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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.

He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The age of the pottery, in principle, may then be determined by the relation Age = Accumulated dose / Dose per year Although conceptually straightforward, TL has proven to to be far from simple in practice.

Should I be concerned about artificial irradiation? If the radioactivity of the pottery itself, and its surroundings, is measured, the dose rate, or annual increment of dose, may be computed.

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In all, close to two dozen physical quantities must be accurately measured to establish the relationship between doses of different kinds of radiation and light output, and to compute dose rate.