Luminescence dating in archaeology from origins to optical
To put it simply, certain minerals (quartz, feldspar, and calcite), store energy from the sun at a known rate.
This energy is lodged in the imperfect lattices of the mineral's crystals.
Heating these crystals (such as when a pottery vessel is fired or when rocks are heated) empties the stored energy, after which time the mineral begins absorbing energy again.
TL dating is a matter of comparing the energy stored in a crystal to what "ought" to be there, thereby coming up with a date-of-last-heated.
The particular advantage of luminescence dating is that the method provides a date for the archaeological artefact or deposit itself, rather than for organic material in assumed association.
Our standard cost for OSL dating is £550 VAT per sample but prices can vary depending on the nature and number of samples (see our schedule of charges).