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Research in archaeomagnetism

The laboratory is particularly involved in the establishment and constant improvement of the reference curve of directional variations and geomagnetic field strength in France over the last two millennia (IMG-3, IMG-8). Carried out without discontinuity since the work of Emile Thellier, this activity makes France the region in the world where the secular variation is certainly the best known on a millennial time scale. These results extend the detailed instrumental (or direct) recordings made in magnetic observatories for four centuries at most in Western Europe. Beyond the detailed characterization of the secular variation, this work allows the use of archaeomagnetism in France as a dating tool for archaeological practice.

Our other archaeomagnetic studies, focused essentially on variations in geomagnetic intensities, are carried out in Western Europe (Italy), the Middle East (Syria, Israel, Iraq), Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Cambodia), Africa (Ethiopia) and South America (Brazil, Guyana). As a whole, they aim at tracing more precisely the behavior of the geomagnetic field, in particular its dipolar part, through the last millennia, by relying on modeling methods developed in collaboration with our geomagnetician colleagues.