ALSF Dissemination: OSL Guidelines

Geoff Duller, English Heritage, 2008

Data copyright © Prof Geoff Duller, English Heritage unless otherwise stated

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Prof Geoff Duller
Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences
Aberystwyth University
Llandinam Building
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SY23 3DB
Wales, UK
Tel: (0)1970 622 611

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Geoff Duller, English Heritage (2008) ALSF Dissemination: OSL Guidelines [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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The Guidelines on using Luminescence Dating in Archaeology was produced by Professor GAT Duller of the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, UK. The production of these guidelines has been funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund distributed by English Heritage on behalf of DEFRA. These guidelines are designed to establish good practice in the use of luminescence dating for providing chronological frameworks. They provide practical advice on using luminescence dating methods in archaeology.

Luminescence dating is a chronological method that has been used extensively in archaeology and the earth sciences. It is based on the emission of light, luminescence, by commonly occurring minerals, principally quartz. The method can be applied to a wide range of materials that contain quartz or similar minerals. For pottery, burnt flints and burnt stones, the event being dated is the last heating of the objects. Another, and now very common, application is to date sediments, and in this case the event being dated is the last exposure of the mineral grains to daylight.The age range over which the method can be applied is from a century or less to over one hundred thousand years.