Archaeomagnetic dating services

In numerical simulations, unusual patches similar to the one beneath southern Africa appear immediately prior to geomagnetic reversals.

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The rapid decay of the recent magnetic field, and its pattern of decay, naturally raises the question of what was happening prior to the last 160 years.

In archaeomagnetic studies, geophysicists team with archaeologists to learn about the past magnetic field.

In particular, there have been virtually no data from southern Africa – and that’s the region, along with South America, that might provide the most insight into the history of the reversed core patch creating today’s South Atlantic Anomaly.

But the ancestors of today’s southern Africans, Bantu-speaking metallurgists and farmers who began to migrate into the region between 2,000 and 1,500 years ago, unintentionally left us some clues.

We still don’t fully understand what the extent of these effects would be, adding urgency to our investigation.

We’re turning to some perhaps unexpected data sources, including 700-year-old African archaeological records, to puzzle it out.

These Iron Age people lived in huts built of clay, and stored their grain in hardened clay bins.

As the first agriculturists of the Iron Age of southern Africa, they relied heavily on rainfall.

The communities often responded to times of drought with rituals of cleansing that involved burning mud granaries.

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