A German catalogue of archaeomagnetic data


Now at: Department für Geomorphologie, Universität Bayreuth, Universitätsstr. 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany.


A catalogue has been compiled of existing published and unpublished archaeomagnetic directional data from sites in Germany. The data comprise 125 results dated mainly in the past two millennia. The stability of the natural remanent magnetization was proven for most structures with at least a Thellier viscosity test, although for the majority of the data the direction is based on the characteristic remanent magnetization obtained from demagnetization experiments. Rock magnetic experiments carried out on the samples from many of the sites reveal that the dominant magnetic carrier is magnetite, often oxidized or with impurities. For many sites the archaeological age estimate is supported by physical dating methods. While the Roman epoch (0–400 AD) and the period from medieval to modern times (800–1700 AD) are reasonably well covered with data, the time interval in between and the first millennium BC are only poorly covered. The geographical distribution of data throughout Germany shows a concentration along the Rhine valley during Roman times, with in general a better coverage to the north. Nevertheless this data set clearly shows the secular variation during the past three millennia, and it extends the European archaeomagnetic data set considerably.