archeomagnetic dating

archeomagnetic dating

[¦är·kē·ō‚mag¦ned·ik ′dā·diŋ]
(geophysics)
An absolute dating method based on the earth's shifting magnetic poles. When clays and other rock and soil materials are fired to approximately 1300°F (700°C) and allowed to cool in the earth's magnetic field, they retain a weak magnetism which is aligned with the position of the poles at the time of firing. This allows for dating, for example, of when a fire pit was used, based on the reconstruction of pole position for earlier times.
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The team also works with archeologists from several universities and the New York State Museum for sophisticated analyses, including archeomagnetic dating, Carbon 14 dating, electron microscopy, artifact identification and evaluation of ceramics.