Optical luminescence dating laboratory strengths and limitations of radiocarbon dating

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The laboratory is set up in dark rooms with extremely subdued orange illumination.

One room serves as preparation laboratory, where all incoming samples are unpacked and chemically treated to purify the sample and extract the desired minerals in the right grain size.

Our luminescence dating service is available for researchers in New Zealand and overseas. New advances in OSL methods may push this limit towards ½ million years in the near future. The luminescence dating laboratory at Wits is the only one of its kind in southern Africa.We have a range of specialist facilities, including We provide luminescence ages on a collaborative basis (co-authorship on publications using lab results). We would like to give advice on sampling strategies before fieldwork is attempted.They will potentially have a long turnaround time, so please contact us for a time estimate when submitting samples. We strongly encourage you to make contact with us prior to sample collection to: Only sediments that have been exposed to light or intense heat during deposition are datable by OSL, so please consider carefully if this applies to your material.

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