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The Potential for Dating the Old Scatness Site, Shetland, By Optically Stimulated Luminescence

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A series of deposits from the agricultural infield of the multiperiod settlement mound, Old Scatness, were investigated for their potential to yield optically stimulated luminescence dates. Luminescence properties of quartz grains were found to vary through the sequence, but dates were successfully obtained from five deposits, including anthropogenic soils, windblown sands and sands within midden deposits. Single-aliquot equivalent dose measurement was found to be the most appropriate method for dating the deposits. The OSL dates obtained accorded well with the dates provided by archaeological evidence and included the post-medieval, Iron Age, Bronze Age and Neolithic periods of Shetland, while a substantial midden was dated to the Bronze/Iron Age transition.
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Keywords: ANTHROPOGENIC SOILS; DATING; OPTICALLY STIMULATED LUMINESCENCE; SCATNESS; SEDIMENTARY QUARTZ; SHETLAND

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, UK, 2: Luminescence Dating Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2001

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