The primary objective of this initiative is to create a deterrent by increasing the risk to Buyers of illicit artifacts of arrest by law enforcement agencies.   While cognizant of the conservation principle of reversibility, we believe that retention of the artifact is a fundamental first requirement as, once stolen, the opportunity to conserve ends.

The SmartWater Foundation is committed to provide funding in the continuation of its research into developing new methods of creating a deterrence through the provision of forensic provenance  to a range of substrates, particularly focusing on paper, jade, vellum and canvas.

However, in relation to the creation of a system for deterring theft of artifacts and objects made of stone, ceramic tile, glass, ivory and pottery, the following technical papers are being made available for guidance of industry professionals.

Unfortunately, due to enhanced security concerns, for the time being, access to the documents will only be made available to those with a proven professional interest within the field of archeology, conservation science of antiquities or responsibility for the security of Museums, archaeological sites and/or Galleries:

  • An evaluation of SmartWater: Offenders’ Perspectives’*  Professor Martin Gill, Perpetuity Research, Leicester University  2008                   
  • ‘Validation of an analytical method for the identification of SmartWater forensic marking technology’* Professor Jose Almirall, Florida International University,  USA 2010
  • ‘Forensic coding solution: contact surface derived  ‘Oddy Test’  Drs Stuart Black and Nathalie Marini, Reading University Dept. of Archeology 2017
  • ‘Result of ‘blind trial’ proof of robustness of forensic signature under Oddy environmental condition’ Drs Stuart Black and Nathalie Marini, Reading University Dept. of Archeology 2017
  • ‘Results of SEM analysis of five substrates treated with SmartWater’ Dr Peter Harris, Emlab Research Facility, Reading University 2017
  • ‘Results of Azide test of SmartWater’ Dr Kevin Sullivan, Sullivan Forensics Ltd, 2017.
  • ‘Results of Oddy Test of SmartWater on metal substrates’ Dr Amr Al Azm, Shawnee State University, USA 2017
  • ‘Results of pH test of SmartWater’  Drs Stuart Black and Nathalie Marini, Reading University, Dept. of Archeology 2017

* Document copyright protected, so authorized extracts only can be provided. Full copies of the report will be made available by application to the Authors directly.

SmartWater analytical labs are accredited to international standard ISO17025
SEM analysis of ceramic tile treated with SmartWater showed zero impact on substrate
PLEASE NOTE: Our Forensic Markers are warranted to remain detectable and traceable for 5-years in accordance with British Standards Institute PAS820:2012 (if used in accordance with the Application Instructions).
Whilst extensive, independent testing has been undertaken to demonstrate compatibility of SmartWater with the specified substrates, it is the responsbility of the Customer to satisfy themselves that the application of SmartWater will not result in permanent or aesthetic changes to the intended substrate.