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Used particularly for edu.au/environment/ee Pages/ee Dating/Quaternary Geochronology/ Trapped Charge Dating PRINCIPAL: energy trapped in crystal imperfections depends on dose rate and time. establish hydration rate for each type of obsidian by examining pieces of known age, or with high pressure and temperature in lab.

Whilst optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) is commonly more suitable for sediment dating because of faster signal resetting, thermoluminescence (TL) remains important for dating burnt material, e.g.

It provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques and is highly extendable.

For both pieces: curve (a) is the TL emitted by a sample of powder taken from the object, curve (b) is a laboratory induced glow-curve curve (c) is the background.

The ancient piece : (a) is way above the background (c), and approximately midway between background and (b) The modern piece : (a) is only just above the background (c) and way below (b) Porcelain and certain other types of clay cannot be tested using the fine-grain method. The TL reader is programmed to measure changes in the 110C peak of quartz (the pre-dose peak) in the clay.

Each time the sample is irradiated and then heated, the pre-dose peak increases. The first increase is due to the natural dose which the piece has absorbed over its life-time.

The sample is then given a laboratory irradiation and a second increase is measured.

C dating, thermoluminescence is related to radioactive decay.

Thermoluminescence is produced by radioactive decay particles (electrons), trapped in mineral grains.

During its lifetime the pottery absorbs radiation from its environment and it is this which creates thermoluminescence.

The older the pottery, the more radiation it has absorbed and the brighter the pottery sample glows.

By measuring the TL, we can calculate how much radiation has been absorbed and use this information to calculate the approximate age of the pottery.

When we receive your sample we must first prepare it for measurement.

However, exciting developments in TL dating of flint and calcite indicate a rise in application of this underused method.

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