Archaeomagnetic dating services

In the conventional application of archaeomagnetic research, the data from an archaeomagnetic sample of unknown age are compared to a regional record of secular variation in order to determine the best-fit date range for the feature's last firing event.

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This process, in which the rotation of a planet with an iron core produces a magnetic field, is called a dynamo effect.

The Earth's magnetic core is generally inclined at an 11 degree angle from the Earth's axis of rotation.

Having parachuted into the Bradford Kaims trenches for the second time, this site is no exception in its wonder.

Placed at the edge of a fen, the variety of soil and sediment types on site is impressive!

Archaeomagnetic dating is based on our current knowledge of the secular variation of the geomagnetic field in the past and on the property of baked and burned materials such as baked clays, carried at high temperatures, to acquire during their cooling a stable remanent magnetisation called thermoremanent magnetisation. : 32-(0)60 39 54 81 Fax : 32-(0)60 39 54 23 Email : This email address is being protected from spambots.

For isotropic and homogeneous materials, the direction of this magnetisation is parallel to the ambient geomagnetic field and its intensity is proportional to the field intensity.

The obtained reference curve represents the past 2300 yr.

New data, mainly from Austria, substantiate this curve and confirm the validity of the techniques employed which can, therefore, be applied for similar situations.

Archaeomagnetic studies seek to improve our knowledge of past geomagnetic field changes through the analysis of this material. This is because we can use the knowledge of geomagnetic fluctuations over time to conduct archaeomagnetic dating and gain an idea of the last time that some fired archaeological features were heated.

Having a dating method which directly relates to an anthropogenic activity, rather than to the end of an organism’s carbon absorption for example, is a powerful tool for the archaeologist.

Unlike radiocarbon or, in some cases, even tree rings, the data recovered from an archaeomagnetic sample directly refer to a specific cultural event of archaeological interest (Dean 1978).

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