Dr. Eric Blinman

Archaeomagnetic Dating

Dr. Eric Blinman, director of the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies, explains how archaeomagnetic dating can help archaeologists determine the age of a site. When dirt is superheated, magnetic minerals in the soil realign to match the position of the Earth’s poles at the time of the last buring of the soil. This technique reads that "magnetic signature," and then scientists can match it to a calibration curve, a plot of the position of the Earth's poles—which are constantly moving—are at a given time in the past.

MORE ANALYSIS

Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology

What tree rings can tell us about the past

The Science of Soil

The Science of Soil

Sterile versus cultural soil

Botany

Botany

Why the study of plants tells us so much about people

Support for pbs.org

Learn more about PBS sponsorship

300x60_TimeTeamAmerica.jpg

DIG IN

Archaeology 101

Archaeology 101

Let's start with the basics

Deciphering the Disciplines

Deciphering the Disciplines

The archaeology family tree

WATCH

EXPLORE MORE