Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods

2015 Edition
| Editors: W. Jack Rink, Jeroen W. Thompson

Luminescence, Flints and Stones

  • Daniel RichterEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6304-3_14


Most applications of luminescence dating of flints and stones are related to archaeology and the timing of prehistoric sites. Here, prehistoric human activities are directly dated in most cases, using the last heating of flint, chert, limestone, quartzite, or quartz. This is in contrast to surface exposure dating of such materials, where the event dated – the last exposure or burial – is often not related to the event of the human occupation or activities. Consideration of the relation between the event dated and the research question asked (i.e., sedimentology, human activity, etc.) is crucial. This is well discussed in Dean (1978), who describes a “typology of events.” Luminescence dating is especially useful in archaeological context at the limits or beyond the range of radiocarbon dating of organic material or when the latter is lacking (see “ Luminescence Dating”). The time span of application ranges from a few to several hundred ka. However, recent developments...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human EvolutionMax Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.GeomorphologieUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany