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Contamination from earlier or later layers can sometimes misrepresent the correct age of the sediment, hence the age-estimates for the associated artefacts may be inaccurate.Some sites that were originally dated using luminescence have since been re-examined and found to be older or younger than initially thought.In order to release these trapped electrons, the quartz grains must be subject to intense heat (TL) or intense light (OSL).
Initial tests used a technique known as thermoluminescence and indicated a possible age for the lowest layers containing artefacts of between 116-176,000 years.
Their claim challenged existing archaeological evidence on when the Australian continent was first settled, and generated wide debate.
Prior to the Jinmium excavation, the oldest site known to have been inhabited was at Malakunanja, near Kakadu, and is dated at between 50,000 and 60,000 years old.
More information: Dr Richard Roberts, La Trobe University, 03 9479 2649 Dr Jon Olley, CSIRO Land & Water, 02 6246 5826 Dr Michael Bird, Australian National University, 02 6249 5171 Dr Ewan Lawson, ANSTO, 02 9717 3111 Margaret Bryant, CSIRO Land & Water, 08 9333 6215 Rhonda Dredge, La Trobe University, 03 9479 1111/1574 EMBARGO: 1AM, Thursday, May 28, 1998 DNA in hair samples collected from Aboriginal people across Australia in the early to mid-1900s has revealed that populations have been continuously present in the same regions for up to 50,000 years ...
The Geography Department at UFV is the home of a luminescence dating laboratory, currently the only one of its kind in western Canada. Olav Lian, this NSERC-funded laboratory serves as a nexus for faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral research in Quaternary geology and geomorphology.
Where radiocarbon dating has a ‘barrier’ of about 40,000 years, luminescence can be used to date material millions of years old.