Two thousand years of archeointensity from West Africa

Mitra, R, Tauxe L, McIntosh SK.  2013.  Two thousand years of archeointensity from West Africa. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 364:123-133.

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archaeomagnitudes, archeointensity, West Africa, paleomagnetism, paleosecular variation, non-axial-dipole geomagnetic field, cooling rate, dependence, egypt, geomagnetic-field models, greek, hysteresis, intensity, last 5000 years, paleointensity, secular variation


This study presents 17 archeointensity estimates from Senegal and Mali, two neighboring countries in West Africa, for the period 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. The archeological artifacts used in this study were collected during the course of two separate projects, together spanning 22 years and across 8 separate excavations. A primary objective of this study was to get accurate dates, hence, only samples with independent age constraints from pottery style, detailed stratigraphy and C-14 dates were used. A total of 236 specimens from 63 samples were subjected to a double heating paleointensity experiment (IZZI method) from which 95 specimens were selected using a set of very strict selection criteria. The paleointensity results were corrected for differential cooling rate effects and remanence anisotropy. Additionally, we demonstrate the equivalence of using tensors derived from anhysteretic and thermal remanences for correcting remanent anisotropy of the specimens and use the form!