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Different technics for dating

Thermoluminescence (TL) correspond to the ability of certain crystals to accumulate the energy released by radioactive ionizing radiation and to restore this energy under the form of light when they are submitted to heat. TL dating in archeology applies to materials such as pottery, terracotta, clay core in sculptures, burned or heated flints and stones. Range: ~ 100 years to 800 000 years.

Carbone 14 (14C) (or radiocarbon) dating is a technique based on the measurement of the radiological activity of 14C in the organic matter. It allows to determine the absolute age or time elapsed since the death of the material. Area of application: absolute ages ~ 100 to ~ 50 000 years.

Dendrochronology is used to date wooden objects (e.g. sculpture, retable, furniture, etc..). Very precise, it is based on the counting and analyses of the morphology of the growth rings of the tree.

Electron spin resonance (ESR or EPR) is useful for studying the local structure of all materials that may have paramagnetic properties. Many materials such as glasses or minerals as well as organic materials may thus be studied by this technique. ESR also allows us to date some archaeological materials such as fossil tooth enamel, quartz grains from archaeological sediments or carbonates (stalagmites, corals, etc.).. Range: ~ 20 000 years to ~ 1 million years.