-en-Vallée : Contributions and perspectives for the understanding of the construction sites, from Gallo-Roman Antiquity until the French Revolution"
  • Kabacińska et al., "Radiation defects in lime mortars and plasters studied by EPR spectroscopy"
  • Ponce-Antón et al., "Comparison of sample preparation methods for radiocarbon dating of mortars. Case study of Irulegi Castle (Navarre, Spain)"
  • Sanjurjo-Sanchez et al., "OSL dating of earthen mortars from a medieval building in NW Spain: Santa Mariña de Augas Santas (Ourense)"
  • Sanjurjo-Sanchez et al., "Radiocarbon and OSL dating of lime mortars of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco (Les Ferreres Aqueduct), World Heritage Site"
  • Tirelli et al., "Integrated dating of the Modena cathedral vaults construction and restoration (Northern Italy)"

Visit to the IRAMAT-CRP2A laboratory (18:00-19:00)


Session 2: Radiocarbon dating (continued). Chairperson: Elisabetta Boaretto.

  • 08:30 – Coffee (no registration)
  • 09:00 – Scott and Hajdas, “Why consider a mortar measurement inter-comparison?”
  • 09:20 – Hajdas et al., “Towards routine 14C dating of mortar at the AMS laboratory ETH Zurich”
  • 09:40 – Toffolo et al., “Radiocarbon dating of anthropogenic carbonates using the thermal decomposition method”
  • 10:00 – Coffee break

Session 3: Luminescence dating. Chairperson: Petra Urbanová.

  • 10:20 – Keynote lecture by Petra Urbanová, “Single grain OSL dating of mortars in archaeology of architecture: state of the art”
  • 11:20 – Panzeri et al., “Luminescence and radiocarbon dating of mortars at Milano-Bicocca laboratory
  • 11:40 – Sanjurjo et al., “OSL dating of lime mortars in a singular building of NW Spain: Santa Eulalia de Boveda (Lugo)”
  • 12:00 – Guibert et al., “Modeling light exposure of grains during mortar making: consequences for Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating”
  • 12:20 – Lunch break at the Archéopôle d'Aquitaine

Session 4: Open discussion (14:00-18:00). Chairperson: Pierre Guibert.

Dinner at Café Maritime (20:00)


Excursion to Saint-Seurin and Saint-Emilion:

09:00 meeting at Saint-Seurin church

10:30 break

11:00 bus to Saint-Emilion

12:00 arrival to Saint-Emilion

12:30 lunch

14:00 guided tour

17:00 return to Bordeaux

18:00 expected arrival to Bordeaux


We look forward to seeing you soon in Bordeaux!

The Organizing Committee (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)


  • Pierre Guibert
  • Michael Toffolo
  • Petra Urbanová
  • Sophie Philippot


  • Anne Michel
  • Frédéric Boutoulle

Contact: modim2018@sciencesconf.org

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