Luminescence Dating Methods

Type Chapter
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTreatise on Geochemistry, Second Edition
EditorsH. D. Holland, K. K. Turekian
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherElsevier
Pages17-35
Number of pages19
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2014
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Abstract

An introduction to luminescence dating in an archeological context, covering both thermoluminescence of heated materials and optically stimulated luminescence of unheated sediments, is presented. Methods of determining the equivalent dose for chemically purified quartz, measured as both subsamples made up of many thousands of grains and as individual grains, are discussed. The mathematical combination and visual presentation of the multiple equivalent dose values obtained in repeated measurements on the same sample are explained using examples from archeological sites. Problems such as mixing of sedimentary grains as a result of postdepositional disturbance or during sampling are discussed. Problems connected with measurement of the dose rate are also presented using archeological applications. The impact of applying luminescence dating to sites with evidence for the Middle Stone Age in southern Africa, the Aterian and earlier stone industries in North Africa, and human arrival in Australia is reviewed in depth.