The signal is measured in the laboratory and the equivalent dose (D), the amount of irradiation that the sample absorbed since it was last reset, is determined using the single aliquot regenerative dose (SAR) protocol (Murray and Wintle 2000).
The environmental dose rates (d) are measured in the field and in the laboratory. The bedrock in the Judean Hills is mostly limestone, marl or chalk (Arkin 1976), which are completely devoid of sand-size quartz.
The dating of terraces by conventional archaeological tools proved to be unreliable for a number of reasons.
The present study offers a new interdisciplinary approach, combining geological, geomorphological and archaeological studies with direct dating of terrace sediment-fill using the OSL method. Yuval Gadot Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology What is OSL dating? A breakthrough in dating agricultural terraces was achieved lately with the introduction of the luminescence methods.
The exact dating of these seemingly simple stone constructions carries with it many implications for our understanding of major settlement and demographic shifts through time.
Studying the natural setting is crucial for our perception of human choices and abilities and for reconstructing how human action has altered the natural landscape. “A New Look at Ancient Agriculture in the Negev,” Cathedra 133: 13-44.
When the bleaching is partial, some quartz grains will have an inherited OSL signal, and the OSL ages measured in the lab would have a large scatter and could be overestimated; this can be surmounted by measuring single grains (Porat et al. In fact, the degree of scatter of multiple measurements from a single sample is a good indication of the degree of bleaching of the sample – the lower the scatter the better bleached should the sample be (Bailey and Arnold 2006).
In two preliminary and published researches conducted at the site of Ramat Rahel, near Jerusalem (Davidovich et al. 2009; 2012) we were able to date the time of construction of terrace walls and their sequence of use by OSL, and prove the reliability of the ages. These are radiometric dating methods that measure the time that had passed since the last event of signal resetting by sunlight or heat (Aitken 1998).
These promising positive results motivate us to expand this approach into the heart of the agricultural landscape in the Judea Hills – the Sorek-Repha’im catchment system, serving for generations as Jerusalem’s food basket. They are applied mostly to the ubiquitous quartz and feldspar minerals.
Luminescence Dating of Quartz Using an Improved Single-Aliquot Regenerative-Dose Protocol.
Dating the Ramat Saharonim Late Neolithic Desert Cult Site.
The source of essentially all the quartz found in soils and surface sediments in the area is aeolian, brought by wind from afar during dust storms (Dayan et al. The OSL signal of that quartz is well bleached due to the long transport.