Archaeomagnetic study of two medieval ovens discovered in the Pliska Palace, North-eastern Bulgaria
Археомагнитно проучване на две средновековни пещи от Двореца в Плиска, Североизточна България
Two dome ovens from the archaeological complex of Pliska Palace, North-Eastern Bulgaria, were sampled and studied using archaeomagnetic method. These two ovens are well dated archaeologically, and their archaeomagnetic results will elucidate better the sought geomagnetic field variations for the given time period. On the other hand, we have the possibility to demonstrate the applicability of the archaeomagnetic method for dating purposes. Detailed rock-magnetic analyses were performed in order to establish the magnetic properties of the collected materials (stability of carried remanence, type of dominant magnetic minerals, domain state of magnetic particles and degrees of mineralogical transformations during heating). In general, the investigated materials are suitable for archaeomagnetic determination. The applied experiments show that they have not been heated to temperatures over 460oC as the temperature of heating in oven No2 was probably slightly higher in comparison to that in oven No1. Taking into account the determined mean values for the geomagnetic field elements, it is obvious that both ovens have been used in the past within two different time periods. The mean declination of oven No1 is more than 20 degrees lower than the declination of oven No2. Differences between the two other geomagnetic field parameters, inclination and intensity, are less pronounced: 5 degrees for inclination and 3 μT for intensity. An archaeomagnetic dating was done on the basis of Bulgarian reference curves from 2013. There is a very good agreement between the determined archaeomagnetic dating intervals (894–993) AD (for oven No1) and (1001–1075) AD (for oven No2), and the archaeological assumptions. These results confirm the importance of the archaeomagnetic method in archaeology as a reliable dating tool.
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