Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating is maybe one of the most versatile Quaternary dating techniques, because it can be applied to wide range of sedimentary settings, covers a large grain sizes range and an age range from few to several hundred thousand years. Recently a series of exciting innovations appeared on the scientific horizon that can arguably be regarded as potential step changes in the field of OSL dating. Most notable are the development of OSL as a chronometer for rock surface dating (RSD), the non-destructive read out of an IR feldspar signal (termed IRPL), violet stimulated luminescence (VSL) to extend the age range, and OSL dating via an EM-CCD camera. The purpose of this project is to establish OSL RSD on firm grounds as a novel way of constraining the age of archaeological and geological rock surfaces and to capitalize on these recent developments in optical dating technology.
This project will pursue a multi-pronged optical dating approach spear-headed by EM-CCD technology for high-resolution 2D RSD and apply them to a set of carefully chosen geomorphological and archaeological research questions and sites. We will determine the spatio-temporal evolution of fluvial armor and bedforms, constrain the age of lithic surface scatter sites and stone monuments in Kazakhstan and test the applicability of RSD to petroglyphs.
Project title: The wheel of time - new approaches in optical dating of geological and archaeological rock surfaces
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Duration: 2022-2025
P.i.: Michael Meyer
Co-P.i.: Mayank Jain (Nuclear Technology Centre Risø, Technical U. of Denmark)
Collaborators: Michael Frachetti (Washington University in St. Louis, USA); Radu Iovita (New York University, USA); Bonnie Pitbaldo (U. Oklahoma, USA); Stefan Achleitner (University Innsbruck)