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Its use could have for example helped to determine the moment when the papers in the Bárcenas [corruption claims] case were written." To conduct the research work, the Department of Analytical Chemistry had the collaboration of the company Investigaciones Forenses Documentales LEYAS and Magdalena Ezcurra holder of a Ph D from the UPV/EHU. This company also supplied the knowledge about the current problems in dating documents, real cases that had been subjected to legal examination. Each document was produced at different moments using a different ink stroke pressure, factors that may alter the results and lead to dating errors.During the natural ageing process of each sample, which had a known age, the research team analysed the evolution in the various volatile components.Our examiners use an instrument known as a VSC 2000HR to carry out non-destructive specialised lighting examinations.

As Luis Bartolomé pointed out, "what is interesting about this method is that it can more accurately determine the age of the stroke produced by the ballpoint pen.

So the team used the same procedure as that used to analyse the samples produced for the research. This technique managed to spot the age of the ink on documents written up to five years previously and with an approximation margin of about 20%.

In other words, when applying this analysis procedure, the team can indicate whether the document was written 1,500 days previously (just over four years) with a margin of 300 days either way.

Unlike the large quantity of sample required by other traditional methods to age the compounds artificially and analyse them, the technique developed in the UPV/EHU labs allows the document to be dated using a single puncture and without altering the compounds. DATINK pilot study: An effective methodology for ballpoint pen ink dating in questioned documents, Archeologists have uncovered a large Bronze Age city not far from the town of Dohuk in northern Iraq.

So Datink offers a more accurate, less damaging, less intrusive and less harmful result. The excavation work has demonstrated that the settlement, which is now home to the small Kurdish ...

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