Magnetic dating

25-Oct-2017 10:12

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Now, a study of pottery from the Jerusalem area has given us a precise record over a 600-year period.In the ancient kingdom of Judea, clay jars were stamped with royal seals on their handles.The stamps changed according to who was in power, giving us a detailed record of the jars' ages.Professor Lisa Tauxe of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography took advantage of this dating and the fact that ceramics hold a record of the magnetic field in which they were fired.

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The Earth's magnetic field changes over characteristic times which range from a fraction of a second to hundreds of thousands or millions of years.) 800,000 years ago would have pointed south, and after the reversal it would have pointed north again.