When a small sample of ancient pottery is heated it glows with a faint blue light, known as thermoluminescence or TL.
When we receive your sample we must first prepare it for measurement.
Powder samples (from pottery and bronze cores) are mixed with acetone and allowed to settle, so that fine grains, approximately 1/100mm. These grains are deposited and dried onto aluminium discs (for fine-grain analysis) or rhodium (for pre-dose analysis).
Indeed: To remedy the lack of reliability of the T. dating, the laboratory recommends to submit archaeological terracottas to a surface examination with the help of a binocular microscope, in order to reveal possible evidences of a long burying in the ground. No forger will be able to get round this method since it is based on the estimate of the alpha dose received by the ceramics.
Thanks to a long-term collaboration with the ISIB institute, the Brussels Art Laboratory will be able to benefit from a new technique af ceramic dating (O.
The age range for pottery and other ceramics covers the entire period in which these materials have been produced.