Osl age dating

Unless goats were sacrificed, which we preferred to avoid, disasters could occur if this rule was not respected.

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Most of the artifacts are surface finds, making it difficult, if not impossible, to place them in chronological context, whether it be relative or absolute.

However, in the Dogon Country, deep sedimentary deposits have been preserved in several sectors, trapping abundant evidence of human occupations during the Paleolithic and making it possible to study their chronology.

While the range of applicable dating methods is limited, given the exclusive preservation of mineral materials, with the exception of Holocene charcoals, conditions are favorable for dating by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL): the sediments are mainly formed of quartz, which, moreover, has a particularly strong luminescence signal in this region.

The radioactive elements of the uranium, thorium and potassium families are naturally present in very low amounts in all sediments.

Radioactive decay is accompanied by energy release, some of which is absorbed by nearby minerals.

When these are subjected to light stimulus, the accumulated energy in the crystalline networks is released, causing a light emission: this is optically stimulated luminescence or OSL.

When sediment is exposed to natural light prior to deposition, the OSL acquired over geological time is removed.

The “luminescent” chronometry is thus reset to zero.

The OSL then accumulates in response to the ionizing radiation received during the burial period.

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