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However, these isotopic techniques are limited by the potential changes in growth rates, the half-lives, and by the difficulty in determining sample thickness, all of which could potentially result in large dating errors.

Palaeomagnetism is an alternative method of dating Fe-Mn crusts, which can provide a high-resolution time framework by correlating the polarity reversal pattern retrieved from a sample with a reference geomagnetic time scale (GPTS) described the first measurements of the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of Fe-Mn nodules and demonstrated that they preserved a record of geomagnetic polarity reversals.

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A curve would help Stillinger and others determine the age of artifacts with greater accuracy.

But he said they must continue generating new data to make this method reliable.

They use these observations to decipher how strong the Earth’s magnetic field was when the pot was first made.

The final step is finding at what point in history the preserved strength matches the Earth’s field strength.

At Thursday morning’s poster session at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Stillinger presented her recent work showing a technique that accurately predicted the age of multiple Syrian pots from 2300 to 1000 BCE.

The key is that the clays contain magnetic minerals, like hematite and magnetite.

Multidomain (MD) magnetite may also be present in all samples..

Thus, they reflect the chemical conditions of the seawater from which they formed.

Shaar presented a poster that detailed his investigation of the historical geomagnetic field in the Levant, a region in the Middle East.

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