Full vector archaeomagnetic records from Anatolia between 2400 and 1350 BCE: Implications for geomagnetic field models and the dating of fires in antiquity

Ertepinar, P, Langereis, CG, Biggin, AJ ORCID: 0000-0003-4164-5924, de Groot, LV, Kulakoglu, F, Omura, S and Suel, A
(2016) Full vector archaeomagnetic records from Anatolia between 2400 and 1350 BCE: Implications for geomagnetic field models and the dating of fires in antiquity. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 434. pp. 171-186.

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Anatolia, as one of the busiest crossroads of ancient civilizations, provides an ideal platform for archaeomagnetic studies. Previous results from the Middle East have suggested the occurrence of a strong peak in geomagnetic intensity at ∼1000 BCE associated with dramatic field strength variations that could require a radical rethinking of geodynamo theory. The behavior of the field in the centuries preceding this peak remains poorly constrained, however. Here we present the results of full-vector archaeomagnetic experiments performed on 18 sets of samples from three archaeological sites belonging to Assyrian Trade Colony and Hittite periods. Associated rock magnetic analyses showed that the major magnetic carrier is magnetite chemically stable up to 700 °C and the magnetic mineral assemblage is composed mostly of non-interacting PSD grains. The directional results are compared with existing data and with the most recent global geomagnetic field models pfm9k.1b and SHA.DIF.14k. The directions are in remarkably good agreement with SHA.DIF.14k which is based on archaeomagnetic and lava flow data. Together with our earlier results from Anatolia, we triple the existing database of directions for the 700 year long period 2200–1500 BCE, over a large region from Greece to Azerbaijan, and from Moldavia/Ukraine to Egypt. Three archaeointensity methods: thermal IZZI-Thellier, microwave Thellier and the multi-specimen protocol (MSP) produced virtual axial dipole moment estimates () that are somewhat higher than contemporaneous (regional and global) data and model predictions suggesting that the field was already substantially stronger than today more than 800 years prior to the reported peak. In addition to constraining geomagnetic variability, our data also allow us to assign relative dates to inferred fire events in the Assyrian Trade Colony Period sites. This allows us to conclude that the fire events at the largest site, Kültepe, were not all contemporaneous with one another and with the abandonment of the site as has been previously hypothesized.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeomagnetism, archaeointensity, palaeosecular variation, Hittite, Assyrian, Turkey
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2016 10:40
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:32
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.11.015
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3002808