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It is used in archaeomagnetic dating to characterise the magnetisation recorded by a material and to remove any unstable components.This can be carried out using an alternating magnetic field (alternating field demagnetisation) or by heating the material (thermal demagnetisation).Coercivity spectrum A variety of grain sizes and shapes exist in a sample or specimen.Hence, the coercivity is a distribution of values rather than a single value.The most probably age of the last heating-cooling cycle is 938 A. obtained by referring to the standard curves of the secular variation of the direction of the field during the last 3 kyr in Paris (Gallet et al., 2002). Alph-95: circle of confidence A measure of the uncertainty expressing the likely maximum difference in angle between the true magnetisation direction and that estimated from measurements.Bayesian statistics The statistical theory developed from the theorem of the Reverend Thomas Bayes.

Learn more about earth's shifting magnetism in Earth's Inconstant Magnetic Fielda Science News article on NASA's website.

Certain clays have archaeomagnetic dating example naturally high iron Fe content.

At archaeological sites, hearths constructed of iron-bearing clays are ideal for archaeolomagnetic sampling because they were subjected to repeated hot firings.

Archaeomagnetic dating Archaeomagnetic dating uses the ability of certain materials to record the Earth's magnetic field (geomagnetic field) to provide a date.

The Earth's field changes in both strength (intensity) and direction over time.

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