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Warning about fakes using ancient materials What about airport x-rays and radiography? Thus, when one measures dose in pottery, it is the dose accumulated since it was fired, unless there was a subsequent reheating.
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.
WARNING ABOUT FAKES USING ANCIENT MATERIALS Recently there has been a spate of forgeries devised expressly to attempt circumventing TL dating.
These use pottery of the appropriate period to construct objects.
While not so accurate as radiocarbon dating, which cannot date pottery (except from soot deposits on cooking pots), TL has found considerable usefulness in the authenticity of ceramic art objects where high precision is not necessary.
Since the university laboratories involved with TL are research facilities, they generally will not accept art objects for authentication on a routine basis.
A leaflet from Daybreak describing the TL technique in more detail and giving a bibliography will be provided to interested persons.
The phenomenon of thermoluminescence was first described by the English chemist Robert Boyle in 1663.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to achieve this precision for the majority of art objects.
Among the reasons for this is the small amount of material that may be taken for testing.
This is adequate for the purposes of authentication where the question is whether the piece was fired in antiquity or recently; it will not differentiate, say, between a classic Greek terra cotta and a Roman copy.