Optical dating archaeology

24-Aug-2019 17:17

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.

Once you know the rate of energy accumulation in these quartz grains over a given time period, then, by measuring the amount of energy the grain still contains, you can calculate the amount of time that has elapsed since it was buried.

Tune in again, as the investigators begin to release the results of these investigations.It can identify soils exposed to sunlight as recently as 5-10 years ago to between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. Rink’s lab is also currently developing new techniques that will allow them to date sediments ranging from 2 to 5 million years ago.