Start Osl dating archaeology

Osl dating archaeology

This research project addresses the subject of human subsistence strategies in the highlands of Israel by creating a large dataset of agricultural terrace systems, evaluating their natural setting and dating them by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL).

The present study offers a new interdisciplinary approach, combining geological, geomorphological and archaeological studies with direct dating of terrace sediment-fill using the OSL method. Yuval Gadot Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology What is OSL dating? A breakthrough in dating agricultural terraces was achieved lately with the introduction of the luminescence methods.

In two preliminary and published researches conducted at the site of Ramat Rahel, near Jerusalem (Davidovich et al. 2009; 2012) we were able to date the time of construction of terrace walls and their sequence of use by OSL, and prove the reliability of the ages. These are radiometric dating methods that measure the time that had passed since the last event of signal resetting by sunlight or heat (Aitken 1998).

These promising positive results motivate us to expand this approach into the heart of the agricultural landscape in the Judea Hills – the Sorek-Repha’im catchment system, serving for generations as Jerusalem’s food basket. They are applied mostly to the ubiquitous quartz and feldspar minerals.

One should note that there is a possibility that when the soil was moved by people, the quartz was not exposed sufficiently to sunlight to reach full bleaching.