Thermoluminescence dating simplified

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Luminescence dating (including thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence) is a type of dating methodology that measures the amount of light emitted from energy stored in certain rock types and derived soils to obtain an absolute date for a specific event that occurred in the past.The method is a direct dating technique, meaning that the amount of energy emitted is a direct result of the event being measured.The 1885 coin in Layer E establishes that Layer E dates from on or after 1885.

Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests almost doubled the concentration of Radiocarbon dating, also known as the C14 dating method, is a way of telling how old an object is. Plants take up atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis, and are eaten by animals, so every living thing is constantly exchanging carbon-14 with its environment as long as it lives. In 1958 Hessel de Vries showed that the concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere varies with time and locality.

For the most accurate work, variations are compensated by means of calibration curves.

The method was developed by Willard Libby and his colleagues at the University of Chicago in 1949.

The potential for using the thermoluminescence behaviour of sediments for dating them was first recognized by Soviet scientists G. In this review we describe the principles of TL dating, the various methods used, and contrast TL dating of sediments with the now well-accepted TL dating of pottery.

Since 1977 TL sediment dates have been published by six additional groups using a variety of methods.

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