95% reduction in OSL within 4 seconds of exposure to light from blue diodes Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating or optical dating provides a measure of time since sediment grains were deposited and shielded from further light or heat exposure, which often effectively resets the luminescence signal (Fig.1).This technique, as thermoluminescence, was originally developed in the 1950s and 1960s to date fired archaeological materials, like ceramics (Aitken, 1985).Postgraduate students registered for a degree course within a UK university which does not house a luminescence laboratory may be eligible to apply for an award through a joint scheme set up with the Quaternary Research Association (
Fieldwork (within Southern England) including in-situ radioactivity measurements, sample collection and travel to and from site can be undertaken at a daily rate of £300 VAT.
We are also able to conduct sample collection outside of the UK if the client is willing to cover additional transport, accommodation and subsistence costs.
More detailed expert reporting according to specific client needs can be undertaken following prior agreement with the laboratory.
Such consultancy work which will be charged on the basis of a daily rate of £500 VAT.
Ensuing research in the 1970s documented that marine and other sediments with a prior sunlight exposure of hours to days were suitable for thermoluminescence dating (Wintle and Huntley, 1980).
Discoveries in the 1980s and 1990s that exposure of quartz and feldspar grains to a tunable light source, initially with lasers and later by light emitting diodes, yield luminescence components that are solar reset within seconds to minutes, expanded greatly the utility of the method (Huntley et al., 1985; Hütt et al., 1988; Aitken, 1998).
Alpha particles are about 90 to 95% less effective in inducing luminescence compared to beta and gamma radiation.
Thus, the population of stored electrons in lattice-charge defects increases with prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation and the resolved luminescence emission increases with time.
The age range for pottery and other ceramics covers the entire period in which these materials have been produced.