Durham dating services
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Contact Professor Ian Bailiff (email at [email protected]) After reading physics at Sussex University Ian Bailiff joined the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford as a postgraduate student and subsequently submitted a research MSc on the development of new luminescence dating techniques.
Recent work on the dating of brick from medieval buildings of known age has shown that luminescence is capable of providing reliable and accurate results.
The work on medieval buildings, combined with an interest in instrumentation, has included collaborative work on the application of infrared thermography to the structural analysis of medieval buildings with Prof. Ian’s research students have worked on various aspects of the application of luminescence to the dating of structures and archaeological deposits.
Gillian Hutton’s thesis on roads and routeways in County Durham included exploratory work on the dating of road surfaces.
In collaborative work with statistical specialists (Andrew Millard and Michael Goldstein) Bayesian analysis has been applied to the calculation and analysis of luminescence ages and Jeremy Disley is currently developing further the work completed by Alicia Huntriss (EPSRC CASE studentship with English Heritage).
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Long term collaboration developed with the Maison d’Archaeologie, Bordeaux III on brick dating led to the development of a research network (Gd RE) supported by CNRS, Ceramic Building Materials and New Dating Methods which is in its second term and the laboratory is keen to further develop collaborative projects of this type.
The experimental techniques developed for dating can also be applied to the measurement of radiation dose in the environment using ceramic materials, a field in which the laboratory has developed world-leading expertise.
A current doctoral project (with the Department of Physics and the Health Protection Agency) is investigating the properties of ceramic chips in mobile phones that can be used to measure radiation dose in the event of a radiological incident.
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