Monday, May 25, 2020

OSL Dating of the Oley Hills Site - Norman Muller

In the current issue of North American Archaeologist (Vol 41(1), 33-50, 2020), is the article “Optically stimulated luminescence dating of a probable Native American cairn and wall site in Eastern Pennsylvania.”  The article was coauthored by James Feathers, director of the Luminescence Dating Laboratory at the University of Washington, and by Norman Muller, retired art conservator at the Princeton University Art Museum.  The site in question is the Oley Hills site in eastern Pennsylvania, which Muller has been studying since 1997.  In 2018, two small cobbles of gneiss were removed in complete darkness from the Terrace, the largest built feature at the site, and sent to Feathers for analysis.  In 2020 he determined that the two cobbles were placed around 2570 ± 330 B.P., which is within the Adena period.  This is the first time that direct dating of stone by OSL has been applied to any of the numerous cairn and wall sites in the northeastern U.S.