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Archaeological research at the site of Canteen Kopje, Northern Cape Province, South Africa, has focused on the rich Earlier Stone Age assemblages recovered from the Younger Vaal Gravels.
The rate of breakdown and energy release is relatively constant.
The science behind this dating technique is interesting; quartz that has been exposed to sunlight experiences an atomic level energy change that causes electrons to become un-trapped from the crystals. Whenever the quartz grain is exposed to direct sunlight, electrons are released—effectively setting the elapsed time clock back to zero.
When the sand grain becomes buried, by events such as floods carrying sediment across a site, or when the ground becomes covered by a midden, or prehistoric people create a sand mound, the grains become buried in the dark, and then begin to accumulate electrons.
Jack Rink about a new technique that he using to determine the age of the Crystal River archaeological site. Rink is a professor and researcher at Mc Master University, Mc Master Institute of Applied Radiation Sciences. After working on projects in Africa, Europe and Asia, Dr.
He began his education in Florida where he received his Ph. Rink returned to Florida several years ago to work on the Salt Springs site near Palatka. Rink and his associates specialize in a special type of geochronology called Optical Stimulated Luminescence—or OSL for short–that is used to date archaeological sites and geological features.
It will be a major breakthrough; however, dating such ancient soils will require an extremely long exposure to sunlight in order for this technique to be useful. Well, you could collect your samples at night, but then it becomes difficult to see your work and write your notes!