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Archeomagnetic dating

The laboratory provides archeomagnetic dating services to various archeological research organizations. For this, interested archeologists can contact Yves Gallet (Equipe de Paléomagnétisme, IPGP Université Paris Cité ; ) or Agnès Genevey (LAMS, Sorbonne Université ; ).

These services mainly concern dating based on ancient directions of the geomagnetic field, which requires sampling of well-preserved combustion structures found in place (contact Y. Gallet). The dating of a combustion structure whose age is poorly known or unknown to archeologists is obtained by comparing the archeomagnetic direction determined for the structure to be dated with the set of the directions that trace the reference curve of directional variations of the geomagnetic field in France.

More prospectively, chronological constraints can also be obtained for ceramics, i.e. artifacts found displaced from their original firing site, from geomagnetic intensities (contact A. Genevey).

Archeomagnetic dating is intrinsically dependent on the quality and accuracy of the reference curve used. For this reason, it is important to continuously feed the reference database with new well-dated data (ages accurate to ±50 years, or less). Archeologists are also invited to contact us to report such sampling opportunities.