Luminescence Dating of Surface Ceramics from Naturally Burned Archaeological Contexts


Luminescence dating of surface ceramics at archaeological sites is problematic for many reasons, including estimation of environmental dose rate, likelihood that an artifact is in situ and weathering. Until now, there has not been systematic research on the effect of natural fires on luminescence dating of pottery. This is an important consideration, because while the temperature of a typical fire is well above the threshold for resetting the luminescence signal in a sherd, the length of time exposed to that heat is relatively short. At Wabakwa village in the Jemez Mountains (LA 478), we developed a robust sampling strategy for collecting surface ceramics around the pueblo from specific areas of differential heating and smoldering during the San Juan Prescribed forest fire in 2012. At this level of specificity, we can compare the luminescence signals of sherds exposed to varying temperatures and duration of heat at the same time. This study is a guide for archaeologists dating sites where surface collection of artifacts is the only sampling method permitted.

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Cite this Record

Luminescence Dating of Surface Ceramics from Naturally Burned Archaeological Contexts. Dana Drake Rosenstein, Christopher I. Roos. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395230)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;