As a dating tool the TL technique has been of great success in authentication of ancient ceramic art objects.However, a few complicated factors limit the precision and accuracy in age determination.These slowly decay over time and the ionizing radiation they produce is absorbed by mineral grains in the sediments such as quartz and potassium feldspar.
Feldspar IRSL techniques have the potential to extend the datable range out to a million years as feldspars typically have significantly higher dose saturation levels than quartz, though issues regarding anomalous fading will need to be dealt with first.
The concept of using luminescence dating in archaeological contexts was first suggested in 1953 by Farrington Daniels, Charles A. Saunders, who thought the thermoluminescence response of pottery shards could date the last incidence of heating.
The photons of the emitted light must have higher energies than the excitation photons in order to avoid measurement of ordinary photoluminescence.
A sample in which the mineral grains have all been exposed to sufficient daylight (seconds for quartz; hundreds of seconds for potassium feldspar) can be said to be of zero age; when excited it will not emit any such photons.
Most luminescence dating methods rely on the assumption that the mineral grains were sufficiently "bleached" at the time of the event being dated.
For example, in quartz a short daylight exposure in the range of 1–100 seconds before burial is sufficient to effectively “reset” the OSL dating clock.For potassium feldspar or silt-sized grains, near infrared excitation (IRSL) is normally used and violet emissions are measured.Unlike carbon-14 dating, luminescence dating methods do not require a contemporary organic component of the sediment to be dated; just quartz, potassium feldspar, or certain other mineral grains that have been fully bleached during the event being dated.The ceramics come from two recently excavated sites at “Hellenikon” and “Ligourio” in Argolid, Peloponnese, Greece. The new method of nuclear dating is described in the paper and appropriately evaluated.Luminescence dating refers to a group of methods of determining how long ago mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight or sufficient heating.