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New archaeomagnetic data recovered from the study of Roman and Visigothic remains from central Spain (3rd–7th centuries)

Authors

  • Gianluca Catanzariti,

    1. Centro de Arqueometría y Análisis Arqueológico, Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Profesor Aranguren s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain. E-mail: gcatanza@fis.ucm.es
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  • Miriam Gómez-Paccard,

    1. Institut de Ciències de la Terra Jaume Almera, ICTJA-CSIC, Lluís Solé i Sabarís s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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  • Gregg McIntosh,

    1. Departamento de Física de la Tierra, Astronomía y Astrofísica I (Geofísica y Meteorología), Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
    2. Instituto de Geociencias (UCM-CSIC), Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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  • Francisco J. Pavón-Carrasco,

    1. Departamento de Física de la Tierra, Astronomía y Astrofísica I (Geofísica y Meteorología), Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
    2. Instituto de Geociencias (UCM-CSIC), Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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  • Annick Chauvin,

    1. Géosciences-Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6118, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes, Cedex, France
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  • María L. Osete

    1. Departamento de Física de la Tierra, Astronomía y Astrofísica I (Geofísica y Meteorología), Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
    2. Instituto de Geociencias (UCM-CSIC), Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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SUMMARY

New archaeomagnetic results from four heated/combustion structures recovered from two archaeological sites in central Spain are reported. They have been dated by archaeological evidence and in two cases by radiocarbon dating. Rock magnetic experiments indicate low coercivity magnetic phases, such as magnetite and thermally stable maghaemite, as the main carriers of the remanent magnetization. Haematite has been observed in poorly heated baked clays. Archaeomagnetic directions have been obtained from either alternating field or thermal demagnetization experiments performed on 57 specimens coming from 46 independently oriented samples. The four well-defined archaeomagnetic directions obtained are in good agreement with previous archaeomagnetic data and with recent regional and global field models. They define the beginning of easterly declination drift that was initiated around 350–400 AD and culminated around 800–850 AD, and delineate the maximum in inclination that took place around 600–650 AD. In addition, classical Thellier–Thellier experiments including thermal remanent magnetization anisotropy and cooling rate corrections were conducted on 23 specimens. Only 13 specimens, corresponding to well-defined single component behaviour, gave reliable results. New mean archaeointensities have been obtained for two of the four studied structures (VBK1, 64.2 ± 5.0 μT and VBT1, 62.4 ± 2.6 μT). The new data suggest that two relative intensity maxima occurred in Western Europe around 320 and 630 AD, being of lower magnitude that observed in Eastern Europe.

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