Meaningful interpretation of past human culture requires an accurate chronology that can be correlated with our modern calendar. The timing of seminal events during the Levantine Iron Age (~ 1200 to 600 BCE) is hotly debated because conventional dating methods are fraught with subjective interpretations and analytical inaccuracies. This research uses archaeomagnetism, a subfield of paleomagnetism, as an alternative geochronological dating technique. Utilizing traditional archaeomagnetic materials (e.g. pottery) and testing new geologically based materials (ancient bread ovens called tabuns), a new Near East Archaeomagnetic Dating Curve (NEAC) was constructed to date four occupational deposits and a large conflagration at the Iron Age village of Khirbet Summeily, Israel. The results indicate that the destruction was likely associated with the 925 BCE Egyptian military campaign of Sheshonq I (22nd Dynasty). In addition, a new high in geomagnetic field intensity was measured that confirms the recently identified 8th Century BCE intensity spike for the region. This research provides new data that will enable geophysical researchers to improve models of geomagnetic field variability and core processes for the first three millennia BCE.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2018. Major: Earth Sciences. Advisor: Joshua Feinberg. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 203 pages.
Stillinger, Michele D..
Archaeomagnetism as a Geochronological Tool: Dating a Levantine Iron Age Conflagration.
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