ar·​chaeo·​mag·​ne·​tism | \ ˌär-kē-(ˌ)ō-ˈmag-nə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce archaeomagnetism (audio) \
variants: or archeomagnetism

Definition of archaeomagnetism

: the residual magnetism exhibited by archaeological remains that is used to determine their age and to help determine the former positions of the earth’s magnetic poles Archaeomagnetism (specifically, thermo-remanent magnetism) can also be used to date fired clay. Like [thermoluminescence], the principle is deceptively simple: the direction of the earth’s magnetic field has changed over time, and magnetic particles contained in clay align with the direction that prevailed at the time of their last intense heating (typically, firing in a kiln).— Kevin Greene, Interpreting the Past: Roman Pottery, 1992

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Other Words from archaeomagnetism

archaeomagnetic or archeomagnetic \ ˌär-​kē-​(ˌ)ō-​mag-​ˈne-​tik How to pronounce archaeomagnetism (audio) \ adjective
It was decided to establish a solid calendrical base and to do this an eighteenth century … settlement was chosen for excavation. This decision was made as there was no dendrochronology, Carbon 14 or archaeomagnetic technology available at the time. — Charles C. Di Peso, American Indian Art Magazine, Spring 1981

First Known Use of archaeomagnetism

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for archaeomagnetism

archaeo- + magnetism

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Cite this Entry

“Archaeomagnetism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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