Archaeomagnetic dating bradford
Magnetic properties of archaeological materials integrates the fundamental physics of magnetic materials and their measurements, with a detailed understanding of archaeological formation processes and the anthropogenic activities which influence magnetic properties.
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.
The method depends on the establishment of a dated record of secular variation of the Earth's magnetic field and this paper presents new and updated archaeomagnetic directional data from the UK and geomagnetic secular variation curves arising from them.
The data are taken from publications from the 1950's to the present day; 422 dated entries derived from existing archaeo and geomagnetic databases are re-evaluated and 487 new directions added, resulting in 909 entries with corresponding dates, the largest collection of dated archaeomagnetic directions from a single country.
Simply put, the Earth has a magnetic field which varies over space and time.
A record of the past geomagnetic field can be found in the remains of hearths, furnaces, or other anthropogenically fired features that we as archaeologist excavate on a regular basis.