Northern hemisphere mid-latitude geomagnetic anomaly revealed from Levantine Archaeomagnetic Compilation (LAC).

Monday, 14 December 2015: 10:35
300 (Moscone South)
Ron Shaar1, Lisa Tauxe2, Amotz Agnon1, Erez Ben-Yosef3 and Erez Hassul1, (1)Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, (2)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States, (3)Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
The rich archaeological heritage of Israel and nearby Levantine countries provides a unique opportunity for archaeomagnetic investigation in high resolution. Here we present a summary of our ongoing effort to reconstruct geomagnetic variations of the past several millennia in the Levant at decadal to millennial resolution. This effort at the Southern Levant, namely the “Levantine Archaeomagnetic Compilation” (LAC), presently consists of data from over 650 well-dated archaeological objects including pottery, slag, ovens, and furnaces.

In this talk we review the methodological challenges in achieving a robust master secular variation curve with realistic error estimations from a large number of different datasets. We present the current status of the compilation, including the southern and western Levant LAC data (Israel, Cyprus, and Jordan) and other published north-eastern Levant data (Syria and southern Turkey), and outline the main findings emerging from these data.

The main feature apparent from the new compilation is an extraordinary intensity high that developed over the Levant region during the first two millennia BCE. The climax of this event is a double peak intensity maximum starting at ca. 1000 BCE and ending at ca. 735 BCE, accompanied with at least two events of geomagnetic spikes. Paleomagnetic directions from this period demonstrate anomalies of up to 20 degrees far from the averaged GAD field. This leads us to postulate that the maximum in the intensity is a manifestation of an intense mid-latitude local positive geomagnetic anomaly that persisted for over two centuries.