How does archaeological dating work

Finally, one has to make the measurements regardless of whether the TL of the clay is well-behaved or not.Some clays are hardly thermoluminescent at all; some may not have a straight-line relationship between dose and TL; spurious luminescence due to chemical or pressure effects may mask the radiation-induced TL; occasionally, a condition called "anomalous fading", where part of the TL is unstable, may lessen the accuracy of the dose measurement.

Using this information often reduces the uncertainty to 15-25 per cent. Nearly any mineral material which has been heated above 500C at a time one wishes to know is a candidate for TL dating. Porcelains, being nearly vitrified, are a special case requiring a fairly large solid core sample, and TL dating of intact objects is not recommended because of the damage caused by sampling.

Some regions known to present problems for TL include Indonesia and West Mexico; objects from these areas usually do not successfully yield TL dates.

WARNING ABOUT FAKES USING ANCIENT MATERIALS Recently there has been a spate of forgeries devised expressly to attempt circumventing TL dating.

By the mid-1960's, its validity as an absolute dating technique was established by workers at Oxford and Birmingham in England, Riso in Denmark, and at the University of Pennsylvania in the U. The Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford, in particular, has played a major role in TL research.

While not so accurate as radiocarbon dating, which cannot date pottery (except from soot deposits on cooking pots), TL has found considerable usefulness in the authenticity of ceramic art objects where high precision is not necessary.

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