Estimating the Age of a Stone Surface

Several of the projects which have been performed by HistoryTec involve the study of stone artifacts.  Often
these stones are of interest because one or more surfaces on the stone contains a work of art, a symbol or
an inscription, in addition to one or more surfaces that retains the natural age of the stone.

Often the provenance of the artifact allows us to determine the age of human interaction with the stone. In
other cases disciplines such as geology, art history and epigraphy allow us to make accurate estimates of
age.  However, there are also important instances when none of these tools give us an answer or we have a
case in which forgery or tampering is a potential concern.

HistoryTec is exploring a new technology that may help in these instances.  This technology is basically a
novel application  of Optically Stimulated Luminescence(OSL).  While OSL is a very common technology, this
particular application of OSL is only practiced at a few locations in the world and still regarded as being in a
developmental stage.

If readers are interested in this technology they might want to visit the website for
Breckinridge Arrtifact
Services.  Currently  this small lab is one of only a few places doing this type of OSL testing in order to
estimate the age of a stone surface.. If you are interested in having an artifact tested using this technology
you can contact them directly.  

Also, you may want to
contact us before you proceed with your project.  Potential users of this technology
should keep in mind that in many ways this technology is still in a trial or developmental stage.  The
application of this  technology to estimating the age of stone surface looks straightforward.  Sometimes that is
the case.  However, many real world applications require a careful planning prior to testing and careful
analysis after testing.   We can help you work through this process.

Sample report

Estimating the Age of a Man-Made Stone Hole from Eastern South Dakota ,October 27, 2014