Define luminescence dating
By comparing this light output with that produced by known doses of radiation, the amount of radiation absorbed by the material may be found. Most mineral materials, including the constituents of pottery, have the property of thermoluminescence (TL), where part of the energy from radioactive decay in and around the mineral is stored (in the form of trapped electrons) and later released as light upon strong heating (as the electrons are detrapped and combine with lattice ions).Alternate names sometimes used are optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL dating) and photoluminescence dating (PL dating).Ages can be determined typically from 300 to 100,000 years BP, and can be reliable when suitable methods are used and proper checks are done.Optical dating is a method of determining how long ago minerals were last exposed to daylight.It is useful to geologists and archaeologists who want to know when such an event occurred.
The case-studies presented here show that luminescence approaches are a valuable tool to reconstruct landscape histories.
Dating agricultural terraces is a notoriously difficult problem for archaeologists.
The frequent occurrence of residual material in terrace soils and the potential for post-depositional disturbance mean that conventional artefactual and lab-based dating methods often provide unreliable dates.
It is an absolute dating method, and does not depend on comparison with similar objects (as does obsidian hydration dating, for example).
The thermoluminescence technique is the only physical means of determining the absolute age of pottery presently available.