Archaeomagnetic dating

Thanks to the Bamburgh Research Project’s excellent radiocarbon dating programme at the Bradford Kaims, the fired archaeological features that I can archaeomagnetically study will have independent dates associated with them.By building up a number of well-dated features in this way, a new calibration curve for the UK can be created, with the Bradford Kaims being a central case study in this process.The feature was above the hillfort’s ramparts, but below what looked like a Medieval field boundary.Archaeomagnetically, we think it’s probably from the 9 C.We are committed to sharing past, present, and future works that reflect the special strengths of the University of Arizona and support its land-grant mission.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.

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.

While the study was successful and the date recovered for a fired hearth feature in Trench 6 (c.4350 cal.

BC) was considered accurate given other artefactual dating evidence for the site, newly acquired radiocarbon dating evidence suggests that the calibration methods used for the archaeomagnetic dates produced erroneous results.

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.

Archaeomagnetic dating was first attempted at the Bradford Kaims in 2011.

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