Forensic Sci Int 2019 Mar 30;299:114-118. Epub 2019 Mar 30.
CEDAD (CEntre for applied physics, DAting and Diagnostic) Department of Mathematics and Physics "Ennio de Giorgi", University of Salento, Italy.
The determination of the age of elephant ivory is a crucial aspect in the fight against illegal ivory trade which is still a relevant problem having triggered the decline of elephant populations due to poaching in different areas of the globe. Indeed, the absolute dating of the ivory allows, in forensics practice, to establish whether a determined sample or object was obtained and imported illegally, violating the international trade ban. In this frame the use radiocarbon dating has surely a great potential and is widely used. In this paper we review the potential of the method in this field, highlighting its advantages and drawbacks. In particular we show, through the discussion of real cases, how it is possible to improve the achievable chronological resolution by refining the obtained ages trough the proper use of available information and considerations.