, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 42-49
Date: 28 Jan 2011

Dating mortar by optically stimulated luminescence: A feasibility study

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Abstract

Quartz is the datable component in mortar. Although its luminescence properties are very well studied, the problem of mortar dating arises from a low level of optical bleaching. In order to reduce the time consuming efforts for dating lime mortar in monuments by optically stimulated luminescence, we investigated the most suitable methods of dose and dose rate determination, and we explored tests which are suitable to predict the datability of a given material. Reverting to the large number of publications on sedimentary partially bleached quartz we found linear modulation techniques especially useful, equally we also recommend the determination of the level of optical depletion before starting analyses. Single grain analysis is regarded as an ultimate but infallible tool to date very poorly bleached quartz from mortar. Dose rate measurements need to take into account the radioactive equilibrium of the uranium decay and the short range inhomogeneity of the environmental gamma radiation field: gamma spectrometry and on-site TLD measurements are best suited.