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What is thermoluminescence dating in Archaeology?

Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is a technique that is based on the analysis of light release when heating crystalline material. TL-dating is used in mineralogy and geology, but is also increasingly being applied for dating of anthropological and archaeological samples.

What is meant by thermoluminescence?

Thermoluminescence is defined as the burst of light emission at various temperatures during the warming of a frozen sample, which had been excited by light during freezing or immediately before freezing. From: The Oxygen Evolving System of Photosynthesis, 1983.

What is sediment dating?

When sediments cover an archaeological site they are exposed to light and the mineral grains are bleached. Such events can be dated by luminescence methods and the age employed to determine the age of an archaeological site through its related sediments.

What is thermoluminescence used for?

Thermoluminescence Dating. Thermoluminescence can be used to date materials containing crystalline minerals to a specific heating event. This is useful for ceramics, as it determines the date of firing, as well as for lava, or even sediments that were exposed to substantial sunlight.

How is thermoluminescence dating done?

Thermoluminescence testing involves heating a sample until it releases a type of light, which is then measured to determine the last time the item was heated.

What can thermoluminescence dating?

How is thermoluminescence measured?

Thermoluminescence dating (TL) is the determination, by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose, of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was either heated (lava, ceramics) or exposed to sunlight (sediments).

Which mineral is the most commonly used for dating?

Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) dating is the most widely applied technique of radiometric dating. Potassium is a component in many common minerals and can be used to determine the ages of igneous and metamorphic rocks.

What types of artifacts can be dated using thermoluminescence dating?

Thermoluminescence dating is used for rocks, minerals, ceramics and burned features. It is based on the fact that almost all natural minerals are thermoluminescent—they emit light when heated.

Is thermoluminescence dating destructive?

It is a type of luminescence dating. The technique has wide application, and is relatively cheap at some US$300–700 per object; ideally a number of samples are tested. The destruction of a relatively significant amount of sample material is necessary, which can be a limitation in the case of artworks.

How much does thermoluminescence cost?

Thermoluminescence emits a weak light signal that is proportional to the radiation dose absorbed by the material. It is a type of luminescence dating. The technique has wide application, and is relatively cheap at some US$300–700 per object; ideally a number of samples are tested. Sediments are more expensive to date.

Who was the first scientist to use thermoluminescence to date sediments?

The potential for using the thermoluminescence behaviour of sediments for dating them was first recognized by Soviet scientists G.V. Morozov and V.N. Shelkoplyas, and for over a decade their TL dates, obtained from a variety of sediments, have appeared in the Soviet literature.

Are there any problems with TL dating of sediments?

As TL dating of sediments is the extension of an already existing technique, many of the problems have already been found and studied. Being a physical technique it is not as susceptible to environmental changes as chemical techniques such as amino acid dating.

How is Luminescence used in radiometric dating?

Luminescence dating typically refers to a suite of radiometric geologic dating techniques whereby the time elapsed since the last exposure of some silicate minerals to light or heat can be measured.

When was thermoluminescence first used to date pottery?

TL techniques have been developed over the last fifteen years for dating pottery from archaeological sites (Aitken, 1974, 1978; Seeley, 1975; Fleming, 1979). The basic principles of the technique remain the same when it is applied to sediments with one major exception.