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Keywords:

  • FLINT;
  • URANIUM;
  • LUMINESCENCE;
  • TL;
  • DATING;
  • DOSE RATE;
  • MICRODOSIMETRY

A combination of two autoradiography methods was applied to investigate the radionuclide distribution patterns in a range of different silices. We obtained greyscale images (β-radiation) and α-track patterns for qualitative assessment, and used a statistical approach to quantify the degree of uniformity of the radiation fields. It was found that almost all samples are poor in potassium, thorium and uranium, and that locally high concentrations are present only in dark-coloured veins and inclusions. Statistical analyses reveal evidence of radionuclide clustering in more than half of the 21 specimens. Concerning thermoluminescence dating of burnt lithics, such gradients should be taken into account to improve precision and accuracy in cases where the external radiation is not strongly dominating for the sample under consideration.