The dose rate is usually in the range 0.5 - 5 grays/1000 years.
The total absorbed radiation dose is determined by exciting, with light, specific minerals (usually quartz or potassium feldspar) extracted from the sample, and measuring the amount of light emitted as a result.
Luminescence dating refers to a group of methods of determining how long ago mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight or sufficient heating.
It is useful to geologists and archaeologists who want to know when such an event occurred.
This is usually, but not always, the case with aeolian deposits, such as sand dunes and loess, and some water-laid deposits.
Quartz OSL ages can be determined typically from 100 to 350,000 years BP, and can be reliable when suitable methods are used and proper checks are done.
Stimulating these mineral grains using either light (blue or green for OSL; infrared for IRSL) or heat (for TL) causes a luminescence signal to be emitted as the stored unstable electron energy is released, the intensity of which varies depending on the amount of radiation absorbed during burial and specific properties of the mineral.There are advantages and disadvantages to using each.For quartz, blue or green excitation frequencies are normally used and the near ultra-violet emission is measured.These complicated factors are analyzed and discussed.Therefore, although ceramic TL dating can in general solve the problem of authentication of ancient ceramics, there are still complexities that require further research and study.