Thermoluminescence dating of sediments

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.

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Thermoluminescence dating (TL) 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).This energy is in constant motion within the minerals or sherds.Most of the energy escapes as heat, but sometimes this energy separates electrons from the molecules that make up the minerals or ceramics.The clay core of bronze sculptures made by lost wax casting can also be tested.Different materials vary considerably in their suitability for the technique, depending on several factors.

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