Archaeomagnetic dating sites

This one was in Mildenhall, Suffolk, where excavations were being carried out prior to the building of a new supermarket.It’s a circular feature , about 2m across, with flints and river pebbles forming the edge, but it’s not clear what it was used for.Not only can we use this information to see how the Earth’s magnetic field has evolved over time, once we have a good idea of how the field changed it is possible to give a date for the burning of the feature. Here are a couple of sites that we looked at recently.Eddisbury hillfort in Cheshire was being excavated as part of the Habitats and Hillforts project being run by Cheshire West and Chester Council.The Earth's magnetic field has two main components.

These samples are marked for true north at the time of collection.

In conjunction with techniques such as radiometric dating, the technique can be used to construct and calibrate the geomagnetic polarity time scale.

This is one of the dating methodologies used for sites within the last 10,000 years.

The samples are sent to an Archaeomagnetic Laboratory for processing.

Each of the samples is measured in a spinner magnetometer to determine the thermal remanent magnetism of each sample.

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