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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 / OSL dating as an alternative tool for age determination of relic charcoal kilns

N.K. Moayed, D. Vandenberghe, Koen Deforce, Eva Kaptijn, P. Biernacka, W. Declercq, and J. De Grave (2023)

OSL dating as an alternative tool for age determination of relic charcoal kilns

Archaeometry, 65(5):939-954.

Chronometric studies of charcoal production remains are largely based on 14C-dating of associated charcoal. Owing to intrinsic limitations, however, this method provides no meaningful time resolution for post-1650 CE features. We investigate the potential of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of heated sandy sediments as an alternative and complementary tool for dating charcoal kiln remains. Seven samples from five relic charcoal kilns and 11 complementary samples from the underlying sandy substrate are used. Through a range of procedural tests, we demonstrate that the single-aliquot, regenerative-dose procedure in combination with OSL signals from quartz allows determining equivalent doses both accurately and precisely. For four of the five investigated kilns, OSL ages are consistent with independent age information from 14C-dating and written sources. Especially for post-1650 CE features, the precision can be significantly better than that of 14C-dating, and we highlight the potential of OSL dating for distinguishing, relatively, between charcoal production phases with an unprecedented time resolution. We conclude that the approach is a promising alternative to 14C.
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