Carbon dating artwork

By comparing this light output with that produced by known doses of radiation, the amount of radiation absorbed by the material may be found. Most mineral materials, including the constituents of pottery, have the property of thermoluminescence (TL), where part of the energy from radioactive decay in and around the mineral is stored (in the form of trapped electrons) and later released as light upon strong heating (as the electrons are detrapped and combine with lattice ions).Heated stone material, such as hearths, pot boilers, and burnt flints, has been dated as well.Some regions known to present problems for TL include Indonesia and West Mexico; objects from these areas usually do not successfully yield TL dates. 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.It was employed in the 1950's as a method for radiation dose measurement, and soon was proposed for archaeological dating.

Most porcelain dating is done for insurance purposes on broken objects.

Drilling, the usual method of sampling, introduces some uncertainty.

It is also rare that any information about the radiation from the burial soil can be obtained, as art objects are usually thoroughly cleaned.

These will give an authentic date for a bogus object.

It must be realized that TL dating is but one of the criteria for judging authenticity.

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