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David Strebler, Fellowship Grant 2017

Thermoluminescence dating of heated flints.

The Fellowship Grant from the Graduate School of Geosciences gave me the opportunity to continue working on my PhD project, since my contract with the ‘CRC 806: Our way to Europe’ had come to an end. With the grant I could finish the analysis of a series of samples before going back to Belgium.
The main focus of my thesis is to improve the luminescence dating of heated flints. In this context, I developed two R packages: one is dedicated to the estimation of an age using thermoluminescence dating; another one simulates a luminescence experiment and allows to select the optimal equipment based on the properties of the material which is dated.  
The first weeks of the Fellowship Grant were dedicated to the submission of a paper presenting this second R package to the peer reviewed journal Radiation Measurements (Strebler D., King G., Brill D. & Brückner H., in review. LumReader: Designing your luminescence experiment with R). The remaining weeks were used to finish the analysis of flint’s samples from the archaeological site of Taibeh in Jordan. During the last weeks of the fellowship, I started the analysis of another series of samples, this time coming from the archaeological site of Ansab, Jordan. Finally, the fellowship provided me the opportunity to take part in fieldwork in Portugal as a luminescence expert. A poster introducing our results was presented during the International Luminescence and ESR dating (LED) conference 2017 that took place in Cape Town, South Africa, in September (D. Strebler, D. Brill & H. Brückner, TL dating of heated flints – a case study from Jordan). An article presenting our new method for dose rate estimation and the Taibeh flint’s sample ages was submitted to the conference proceedings in Quaternary Geochronology (Strebler D., Brill D., Richter J. & Brückner H., submitted. Using DRAC in complex geometries – TL dating heated flints from Taibeh, Jordan).
Through the financial support of the GSGS, I was able to continue working in Cologne and to concentrate on my PhD project without any other obligations to cover my income. I am very grateful for the fellowship grant. Indeed, few extra months in Cologne were essential for the progress of my doctoral project. I am confident that I can submit my PhD thesis in the near future.

Fellowship Grant
January-April 2017
Cologne, Germany

David Strebler
PhD Student

PhD project: Thermoluminescence dating of heated flints.

Institute of Geography
Thesis: Luminescence dating of heated flints, improvements and applications.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Helmut Brückner, Dr. Dominik Brill.