First archaeomagnetic results and dating of Neolithic structures in northern Greece

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Elina Aidona & Despina Kondopoulou.


Archaeomagnetism in Greece has continuously developed during the last decades. Numerous studies have provided high quality data and accurate secular variation curves for the direction and intensity of the geomagnetic field have been constructed. The Greek Secular Variation Curves (SVCs) cover the last 8 millennia for intensity and 6 millennia for direction. The coverage of the archaeological periods remains uneven, with several gaps, mostly in the directional dataset, with only two results for periods older than 2500 B.C. In the present contribution, the first archaeomagnetic results from Neolithic settlements in northern Greece are presented.

For the present study, samples were collected from three different archaeological sites: burnt structures in Avgi (Kastoria) and Vasili (Farsala) and one oven from Sosandra (Aridaia). The natural remanent magnetization (NRM) grouping of all specimens indicated that the majority of the samples were burnt in situ, providing thus a reliable direction of the ancient field. Magnetic cleaning (both alternating-field and thermal) revealed the presence of one stable component of magnetisation. Rock magnetic experiments (acquisition of isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM), thermal demagnetisation of the IRM, thermomagnetic curves) have been performed on pilot samples indicating that low coercivity magnetic minerals such as magnetite or Timagnetite are prevailing. The mean directions (declination D, inclination I and parameters of the Fisherian statistics), which arose from the three sites are as follows: Sosandra: D = 343°, I = 55.6°, α95 = 4.8°; Avgi: D = 10.1°, I = 53.4°, α95 = 4.2° and Vasili: D = 357.5°, I = 43.1°, α95 = 4.1°. The obtained data are in a very good agreement with results from Neolithic Bulgaria. This study represents the beginning of an effort to fill the gaps of the Greek secular variation curves and their extension to the Neolithic period.



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