Definition of luminescence dating
OSL profiling at the time of archaeological survey and excavation permitted spatially and temporally resolved sediment ‘chronologies’ to be generated, and provides the means to interpret the environmental and cultural archives contained in each.
The age of the pottery, in principle, may then be determined by the relation Age = Accumulated dose / Dose per year Although conceptually straightforward, TL has proven to to be far from simple in practice.
Should I be concerned about artificial irradiation? If the radioactivity of the pottery itself, and its surroundings, is measured, the dose rate, or annual increment of dose, may be computed.
(2012) developed the Natural DRC concept, which uses expected ages derived from independent age control, combined with sample-specific measurements of ambient radioactivity, to calculate expected doses of absorbed radiation during burial.
Natural OSL signal intensity is then plotted against these expected doses and compared to laboratory-generated DRCs.
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In all, close to two dozen physical quantities must be accurately measured to establish the relationship between doses of different kinds of radiation and light output, and to compute dose rate.
The maximum limit of any OSL dating technique is not defined by a fixed upper age limit, but instead by the maximum radiation dose the sample can accurately record before the OSL signal saturates.
The challenge is to assess this upper limit of accurate age determination without necessitating comparison to independent age control.
By comparing this light output with that produced by known doses of radiation, the amount of radiation absorbed by the material may be found.