Thermoluminescence dating simple definition
This is adequate for the purposes of authentication where the question is whether the piece was fired in antiquity or recently; it will not differentiate, say, between a classic Greek terra cotta and a Roman copy.
In some categories of objects, from China, for example, the actual age is quite precisely known for short-lived styles, and it is possible to work "backwards" to get information about the environment in many parts of the world, and some other parameters not usually measurable for art objects.
Much stoneware is not so hard as porcelain and may be sampled by drilling.
The phenomenon of thermoluminescence was first described by the English chemist Robert Boyle in 1663.While not so accurate as radiocarbon dating, which cannot date pottery (except from soot deposits on cooking pots), TL has found considerable usefulness in the authenticity of ceramic art objects where high precision is not necessary.