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Archaeomagnetic Research Program

Archaeomagnetic Research ProgramStatistical Research, Inc., offers archaeomagnetic research services rendered by experienced collectors who can provide guidance in selecting the best contexts for dating.  Archaeomagnetic dating uses calibrated records of changes in the earth’s magnetic field through time to date fossilized magnetic directions recorded in archaeological features. This technique is utilized extensively in the U.S. Southwest, as well as in portions of Europe and Mexico, although samples can be collected from virtually any well-fired, in situ archaeological feature.
For clients who prefer to collect their own samples, Statistical Research, Inc., offers sample-collection training workshops on an as-needed basis. Through these 3-day workshops, SRI Chronometrician Dr. Stacey Lengyel trains clients in contemporary archaeomagnetic sample-collection techniques and provides guidance in selecting appropriate materials for dating as well as interpretation of laboratory results. Dr. Lengyel is a leader in current archaeomagnetic research in the United States, with more than 11 years of experience collecting samples and analyzing the resulting information from a variety of archaeological and geologic features.
Dr. Lengyel has a joint affiliation with the Illinois State Museum (ISM), where she directs the ISM Archaeomagnetic Laboratory. At this lab, samples are measured through a six-step progressive demagnetization routine on a Schonstedt spinner magnetometer and a Schonstedt alternating field (AF) demagnetizer. The data obtained from each sample are analyzed through principal component analysis (PCA), and the mean data are dated against the relevant reference curve (e.g., SWCV595 and SWCV2000 for the U.S. Southwest). For areas with no extant reference curve, relative dates can be obtained by comparing data from sets of features within a site or region to evaluate the potential contemporaneity and/or temporal sequencing of such features.


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