What is magnetic dating

Magnetic particles are always oriented towards the magnetic north pole, and this is fixed at the time of burning.

When structures are repeatedly burnt, we can sometimes measure the date of separate burning episodes by sampling different fired layers.

Since the pole has wandered over time, comparing the alignment of the iron mineral particles to the master curve of the North Pole provides a usable date for reference. Howard 1991 Direct dating of prehistoric canal sediments using archaeomagnetism.

The discs are marked with a line which points towards the present position of the magnetic pole - which is measured with a highly accurate compass.The Earth's magnetic north pole can change in orientation (from north to south and south to north), and has many times over the millions of years that this planet has existed.The term that refers to changes in the Earth's magnetic field in the past is paleomagnetism.This series of dated positions is known as the "archaeomagnetic reference curve." (Stacey Lengyel, 2010. 81–3090.) So how do scientists use the earth's wandering magnetic field to date archaeological sites? Certain clays have a naturally high iron (Fe) content.

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