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It is an absolute dating method, and does not depend on comparison with similar objects (as does obsidian hydration dating, for example).
The thermoluminescence technique is the only physical means of determining the absolute age of pottery presently available.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to achieve this precision for the majority of art objects.
Among the reasons for this is the small amount of material that may be taken for testing.
Generally speaking, when a sample is drilled and there is no information available about the burial environment, one may expect up to 40 per cent uncertainty.This is adequate for the purposes of authentication where the question is whether the piece was fired in antiquity or recently; it will not differentiate, say, between a classic Greek terra cotta and a Roman copy.In some categories of objects, from China, for example, the actual age is quite precisely known for short-lived styles, and it is possible to work "backwards" to get information about the environment in many parts of the world, and some other parameters not usually measurable for art objects.It was employed in the 1950's as a method for radiation dose measurement, and soon was proposed for archaeological dating.
By the mid-1960's, its validity as an absolute dating technique was established by workers at Oxford and Birmingham in England, Riso in Denmark, and at the University of Pennsylvania in the U. The Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford, in particular, has played a major role in TL research.These will give an authentic date for a bogus object.