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Such events can be dated by luminescence methods and the age employed to determine the age of an archaeological site through its related sediments.
Luminescence dating is an absolute radiometric method of determining the age of a material since a key event in its history - typically burial (in the case of sediments) or firing (in the case of ceramics or burnt stone).
Where De is the laboratory beta dose that induces the same luminescence intensity in the sample emitted by the natural sample, and DT is the annual dose rate comprised of several components of radiation that arise in the decay of natural radioactive elements.
Artifacts which can be dated using these methods include ceramics, burned lithics, burned bricks and soil from hearths (TL), and unburned stone surfaces that were exposed to light and then buried (OSL).
The energy released by stimulating the crystals is expressed in light (luminescence).
Crystalline rock types and soils collect energy from the radioactive decay of cosmic uranium, thorium, and potassium-40.Better still, unlike radiocarbon dating, the effect luminescence dating measures increases with time.As a result, there is no upper date limit set by the sensitivity of the method itself, although other factors may limit the method's feasibility.Electrons from these substances get trapped in the mineral's crystalline structure, and continuing exposure of the rocks to these elements over time leads to predictable increases in the number of electrons caught in the matrices.But when the rock is exposed to high enough levels of heat or light, that exposure causes vibrations in the mineral lattices and the trapped electrons are freed.