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Geochronology Beyond Radiocarbon: Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating of Palaenvironments and Archaeological Sites

This article reviews optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating as used on Quaternary sediments and for archaeological dating. The underlying physics is summarized and the laboratory method itself is described. Examples of OSL dating illustrate its use in palaeoenvironmental and archaeological contexts, although problems associated with the technique are also addressed. Finally, we discuss long-range variants of OSL that may help date deposits currently considered too old for OSL to be applied.

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