WITHDRAWN: An Evaluation of Modern Pottery from Southern Africa as a Magnetic Recorder



Studies of the recent history of Earth's magnetic field have revealed a rich spatial and temporal structure, but face limitations by a lack of Southern Hemisphere archeomagnetic data. Studies of Iron Age (200-1850 AD) peoples of southern Africa have revealed a potentially rich source of archeomagnetic information in the form of ceramics (specifically pottery). Additionally, contemporary pottery made with traditional techniques and materials can still be found. Reported here is the first step in addressing whether ancient pottery from southern Africa might faithfully record the geomagnetic field. We analyze contemporary pottery made with traditional techniques and methods. Rock magnetic measurements, including magnetic susceptibility as a function of temperature and magnetic hysteresis behavior, are discussed. Intensity results generated by three common paleointensity methods: Thellier- Coe double heating experiments, the multi-specimen method of Dekkers and Böhnel, and Shaw's method (with and without the corrections of Kono) are compared to the known field at the time of firing. The Thellier-Coe method reproduces the field (with an accuracy of 1.3 μT), the Shaw technique with the correction approach of Kono overestimates the field by 3.7%. The multispecimen method overestimates the field by 20%, however improvement upon this could be expected given recent improvements to the technique. These values bound the accuracies we can expect when applying the methods to ideal samples, representing a best-case for dealing with archeological ceramics from southern Africa