60 Years of Archaeomagnetism in the United States

In the early 1960s, scientists began using paleomagnetism and geomagnetism for applications in archaeology, bringing the field of archaeomagnetism to the United States. Since then, eight scientists and their students have amassed a dataset of over 51,000 specimens and respective data from over 5,377 archaeodirectional sites. Most of the research was conducted with an enterprise mindset, resulting in few academic publications, many of which are in hard-to-access reports. When published, data were usually presented as interpretations and were generally averaged using statistical conventions different from today's standards. As such, very little archaeomagnetic data are accessible, leading to limitations in global field modeling and archaeomagnetic dating curve development.

Shelby Jones, PhD has salvaged the surviving data for almost the entirety of the US's archaeomagnetic records. As the laboratory supervisor and a project director for OAS, she continues her work with this massive database and sample library, ensuring its accessibility for ongoing research. Join Office of Archaeological Studies (OAS)and Friends of Archaeology (FOA)to learn about archaeomagnetism, past research using the dataset, and how the dataset contributes to global initiatives. This free talk will be held in the OAS library at CNMA. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The talk is on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024, at noon. The lecture will be provided in an online format, either on the Friends of Archaeology Facebook page or the FOA YouTube channel.

The Center for New Mexico Archaeology (7 Old Cochiti Road) is located off of Caja del Rio Road, across from Challenge New Mexico on the way to the Santa Fe Municipal Golf Course. Take 599 to South Meadows Road, continue through the traffic circle west along the Frontage Road to Caja del Rio Road. CNMA is on the left-hand side of the road and is the large building with white sail-like skylights on the roof.

This excerpt and image are from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Event Calendar.