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Archaeomagnetic dating

At present, the laboratory benefits of one of the most spread methods of dating the contexts and artifacts resulted from archeological excavations, which can effect estimations with a proved precision, up to 25-50 years, of some complexes age that combine a number of strict criteria. The method is based, as a rule, on secular variation of the primary properties of the geo-magnetic field (direction and intensity), but also on the capacity of recording those parameters by clay structures and artifacts that have been burned at temperatures over 650 Celsius degrees. This recording of the geo-magnetic field parameters is named termo-remanence and is, in fact, a magnetic re-alignment of the ferric oxides from the clays matrix, corresponding to the earthly magnetic field at the cooling moment from this high temperature.

Complex laboratory measurements on extracted samples from these burned structures can draw out this magnetic information, being possible its relatedness in order to date it at a regional curve of the secular variation. This calibration curve is in its developing stage for Romanian territory, but is possible to obtain data, with a bigger error, using the calibration systems of Hungary and Bulgaria, those being in an advanced stage of development.


  • MINISPIN Molspin Spinner magnetometer;
  • Molspin Alternating frequency demagnetizer AF DEMAG;
  • Magnetic Measurements Thermal Demagnetizer MMTD80;
  • Magnetic Measurements Pulse Magnetizer MMPM10;
  • Collecting archeomagnetic samples case;
  • Software for data processing.

In perspective, the sustained activity of the laboratory registers in the European steps for creating new calibration curves regionally represented (see the results of The Training and Research Network AARCH on the web page http://www.meteo.be/CPG/aarch.net/index.html) and is, at present, at the stage of collecting geomagnetic information from as many sites and as many historical periods as possible from Romanian territory. Launching this dating method depends very much on the interaction with archeologists from the entire country in order to allow the data collection, as viable as possible for the Romanian Calibration Curve for Archeomagnetic Dating, in a short time.


  • The equipment permits carrying out magnetic mineralogy experiments, as well as stratigraphic dating at a geological scale.
  • Monitoring magnetic field variations allows the enunciation of some hypotheses regarding the complex evolution of earthly paleo-climate having important consequences nowadays.


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Phone: +40-258-817071; Fax: +40-258-818459
Address: Alba Iulia, str. Mihai Viteazul, nr. 12, 510010, ROMÂNIA

General information: arhsis@uab.ro