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FRANCE

May/June 2015

World Roundup FranceFRANCE: Using a novel method—radiocarbon dating of trapped iron carbide flakes—metallographers and archaeologists have confirmed that metal reinforcements used in Gothic cathedrals were not later additions, but rather were part of the initial construction process. Samples taken from cathedrals in Bourges and Beauvais reveal that metal tie-rods and chains were incorporated either during the initial design phase or as builders were working, the latter suggesting that cathedral building sites were like laboratories for new building techniques.—Samir S. Patel

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