When using quartz OSL to date loess samples from the Chinese Loess Plateau, it has been reported that the agreement between OSL ages and the independent ages is limited to the samples younger than ∼70 ka with a corresponding De of ∼230 Gy, and a sample with an expected age of 780 ka was dated to 107 ka, corresponding to 403 Gy. The growth curves of these samples do not saturate at doses of 700 Gy, and a linear growth part was observed for doses higher than 200 Gy. However, the maximum measured age of ∼100 ka imply that the De determined using this linear part of a growth curve could be problematic, or that the quartz OSL signal is not as stable as previously thought and has a barrier age of ∼100 ka. In the current study, we examine the reasons for the age underestimation. We examined the shape of growth curves, anomalous fading, thermal stability, etc. The results show that, for the loess samples examined, quartz OSL does not fade anomalously, and the barrier age of ∼100 ka is due to the fact that the OSL signals are less thermally stable, the lifetime of 0.311 Ma at 20°C obtained is much smaller than those for quartz samples from other regions such as Australia (∼100 Ma).
In this paper, we studied the thermal history of a clay core sample from one leg of a bronze tripod unearthed at Daxinzhuang Site, Shandong, China. The properties of the luminescence signals of quartz depend on the maximum temperature at which the quartz was annealed in the past. We examined the feasibility of measuring the thermoluminescence (TL) sensitivity change of quartz for exploring the firing temperature of archaeological materials. The sensitization factor of the 110°C TL peak (S2/S1) and the ratio of the 210°C TL peak to the 110°C TL peak at different annealing temperatures were utilized to unveil the firing temperature in the clay core sample. The firing temperature of the clay core sample was approximately 700°C–800°C, proving the clay core has been fired. This result proved that the clay core has been fired by human agencies and indicated on the temperature of the clay core in drying and firing given by the foundry workers before the actual casting step.