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Once the paleodirections of enough independently dated archaeological features are determined, they can be used to compile a secular variation record for a particular region, known as an SVC.The Archaeomagnetic Laboratory at the Illinois State Museum has secular variation curves for the southwest, mid-continent and southeast United States.In the previous chapter, we described some of the desk-based research methods that can precede fieldwork.
Here, we not only look at excavation, but also some non-intrusive methods, such as surveying earthwork sites and buildings, and the various standards that any work in these areas should achieve.
Within these weaker areas the local directions and intensities change gradually (secular variation).
A compass does not point to the true North Pole but to direction that is a function of the North Magnetic Pole and the local secular variation to yield a magnetic declination.
Archaeomagnetic dating is the study and interpretation of the signatures of the Earth's magnetic field at past times recorded in archaeological materials.
These paleomagnetic signatures are fixed when ferromagnetic materials such as magnetite cool below the Curie point, freezing the magnetic moment of the material in the direction of the local magnetic field at that time.
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