IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

CTinHS Lecture 3 – 2023/24: 

Altug Hazosbek will deliver the 3rd lecture of the 2nd edition of the “Current Topics in Heritage Science”: Chronological Tools: Dating Human Evolutionary History on Thursday, December 14th, at 3.00 pm (CET). 

Chronological Tools: Dating Human Evolutionary History

Over the past decade, advancements in inorganic dating methods, backed by cutting-edge instrumentation, have faced rigorous scrutiny. This rigorous evaluation has fostered enhancements in both the accuracy and precision of these techniques, spanning from low to high spatial applications in human evolution research. This in turn has facilitated the acquisition of absolute age determinations. Within this context, this presentation delves into the dating methodologies tailored specifically for samples pertinent to human evolution studies. This lecture will briefly spotlight state-of-the-art techniques, including Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), Electron Spin Resonance (ESR), and in detail Uranium-Thorium (U-Th) dating. This lecture will encompass the complete process from sample collection, methodological considerations, to the associated instrumental analyses. Furthermore, these techniques will be covered by presenting real-world case studies, particularly from the CENIEH and the Atapuerca site in Burgos, Spain. Prospects and potential advancements in these dating methods will also be explored and discussed.

December 14th, 2023 at 3 pm (CET)

You will learn

  • The appropriate dating technique for your sample.
  • Strategies for handling challenging samples in dating methods.
  • Insights into the accuracy and precision of dating techniques in human evolution research.

Key topics we’ll cover

  • Fundamentals of OSL, ESR, and U-Series dating techniques.
  • Use of dating methods in human evolution studies.
  • Expanded uncertainties in radiometric dating.
  • CENIEH’s strategies for dating valuable samples.

45 minutes (30 minutes presentation + 15 minutes Q&A)


Altug Hasozbek is a distinguished geochemist (PhD), currently contributing his expertise at the U-Series Lab, which is a part of the CENIEH (National Center for Research on Human Evolution) in Burgos, Spain. He specializes in isotope geochemistry in understanding geological and environmental processes through isotopic studies. His work primarily involves the use of instruments such as ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), MC-ICP-MS (Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), and TIMS (Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry) for radiometric dating.

Recommended readings

  • Woodhead & Pickering (2012). Beyond 500 ka: Progress and prospects in the U/Pb chronology of speleothems, and their application to studies in paleoclimate, human evolution, biodiversity and tectonics. Chemical Geology, V. 322-323, p. 290-299.
  • Hasözbek et al., (2013). Uranium Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry (U-IDMS) Technique using NBL Uranium Certified Reference Materials. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry V. 296, p. 447-451
  • Pourmand et al., (2013). Introducing a Comprehensive Data Reduction and Uncertainty Propagation Algorithm for U-Th Geochronometry with Extraction Chromatography and Isotope Dilution MC-ICP-MS. Geostandards and Geoanlytical Research. V. 38, p. 129-148

Registration form for Lecture 3 – 2023/24