Archaeomagnetic dating—dating archaeological and geological materials by comparing their magnetic data with known changes in the earth's magnetic field—has proved to be of increasing reliability in establishing behavioral and social referents of archaeological data. Now this volume presents the first book-length treatment of its theory and methodology in North American archaeology.
The sixteen original papers in many cases represent the work of individuals who have been intimately involved with the development and refinement of archaeomagnetic dating techniques. They discuss the geophysical underpinnings of archaeomagnetism; general methodological problems associated with present archaeomagnetic studies, such as sample collection, data measurement and analysis, and experimental control; and advances in experimental archaeology.
Case histories consider both successful and unsuccessful applications of the technique in New World fieldwork. Raw data is provided in an appendix. While the volume deals specifically with problems of archaeomagnetic direction dating in the Americas, it should prove useful in constructing exact chronologies in other archaeological sites as well and in the geologic record at large. As the only single volume devoted to the subject, it will serve as the standard reference in the field.