Thermoluminescence dating range
Luminescence dating is particularly appropriate when radiocarbon dating is not possible (either where no suitable material is available or for ages beyond the radiocarbon age limit) or for applications affected by radiocarbon plateau effects (e.g.
post 1700 AD, early Iron Age contexts, late glacial timescales) and when the relationship between the organic materials and the archaeological context is uncertain.
TL ages of 60–65 ka for two samples in the 4.9–7 m depth range are consistent with an ‘infinite’ 38.6 ka at 5.8 m. 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.The error limits on the dates obtained are typically in the range of 5 to 10%.Our standard cost for OSL dating is £550 VAT per sample but prices can vary depending on the nature and number of samples (see our schedule of charges).
The particular advantage of luminescence dating is that the method provides a date for the archaeological artefact or deposit itself, rather than for organic material in assumed association.