Photo Guy Ackermans


The Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating has one of the best-equipped luminescence dating facilities of Europe. The centre provides a dating service for NCL partners and external users, where we collaborate with researchers to determine the age of deposits and/or archaeological artefacts.

We provide a full service that encompasses advise on dating strategy and sampling, sample preparation, determining most suitable luminescence dating procedures, measurement, analysis and reporting. As reliable luminescence dating requires expertise both on methodological aspects as the context of the sample, we closely collaborate with the project initiator and we participate in resulting publications as co-author.

The costs for analysis depend on the number of samples in a project, and whether your institute is NCL partner (see Table below). Rates for individual samples cover expenses for personnel, research infrastructure and consumables. Reduced rates for NCL partners and larger projects take into account the scientific value of collaborative projects. We aim for throughput times of nine months; depending on the size of the project and research challenges confronted, some projects may take longer.

Price list (2022)

NCL pricelist 2021.jpg

* A project consists of a group of luminescence dating samples from the same site, or related to a single research question.

** Universities and research centres can become NCL partner. Partners pay a membership fee of € 1.000 a year, and commit to at least three consecutive years of NCL membership.

Sample guidelines

Sampling of sediments is usually performed by hammering sampling tubes into an exposure. Alternatively, samples can also be obtained from drilled cores. Most importantly, light exposure during sampling should be avoided, as it would reset the luminescence signal used for dating. We suggest always contacting us prior to sampling to discuss the ideal sampling strategy.



All analyses performed at the NCL are stored in an online searchable database: Researchers who submit samples will be given a username and password to follow the progress of their project, and access additional information.


Cunningham and Wallinga (2012) proposed that more robust palaeodose estimates and associated uncertainties could be obtained using bootstrapped age models. On the right you can download the scripts you need for such analysis.