Cracking the code of Earth's magnetic mysteries: ancient secrets unveiled by byzantine bricks reconfirmed by Mesopotamian ceramics

Published: January 9, 2024
Abstract Views: 208
PDF: 43
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


The study of the magnetization of artifacts discovered at archaeological sites, such as ceramics or hearth remnants, is known as archaeomagnetism. This technique is based on the idea that some materials get magnetized in the direction and intensity of the Earth's magnetic field at the time when heated or exposed to extreme heat. Development in the field has been made to improve magnetometer devices and sample size, as well as measuring techniques of thermal remanent magnetization. It helped to study the variation of the complex Earth’s magnetic field or geomagnetic field (GMF) for both geophysical and archaeological dating benefits. The rapid change in GMF within a few hundred or decades, as being of genuine origin or methodological and sample unsuitability has been a matter of debate. Data from about 40 years ago derived from well-dated Byzantine churches that first confirmed such geomagnetic spikes is discussed along with recent archaeomagnetic data from Mesopotamian inscribed bricks and Levantine slags.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Aitken, M.J., Allsop, A.L., Bussell, G.D., Liritzis, Y. and Winter, M.B., (1989) Geomagnetic intensity measurements using bricks from Greek churches of first and second millennia AD. Archaeometry 31:77-87
Ben-Yosef, E et al., (2009) Geomagnetic intensity spike recorded in high resolution slag deposit in Southern Jordan. Earth Planet Sci. Lett. 287:529–539.
Howland, M.D, Lisa Tauxe, et al., (2023) Exploring geomagnetic variations in ancient Mesopotamia: Archaeomagnetic study of inscribed bricks from the 3rd–1st millennia BCE. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 120:e2313361120.
Kovacheva, M., Spatharas, V., Liritzis, I., (2007) New archaeointensity results from Greek materials, Archaeometry 42:415–429.
Liritzis, I., Lagios, E. (1993) .A global archaeomagnetic data bank. EOS 74:303-306.
Liritzis, Y. (1989). Greek archaeomagnetic intensities; Some aspects of reliability and geophysical implications. Earth Moon Planets 47:1-13.
Liritzis, Y., Kovacheva, M. (1992). Evidence for sharp changes in the archaeomagnetic intensity variation during the last 2000 years. Phys Earth Planet Inter 70:85-89.
Shaar, R., et al., (2022). Archaeomagnetism in the Levant and Mesopotamia reveals the largest changes in the geomagnetic field. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 127:e2022JB024962.
Shaar, R., Tauxe, L., Goguitchaichvili, A., Devidze, M., Licheli, V. (2017) .Further evidence of the Levantine Iron Age geo-magnetic anomaly from Georgian pottery. Geophys Res Lett 44:2229–2236.
Skilles, D.D. (1970). Method of Inferring the Direction of Drift of the geomagnetic Field from Paleomagnetic Data. J Geomag Geoelec 22:441-462.
Xanthakis, J., Liritzis, I. (1991). Geomagnetic field variation as inferred from archaeomagnetism in Greece and palaeo-magnetism in British lake sediments since 7000 BC. Monograph, Academy of Athens Publication, No 53.

How to Cite

Liritzis, I. (2024). Cracking the code of Earth’s magnetic mysteries: ancient secrets unveiled by byzantine bricks reconfirmed by Mesopotamian ceramics. Proceedings of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, 3.