Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 121–147 | Cite as

An updated catalogue of Greek archaeomagnetic data for the last 4500 years and a directional secular variation curve

  • Emanuela De MarcoEmail author
  • Evdokia Tema
  • Philippe Lanos
  • Despina Kondopoulou


We present an updated compilation of Greek directional archaeomagnetic data for the last 4.5 millennia. The data set comprises 89 directions from archaeological artefacts and volcanic rocks. Most of the data come from the Late Bronze Age (1700-1400 BC) that is the flourishing period of the Minoan civilization in Crete, while parts of the classical (480-323 BC), Hellenistic (323-31 BC) and Roman (146 BC-330 AD) periods are also well covered. The dataset has been analysed using the Bayesian approach for curve building and a directional secular variation (SV) curve for Greece is proposed. Comparisons with regional and global model predictions show a general agreement even though some discrepancies are observed for some time intervals. The new curves together with the previously published intensity SV curve for Greece, also using the Bayesian approach, form a homogeneous set and enrich our knowledge of the full geomagnetic field vector variation in Greece during the last millennia.


archaeomagnetism secular variation Greece 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aidona E., Kondopoulou D., Alexandrou M. and Ioannidis N., 2010. Archaeomagnetic studies in kilns from Northern Greece. Bull. Geol. Soc. Greece, XLIII(4), 1888–1897.Google Scholar
  2. Aidona E. and Kondopoulou D., 2012. First archaeomagnetic results and dating of Neolithic structures in northern Greece. Stud. Geophys. Geod., 56, 827–844, DOI: 10.1007/s11200-011-9006-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aitken M.J. and Hawley H.N., 1967. Archaeomagnetic measurements in Britain-IV. Archaeometry, 10, 129–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belshé J.C., Cook K. and Cook R.M., 1963. Some archaeomagnetic results from Greece. Ann. Br. Sch. Athens, 58, 8–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Betancourt P.P., 1987. Dating the Aegean Late Bronze Age with radiocarbon — research notes and application reports. Archaeometry, 29, 45–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Marco E., 2007. Complete Magnetic and Archaeomagnetic Measurements in Archaeological Sites: Contribution to the SVC for Greece. Ph.D. Thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, 293 pp.Google Scholar
  7. De Marco E., Spatharas V., Gómez-Paccard M., Chauvin A. and Kondopoulou D., 2008. New archaeointensity results from archaeological sites and variation of the geomagnetic field intensity for the last 7 millennia in Greece. Phys. Chem. Earth, 33, 578–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Donadini F., Korte M. and Constable C.G., 2009. Geomagnetic field for 0–3 ka: 1. New data sets for global modelling. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q06007, DOI: 10.1029/2008GC002295.Google Scholar
  9. Downey W.S. and Tarling D.H., 1984. Archaeomagnetic dating of Santorini volcanic eruptions and fired destruction levels of Late Minoan civilization. Nature, 309, 519–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dunn Stuart E., 2002. The Chronology of the Aegean Late Bronze Age with Special Reference to the Minoan Eruption of Thera. Durham Theses, Durham University, Scholar
  11. Evans M.E., 2006. Archaeomagnetic investigations in Greece and their bearing on geomagnetic secular variation. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 159, 90–95, DOI: 10.1016/j.pepi.2006.06.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Evans M.E. and Kondopoulou D., 1998. Archaeomagnetism in Macedonia, Greece: A progress report. Phys. Chem. Earth, 23, 1027–1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fanjat G., Aidona E., Kondopoulou D., Camps P., Rathossi C. and Poidras T., 2013. Archaeointensities in Greece during the Neolithic period: New insights into material selection and secular variation curve. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 215, 29–42, DOI: Scholar
  14. Friedrich W., Kromer B., Friedrich M., Heinemeier J., Pfeiffer T. and Talamo S., 2006. Santorini eruption radiocarbon dated to 1627-1600 B.C. Science, 312, 548–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Genevey A., Gallet Y., Constable C., Korte M. and Hulot G., 2008. ArcheoInt: An upgraded compilation of geomagnetic field intensity data for the past ten millennia and its application to recovery of the past dipole moment. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q04038, DOI: 10.1029/2007GC001881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gómez-Paccard M., Catanzariti G., Ruiz-Martinez V.C., McIntosh G., Núñez J.I., Osete M.L, Chauvin A., Lanos Ph., Tarling D.H., Bernal-Casasola D., Thiriot J. and “Archaeological Working Group”, 2006a. A catalogue of Spanish archaeomagnetic data. Geophys. J. Int., 166, 1125–1143, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03020.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gómez-Paccard M., Lanos P., Chauvin A., McInstosh G., Osete M.L., Catanzariti G., Ruiz-Martinez V.C. and Núñez J.I., 2006b. First archaeomagnetic secular variation curve for the Iberian Peninsula: Comparison with other data from Western Europe and with global geomagnetic field models. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 7, Q12001, DOI: 10.1029/2006GC001476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jordanova N., Kovacheva M., Hedley I. and Kostadinova M., 2003. On the suitability of baked clay for archaeomagnetic studies as deduced from detailed rock-magnetic studies. Geophys. J. Int., 153, 146–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Korte M. and Constable C.G., 2005. Continuous geomagnetic field models for the past 7 millennia: 2.CALS7K. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 6, Q02H16, DOI: 10.1029/2004GC000801.Google Scholar
  20. Korte M., Donadini F. and Constable C.G., 2009. Geomagnetic field for 0-3 ka: 2. A new series of time-varying global models. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q06008, DOI: 10.1029/2008GC002297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Korte M., Genevey A., Constable C., Frank U. and Schnepp E., 2005. Continuous geomagnetic field models for the past 7 millennia: 1. A new global data compilation. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 6, Q02H15, DOI: 10.1029/2004GC000800.Google Scholar
  22. Kovacheva M., Boyadziev Y., Kostadinova-Avramova M., Jordanova N. and Donadini F., 2009. Updated archaeomagnetic data set of the past 8 millennia from the Sofia laboratory, Bulgaria. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q05002, DOI: 10.1029/2008GC002347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lanos Ph., 2004. Bayesian inference of calibration curves: application to archaeomagnetism. In: Buck C.E. and Millard A.R. (Eds.), Tools for Constructing Chronologies, Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries. Lecture Notes in Statistics, 177, Springer-Verlag, London, U.K., 43–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lanos Ph., Le Goff M., Kovacheva M. and Schnepp E., 2005. Hierarchical modelling of archaeomagnetic data and curve estimation by moving average technique. Geophys. J. Int., 160, 440–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Le Goff M., Gallet Y., Genevey A. and Warmé N., 2002. On archeomagnetic secular variation curves and archeomagnetic dating. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 134, 203–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Le Goff M., Henry B. and Daly L., 1992. Practical method for drawing a VGP path. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 70, 201–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liritzis Y. and Thomas R.C., 1980. Palaeointensity and thermoluminescence measurements on Cretan Kilns from 1300 to 2000 BC. Nature, 283, 54–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manning S.W., 1999. A Test of Time: The Volcano of Thera and the Chronology and History of the Aegean and East Mediterranean in the Mid Second Millennium BC. Oxbow Books, Oxford, U.K.Google Scholar
  29. Manning S., Bronk Ramsey Ch., Kutschera W., Higham T., Kromer B., Steier P. and Wild E., 2006. Chronology for the Aegean Late Bronze age 1700–1400 B.C. Science, 312, 565–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Márton P. and Ferencz E., 2006. Hierarchical versus stratification statistical analysis of archaeomagnetic directions: the secular variation curve for Hungary. Geophys. J. Int., 164, 484–489, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.02873.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Márton P., 2010. Two thousand years of geomagnetic field direction over central Europe revealed by indirect measurements. Geophys. J. Int., 181, 261–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Noel M. and Batt C.M., 1990. A method for correcting geographically separated remanence directions for the purpose of archaeomagnetic dating. Geophys. J. Int., 102, 753–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Papamarinopoulos S.P., 1987. Geomagnetic intensity measurements from Byzantine vases in the period between 3000 and 1650 AD. J. Geomagn. Geoelectr., 39, 261–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pavón-Carrasco, F. J., Osete, M.L., Torta, J. M., Gaya-Piqué, L. R., 2009. A regional archaeomagnetic model for Europe for the last 3000 years, SCHA.DIF.3K: applications to archaeomagnetic dating. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10(3), Q03013, doi:10.1029/2008GC002244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pavón-Carrasco, F. J., Osete, M.L., Torta, J., 2010. Regional modeling of the geomagnetic field in Europe from 6000 BC to 1000 BC. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst, 11, Q11008, doi: 10.1029/2010GC003197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pavón-Carrasco, F.J., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, J., Osete, M.L., Torta, J., 2011. A Matlab tool for archaeomagnetic dating. J. Archeol. Sci., 38 (2), 408–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schnepp E. and Lanos Ph., 2005. Archaeomagnetic secular variation in Germany during the past 2500 years. Geophys. J. Int., 163, 479–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schnepp E., Pucher R., Reindeers J., Hambach U., Soffel H. and Hedley I., 2004. A German catalogue of archaeomagnetic data. Geophys. J. Int., 157, 64–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Spatharas V., Kondopoulou D., Liritzis I. and Tsokas G.N., 2000. Archaeointensity results from two ceramic kilns from N. Greece. J. Balkan Geophys. Soc., 4, 67–72.Google Scholar
  40. Spatharas V., Kondopoulou D., Aidona E. and Efthimiadis K., 2011. New magnetic mineralogy and archaeointensity results from Greek kilns and baked clays. Stud. Geophys. Geod., 55, 131–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tartaron Th., 2008. Aegean prehistory as world archaeology: recent trends in the archaeology of Bronze age Greece. J. Archaeol. Res., 16, 83–161, DOI: 10.1007/s10814-007-9018-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tarling D.H. and Downey W.S., 1989. Archaeomagnetic results from Late Minoan destruction levels on Crete and the ‘Minoan’ tephra on Thera. In: Hardy D.A. and Renferw A.C. (Eds.), Thera and the Aegean World III, Chronology. The Thera Foundation, London, U.K., 105–109.Google Scholar
  43. Tarling D.H., Kontopoulou D. and Spatharas V., 2004. An archaeomagnetic study of the LM IB kilns. In: Soles J.S. and Davaras C. (Eds.), Mochlos Ic: Period III. Neopalatial Settlement on the Coast: The Artisans’ Quarter and the Farmhouse at Chalinomouri; The smallFinds. Prehistory Monographs 9, Instap Academic Press, Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
  44. Tema E., 2011. Archaeomagnetic research in Italy: Recent achievements and future perspectives. In: Petrovský E., Herrero-Bervera E., Harinarayana T. and Ivers D. (Eds.), The Earth’s Magnetic Interior. IAGA Special Sopron Book Series 1, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 213–233, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0323-0_15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tema E. and Kondopoulou D., 2011. Secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field in the Balkan region during the last eight millennia based on archaeomagnetic data. Geophys. J. Int., 186, 603–614, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05088.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tema E., Gómez-Paccard M., Kondopoulou D. and Ylenia A., 2012. Intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field in Greece during the last five millennia: New data from Greek pottery. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 202203, 14–26, DOI: 10.1016/j.pepi.2012.01.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tema E., Hedley I. and Lanos Ph., 2006. Archaeomagnetism in Italy: a compilation of data including new results and a preliminary Italian secular variation curve. Geophys. J. Int., 167, 1160–1171, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03150.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Warren P.M., 1987. The Genesis of the Minoan Palace. In: Hagg R. and Marinatos N. (Eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, Stockholm, Sweden, 47–56.Google Scholar
  49. Zananiri I., Batt C., Lanos Ph., Tarling D. and Linford P., 2007. Archaeomagnetic secular variation in the UK during the past 4000 years and its application to archaeomagnetic dating. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 160, 97–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics of the ASCR, v.v.i 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emanuela De Marco
    • 1
    Email author
  • Evdokia Tema
    • 2
  • Philippe Lanos
    • 3
  • Despina Kondopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geophysics, School of GeologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraUniversità degli Studi di TorinoTorinoItaly
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche en Physique Appliquée à l’Archéologie (CRPAA), CNRS UMR 5060Université Bordeaux 3 and Géosciences-Rennes, Université Rennes 1, CNRS UMR 6118RennesFrance

Personalised recommendations