Is it possible to objectively determine where and when works of art were produced? It might be, by establishing a geochronology of the metals used in the manufacturing process of these objects. This multidisciplinary project will combine geochemical analysis with the production and trade history and verify the data by studying a reference collection of objects with well known provenance and different age. An important innovative aspect of the project is the relation it makes between isotopic analysis, historical trade and the extraction of raw materials on the one side and the specific places of production of objects on the other. Studies so far have emphasised the extraction aspect, largely ignoring the implications for object provenance of the complexity and dynamics of trade. The project will develop new analytical methods that minimise sample size and that are able to measure multiple isotope systems at high sensitivity. Statistical methods and network analysis will be used to relate characteristic isotope patterns to a specific provenance. The effectiveness of the system that is developed will then be tested using the systematically assembled reference collection.