Archaeointensity record of weak field recurrence in Japan: new data from Late Yayoi and Kofun ceramic artefacts

Research areas:
Year:
2023
Authors:
  • E Tema
  • Y Santos
  • R Trindade
  • G A Hartmann
  • T Hatakeyama
  • Filipe Terra-Nova
  • N Matsumoto
  • J Mitsumoto
  • M Gulmini
Journal:
Geophysical Journal International
Volume:
233
Number:
2
Pages:
950-963
Month:
12
ISSN:
0956-540X
BibTex:
Abstract:
We present new absolute archaeointensity data from six archaeological sites situated in the Okayama Prefecture, Japan. The materials studied are well-dated fragments from pottery, ceramic coffins and haniwa artefacts. Their ages range from 160 AD to 675 AD, covering the Late Yayoi and Kofun periods. Rock magnetic experiments suggest the presence of magnetite and/or Ti-magnetite as the main carrier of the remanence, with a possible minor contribution of higher coercivity minerals. After thermal demagnetization experiments, the most magnetically stable samples were selected for archaeointensity analysis performed following the double-heating method proposed by Thellier and modified by Coe. Partial thermoremanent magnetization (pTRM) checks and pTRM tail-checks were performed for monitoring possible chemical alterations during heating. All measurements were corrected for both anisotropy and cooling-rate effects. Successful archaeointensity determinations, following rigorous selection criteria, were obtained for samples from all the investigated archaeological sites. Compared with literature data from Japan, the new high-quality data show significantly lower intensity values. They also reveal possible fast secular variation changes during the Late Yayoi period and very weak geomagnetic intensity field around 630 AD. Such values offer evidence of a possible recurrence of weak intensity field in East Asia, suggesting an ancient recurrence of the West Pacific Anomaly. The new data might change the archaeomagnetic field models interpretations in the area, even though more data are still necessary to better understand the secular variation in Japan and the temporal evolution of the geomagnetic field's behaviour in East Asia.