Archaeology Time Dating and Testing

Today, we received a Laboratory Test Request for composition testing and thermoluminescence (tl) dating of ceramic material. Thermoluminescence dating is used for material where radiocarbon dating cannot be used. This is the case for sediments in the authentication of old ceramic wares.  Thermoluminescence gives the approximate date of the last ceramic firing and the approximate age of the product.

Ceramic Pottery Dating
Archaeology Ceramic Pottery Age Dating

So, what is Thermoluminescence?  Theroluminescence is the measurement of the accumulated radiation dose, or the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was heated or exposed to sunlight.

As a crystalline material is heated during measurements, the process of thermoluminescence starts. Thermoluminescence emits a weak light signal that is proportional to the radiation dose absorbed by the material.