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Posted by / 26-Jun-2017 08:50

Archaeomagnetic dating is a method of dating iron-bearing sediments that have been superheated—for example, the clay lining of an ancient hearth. When these clays are heated to high temperatures, the iron in them aligns with the earth’s magnetic field at that moment.

Archaeomagnetic dating works because the earth’s magnetic field "wanders," continually changing its position in response to changes in the flow of liquid iron in the planet's core. As the clay cools, the alignment of the iron “fixes,” preserving a record of the magnetic field at a specific time in the past.

Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon.

Isotopes of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nucleus, but different numbers of neutrons.

This is affected by solar activity and the earth’s magnetic field.

Luckily, we can measure these fluctuations in samples that are dated by other methods.

Radioactive decay can be used as a “clock” because it is unaffected by physical (e.g. For instance, the amount varies according to how many cosmic rays reach Earth.Because of this, radiocarbon chemists are continually developing new methods to more effectively clean materials.These new techniques can have a dramatic effect on chronologies.A huge amount of work is currently underway to extend and improve the calibration curve.In 2008 we could only calibrate radiocarbon dates until 26,000 years.

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