A new approach for geomagnetic archaeointensity research: insights on ancient metallurgy in the Southern Levant

E. Ben-Yosef, L. Tauxe, H. Ron, A. Agnon, U. Avner, M. Najjar, T. E. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present results from an archaeointensity investigation based on a relatively unexploited recording medium, copper slag deposits. Together with a recently improved experimental design for the archaeointensity experiment, we demonstrate the applicability of this medium, as well as other archaeometallurgical artifacts, for the study of the ancient geomagnetic field intensity. In addition to archaeointensity data from well-dated archaeological contexts, we obtained reliable archaeointensity results from poorly dated or contentious archaeometallurgical sites in the Southern Levant. These results shed new light on the dating of these sites, among them the copper smelting installation of Timna 39b - a site that has important implications for the beginning of metallurgy during the fifth millennium BCE. The paper also aims to introduce archaeointensity research to the archaeologist scholar, and to encourage further collaboration between the disciplines in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2863-2879
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Archaeointensity
  • Archaeometallurgy
  • Chalcolithic
  • Copper slag
  • Faynan
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Secular variations
  • Slag deposits
  • Timna

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