16th Century Miniature Boxwood Carvings Need X-Rays To Be Fully Interpreted


Have you ever wondered about the long-lost traditions of the remote era? Ever think about the interests and activities of people who existed before the dawn of modern technology. Well, our scientists are as inquisitive as you, and that is the reason why they employed the use of advanced technology to interpret the carvings of the 16th century.

These boxwood carvings are the rarest and the most intricate 16th century artifacts you can find anywhere in the world! Only 135 of these boxwood carvings have weathered the test of time, and the intricate designs are a testimony of the sheer amount of meticulous effort that went into making them. The carvings have puzzled art specialists all over the world, and some researchers even think that they need modern day techniques such as X-Rays, micro-CT scanning, and Advanced 3D Analysis Software to get a complete picture of the complexities of the design.

These wooden carvings are thought to be constructed between 1500 and 1530 either in Flanders or the Netherlands. Almost all of them seem religiously inspired, which was the “trend” pre-Reformation era. However, the Reformation in Europe soon began, which dropped the stocks of religious merchandise and church-related accessories, including the little boxwood pieces.

Micro-CT scanning and Advanced 3D Analysis Software were used, with the researchers finding out the inner layers were combined to hide the joints flawlessly, only to be detectable using a microscope or an X-ray. The pieces also entail pins less than 1mm in size, and the process of artifact creation is pretty much a mystery for now.

Relish these astonishing pieces below! You can also find some more details on each one of them here.

Photography by Ian Lefebvre

Photography by Ian Lefebvre


                            Photography by Craig Boyko


What are your thoughts on these carvings and their creation? Comment below to let us know!


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