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The Earth's magnetic field in Italy during the Neolithic period: New data from the Early Neolithic site of Portonovo (Marche, Italy)

Abstract : We present new, full geomagnetic field vector results from three Neolithic ovens discovered at the archaeological site of Portonovo (Marche, Italy). The discovered structures are a rare example of very well preserved underground ovens from the Early Neolithic period. Standard thermal demagnetization procedures were used to isolate the direction of the Characteristic Remanent Magnetization acquired by the baked clay during the ovens' last firing. The corresponding archaeointensities were determined by the multi-specimen procedure (MSP-DSC) and show a clear intensity low during the Neolithic period. Both directional and intensity results are of high quality, offering the first contribution of full geomagnetic field vector data for this period in Italy. The new data are compared with other contemporaneous data from Europe and with global geomagnetic field models. Independent archaeomagnetic dating of the three ovens was also performed by means of the SCHA.DIF.14k model. The obtained results are in excellent agreement with available radiocarbon dates and confirm that all ovens belong to the Neolithic. These new data importantly enrich our knowledge of the geomagnetic field during the Neolithic period that is poorly documented by data, not only in Italy but also in the whole of Europe and show that archaeomagnetic dating can provide precise results even for prehistoric periods.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 19, 2020 - 1:27:36 PM
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Evdokia Tema, Enzo Ferrara, Pierre Camps, Cecilia Conati Barbaro, Simone Spatafora, et al.. The Earth's magnetic field in Italy during the Neolithic period: New data from the Early Neolithic site of Portonovo (Marche, Italy). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2016, 448, pp.49-61. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.003⟩. ⟨hal-01357276⟩

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