The potential for using the thermoluminescence behaviour of sediments for dating them was first recognized by Soviet scientists G. In this review we describe the principles of TL dating, the various methods used, and contrast TL dating of sediments with the now well-accepted TL dating of pottery.
Since 1977 TL sediment dates have been published by six additional groups using a variety of methods.
In the case of pottery the event being dated is the last heating of the material to a high temperature, typically 500 °C.
This energy is stored in the form of trapped electrons and quartz sand is the most commonly used mineral employed in the dating process.The presence of rubidium and cosmic radiation generally play a lesser but contributory roll, and the total radiation dose delivered to the TL phosphor is modified by the presence of water.The period since deposition is therefore measured by determining the total amount of stored TL energy, the palaeodose (P), and the rate at which this energy is acquired, the annual radiation dose (ARD).A set of criteria for acceptable dates is proposed. The evidence against a recent creation is overwhelming.