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Provenance

From Academic Kids

The provenance of an artifact, commodity, or other object is the place and time of its origin.

Provenance is a particularly large concern when it comes to works of art; a documented provenance for a piece demonstrates that it is not a forgery; it was indeed made by the artist given credit for it. The history of previous owners demonstrates also that the work was not stolen, and that a seller has good title to convey to a purchaser.

For similar reasons, provenance is important in archaeology and palaeontology. Here, while the concerns about forgery remain, at least for human artifacts, an accurate provenance for a find can reveal information about its date. Finds that remain in situ are always much more informative than those that have been removed by "collectors;" scientists can learn much about their origins from the environment in which a find was located, but the surrounding dirt and dust is seldom of interest to pot-hunters or treasure-seekers.

See also: chain of custody

da:Proveniens de:Herkunft

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