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An intercomparison study of luminescence dating protocols and techniques applied to medieval brick samples from Normandy (France)

Publication Date
  • Medieval
  • Luminescence
  • Dating
  • Intercomparison
  • Brick
  • Building
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Mathematical & Earth Sciences :: Multidisciplinary
  • General & Others [G99]
  • Physique
  • Chimie
  • Mathématiques & Sciences De La Terre :: Multidisciplinaire
  • Général & Autres [G99]
  • Arts & Humanities :: Archaeology [A01]
  • Arts & Sciences Humaines :: Archéologie [A01]
  • Archaeology


A luminescence dating study has been applied to inform the history and archaeology of two early medieval buildings in north western France. Five bricks were sampled from the medieval churches (10th–11th centuries A.D.) of Rugles and Condé-sur-Risle in Normandy. The samples were divided and tested in the luminescence laboratories of the University of Durham (UK) and of Iramat-CRP2A, University of Bordeaux 3 (France). The fine grain and quartz inclusion techniques were applied, and tests included an examination of the anomalous fading of the luminescence signal from fine grain samples and coarse grains of feldspar. With one exception, the dates produced using the fine grain technique, although corrected for fading, were significantly younger than those produced with quartz inclusions. Although most of the corrected fine grain dates were consistent with the medieval construction of the churches, the brick fabric is of Roman type by archaeological assessment, and this is supported by the quartz coarse grain dates. We conclude that the bricks sampled are re-used, likely to be of Roman origin, and that the reliability of measurements with feldspars in brick fabrics requires wider investigation.

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