If the specimen’s sensitivity to ionizing radiation is known, as is the annual influx of radiation experienced by the specimen, the released thermoluminescence can be translated into a specific amount of time since the formation of the crystal structure.
(Chemistry) phosphorescence of certain materials or objects as a result of heating.
It is caused by pre-irradiation of the material inducing defects which are removed by the heat, the energy released appearing as light: used in archaeological dating Redwares from Gubbacka's medieval village: regional and inter-regional views on ceramic networks and technology (SEM-EDS)/Punased savinoud keskaegsest Gubbackast: hinnanguid kohalikule ja mittekohalikule keraamikavorgustikule ning tehnoloogiale (SEM-EDS-analuusi pohjal) and its applications, recent advances and opportunities in thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) materials, luminescence dating: the basic approach to geochronology, the elastico-mechanoluminescence of thermoluminescent crystals, thermoluminescent phosphors for radiation dosimetry, using the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and Nigeria: Nok has more wonders yet for the world: Nok terracotta artwork dating back to 1500 BC, which was discovered in modern-day central Nigeria in the 1940s by a British archaeologist, is now famous the world over. Current research by German archaeological teams on Nok sites covering 240 sq kms northeast of the capital Abuja.
The longer the pottery is in the ground, the more radiation dose it will absorb, causing more electrons to be excited into trap states.
When scientists pull pottery from the ground, they use heat or lasers to de-excite these electrons out of their trap states back to their original state. Scientists measure the amount of light to get the total measured radiation dose (TMRD).
To put it simply, certain minerals (quartz, feldspar, and calcite), store energy from the sun at a known rate.
This energy is lodged in the imperfect lattices of the mineral's crystals.
However, it’s well known among radiation physicists that RDRs vary with location, season, solar activity, and even time of day.
Thermoluminescence Dating Thermoluminescence can be used to date materials containing crystalline minerals to a specific heating event.
In the same way, more or less, OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dating measures the last time an object was exposed to sunlight.
The age of the pottery, in principle, may then be determined by the relation Age = Accumulated dose / Dose per year Although conceptually straightforward, TL has proven to to be far from simple in practice.
When pottery is fired, it loses all its previously acquired TL, and on cooling the TL begins again to build up.