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OSL is an acronym for Optically-Stimulated Luminescence.

Optically-Stimulated Luminescence is a late Quaternary dating technique used to date the last time quartz sediment was exposed to light.

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post 1700 AD, early Iron Age contexts, late glacial timescales) and when the relationship between the organic materials and the archaeological context is uncertain.In our laboratory, these sediments are exposed to an external stimulus (blue-green light) and the trapped electrons are released.The released electrons emit a photon of light upon recombination at a similar site.Two forms of luminescence dating are used by archaeologists to date events in the past: thermoluminescence (TL) or thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to temperatures between 400 and 500°C; and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to daylight.To put it simply, certain minerals (quartz, feldspar, and calcite), store energy from the sun at a known rate.The error limits on the dates obtained are typically in the range of 5 to 10%.

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