From Diario de Noticias de Alava: http://www.noticiasdealava.com/ediciones/2006/06/08/sociedad/alava/d08ala6.374527.php
Toulouse and Groningen laboratories certify the authenticity and dating of the piece
The shard has been submitted to Carbon 14 tests in France and Holland
By Begoña Apellániz
VITORIA: The authenticity of this iconographic representation, unique in the world, found in the Alavesan Roman city of Veleia, passes with flying colors. Two foreign labs submitted the piece to various carbon 14 and particle accelerator tests to certify their initial suspicions with certainty. And in effect, the material sent from Iruña Veleia has been confirmed to be more than 1700 years old, and situates it in the middle of the third century after Christ.
The certification of this Calvary artwork was first declared by the University of Groningen (Holland). There they tested the piece for carbon 14, as well as all the "bone remains and carbonized wood" that are usually found in archaeological sites of a certain value, according to what was pointed out yesterday by the director of the Alavesan excavation, Eliseo Gil. In principle, they submitted all organic materials to the carbon 14 test.
Of course, these pieces also have passed the particle accelerator test, which certifies that the age of the piece is the same as the outline that has been impressed in it. For this purpose, the materials have been sent to the isotope center of the University of Toulouse, located in France.
All the same, with certain elements, as Eliseo Gil stressed yesterday, the materials require many more specific interventions and are submitted to specialists to analyze. In Toulouse they have also certified all the hypotheses, and the experts have declared that the piece dates from the third century and that its outline also corresponds with this same time. "At times they require much more precise analyses — to the letter," explained Gil yesterday, about the methodology of the work that they followed after finding these finds in the excavation.
According to the director of the Alavesan site at the Culture Commission of the General Councils of Alava, "all which is not dirt is processed. We study it all as if at the scene of a crime". This formula of work, in Gil's judgment, assumes the unique form of not ignoring anything and that, however small the piece is, it's noted down and contributes a detail or some kind of information in the array of finds that they discover, for as long as the excavation work goes on. However, as soon as they obtain any material that's likely to contribute some relevant information, they send it to the labs.