After a piece of pottery has been fired in a kiln, over time, it begins to absorb natural radiation from the outside world. The absorption of radiation causes the ancient pottery to glow with a blue light when it is heated and this is termed the thermoluminescence (TL) of the pottery.
The older the pottery, the more thermoluminescence the item has.
It is therefore possible to date items of pottery using this method with a TL reader.
The technique can also help detect restoration material and if multiple samples are taken date clay/terracotta from different sections of the piece.
x-rays, which are produced from CT scanners, can theoretically affect the results of TL testing so it is probably best to TL test your piece prior to scanning.
We do not perform these tests ourselves at antiquectscan.co.uk but can work with with TL testing centres on your behalf to assist in dating your pieces.