Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 329–342 | Cite as

Rock-magnetic and archeomagnetic survey from some classical settlements at Chapultepec archeological site (western Mesoamerica)

  • Veronica López-Delgado
  • Ana M. Soler-Arechalde
  • Guadalupe Espinosa-Rodríguez
  • Avto Goguitchaichvili


Many archaeological artifacts contain magnetic minerals that may record the direction and strength of the Earth’s magnetic field. The geomagnetic field parameters (declination, inclination and intensity) change through time and then may be used as a dating tool. Over the last three decades, the archeomagnetic method was successfully applied in Europe. Still, no systematic studies are devoted to the American sites. We report here, a detailed rock-magnetic and archeomagnetic investigation of some pre-Columbian settlements at Chapultepec archeological site (western Mesoamerica). Continuous low-field susceptibility vs. temperature curves performed in air point to Ti-poor titanomagnetites as remanence carriers. Hysteresis ratios fall essentially in the pseudo-single-domain region. The twelve oriented samples taken from the furnace located in the habitation area were demagnetized applying pick alternative fields. In most cases, a stable uni-vectorial remanent magnetization was found yielding a reasonably well defined mean characteristic direction: inclination I = 32.8°, declination D = 353.4°, and parameters of Fisherian statistics α95 = 10.4° and k = 14. Still poorly defined directional master curves for Mesoamerica, together with relatively dispersed mean directions obtained in this study, make dating targets difficult. Archaeomagnetic dating was carried out on the basis of Bayessian statistics. This established a most probable time interval from 512 to 634 A.D. with an average of 573 ± 61 A.D.


archeomagnetism Mesoamerica secular variation 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics of the ASCR, v.v.i 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica López-Delgado
    • 1
  • Ana M. Soler-Arechalde
    • 1
  • Guadalupe Espinosa-Rodríguez
    • 2
  • Avto Goguitchaichvili
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio Interinstitucional de Magnetismo Natural, Instituto de Geofísica - Sede MichoacánUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Museo Nacional de Historia-INAHCastillo de ChapultepecMéxico D.F.Mexico

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