The School of Geography and the Environment, in association with the RLAHA Luminescence Dating Laboratory, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, houses a state of the art luminescence dating facility: the Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory (OLD).

Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating has emerged within the last 20 years as a key Quaternary absolute dating tool, with a wide range of terrestrial and marine applications. Optical dating techniques employ ubiquitous quartz or feldspar grains to directly date the deposition of sedimentary units. As such, the optical dating methods allow the systematic chronological evaluation of Quaternary-age sedimentary sequences.

Sampling for the Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory

Within the School of Geography and the Environment, the OLD Laboratory provides support particularly for the Landscape Dynamics research cluster, with a specific focus on low latitude environment and climate change, geoarchaeology and geomorphology. In addition our researchers continuously engage in efforts to improve and develop the methodology and to further advance our knowledge on the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying the dating method.

The OLD Laboratory also provides a commercial luminescence dating service and works closely with clients in industry, archaeological organizations, environmental institutes and other academic groups.

Contact Us

For commercial enquiries please contact in the first instance clearly stating the following information:

  1. Number of samples (approximate if unknown).
  2. Depositional context of material (e.g. fluvial, cave-site, sub-glacial).
  3. Region from which samples are derived.
  4. Likely grainsize of interest (clay/silt/sand).
  5. If known, approximate estimate of age (e.g. Holocene).
  6. Timeframe of project (i.e. desired return time for OSL dates).
  7. Any other relevant information.
Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory

School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford
OUCE / Dyson Perrins Building
South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3QY

Tel: +44 (0)1865 285085