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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

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 languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2863-2879
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the FIRST program of the Israel Science Foundation Grant No. 1334/05, US-Israel Binational Science Foundation Grant No. 2004/98, NSF grant EAR0636051, the US - Israel Educational Foundation Fulbright Grant for Ph.D. students 2006-2007 and the Academic Senate of UCSD.

Keywords

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

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