Examples of thermoluminescence dating

Thermoluminescence emits a weak light signal that is proportional to the radiation dose absorbed by the material. The technique has wide application, and is relatively cheap at some US0–700 per object; ideally a number of samples are tested. The destruction of a relatively significant amount of sample material is necessary, which can be a limitation in the case of artworks.

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Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is the determination by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was either heated (lava, ceramics) or exposed to sunlight (sediments).Ideally this is assessed by measurements made at the precise findspot over a long period.For artworks, it may be sufficient to confirm whether a piece is broadly ancient or modern (that is, authentic or a fake), and this may be possible even if a precise date cannot be estimated.Create fake pottery that will pass the thermoluminescence test One way to pass a fake through a TL test is to expose the newly-made pottery to a high dose of artificial radiation sources, thus fooling the measurement instruments.However, producing fakes with this method calls for expertise on the subject, as well as expensive instruments.

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