Archaeological scientific dating techniques
Four main methods have been used in Willandra archaeology.
This well known method was the first technique that became available for accurate dating of old materials.
When the grain is exposed to intense light of particular wavelengths in the laboratory, it emits a light signal with an intensity proportional to the radiation it has absorbed while buried.Optical dating, also known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), dates the last time mineral sediments (usually quartz or feldspar grains ) were exposed to sunlight.In the Willandra area it is typically used on quartz sand grains which have been buried and have not been exposed to sunlight since burial.Dates above and below a location provide minimum and maximum age determinations according to the law of superimposition.Thermoluminescence is a similar technique to optical dating, but uses heat instead of light to stimulate the minerals.
Archaeological methods have been refined over the decades to uncover as much data as possible about the societies that left this evidence.