Centres Científics i Tecnològics UB



The paleomagnetism laboratory of CCiTUB is involved in obtaining the first complete archaeomagnetic data from Central Asia

PhD. Bet Beamud, head of the Paleomagnetism laboratory at the CCiTUB and Geosciences Barcelona (Geo3BCN-CSIC) , has participated in a study where the first complete archaeomagnetic data of the magnetic field vector for Central Asia are presented, a vast region that has been largely unexplored from an archaeomagnetic perspective for a long time. From the Paleomagnetism laboratory, participation has included both the sampling of combustion structures in archaeological sites in Uzbekistan and the measurement of the magnetic direction and paleointensity of these samples.

The work in which the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), the Institute of Geosciences (IGEO CSIC), researchers from the Department of History and Archaeology of the Universitat de Barcelona, and the Universidad de Salamanca are also involved, has been published in the journal ‘Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth’ under the title “First Full-Vector Archeomagnetic Data From Central Asia (3 BCE to 15 CE Centuries): Evidence for a Large NonDipole Field Contribution Around the First Century BCE”.


The geomagnetic field changes over time and space. These changes have been known in recent centuries through direct observations collected by satellites and geomagnetic observatories. However, to understand the behavior of the geomagnetic field over longer time scales, indirect measures based on the paleomagnetic study of archaeological and geological materials are needed. In this context, archaeomagnetism is the discipline that studies the direction and intensity of the past geomagnetic field by investigating the magnetic properties of well-dated baked clay archaeological materials.

The new data were obtained from 9 kilns excavated in the south of Uzbekistan, with ages ranging from 200 BC to 1429 AD. Based on the results obtained, the lead author of the study has developed a regional update of the family of global magnetic field variation models "SHAWQ," incorporating high-quality archaeomagnetic data for Central Asia for the first time. The model results indicate a significant contribution of the non-dipolar field in this region around the 1st century BC, manifested by low surface magnetic field intensities associated with the presence of a reverse flux zone at the core-mantle boundary in this region.

Link to the article [+]

Link to the Paleomagnetism laboratory [+]