Ancient Judea pottery that spanned from the 8th to 2nd century AD suggests that a fluctuating magnetic field is a natural cycle.
Readings made from ancient clay jar handles from the Middle Eastern kingdom of Judah suggest that Earth’s magnetic field won’t collapse anytime soon.
Researchers have previously warned that the planet’s magnetic field intensity is in sharp decline. They claim this could flip weather patterns and cause a chaotic disruption of Earth’s communication systems.
But the researchers from Tel Aviv University [and University of California San Diego] have used ancient clay pottery to reveal that the current dip in Earth’s magnetic field is likely just part of its natural cycle. DailyMail
The new research is based on a set of 67 ancient, heat-impacted Judean ceramic storage jar handles, which bear royal stamp impressions from the 8th to 2nd century BCE, providing accurate age estimates.
“The period spanned by the jars allowed us to procure data on the Earth’s magnetic field during that time — the Iron Age through the Hellenistic Period in Judea,” says Dr. Ben-Yosef. “The typology of the stamp impressions, which correspond to changes in the political entities ruling this area, provides excellent age estimates for the firing of these artifacts.” …
“Ceramics, baked clay, burned mud bricks, copper slag — almost anything that was heated and then cooled can become a recorder of the components of the magnetic field at the time of the event,” said Dr. Ben-Yosef. “Ceramics have tiny minerals – magnetic ‘recorders’ – that save information about the magnetic field of the time the clay was in the kiln. The behavior of the magnetic field in the past can be studied by examining archaeological artifacts or geological material that were heated then cooled, such as lava.” BreakingNewsIsrael
Magnet Field Fluctuations
The data they collected showed a decline in the planet’s magnetic field intensity over a 600-year period. But the team also found a sharp upward lift in the eighth century BC.
The findings support theories that there have been two upward spikes in Earth’s magnetic field intensity, known as the Levantine Iron Age ‘geomagnetic spikes.’
The researchers’ findings confirm the second of these proposed spikes and also reveal that the magnetic field around the Middle East dipped after 732 BC, dropping 27 percent in just three decades. DailyMail
No Reason For Alarm
But a new study published in PNAS from Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and University of California San Diego researchers finds there is no reason for alarm: The Earth’s geomagnetic field has been undulating for thousands of years. Data obtained from the analysis of well-dated Judean jar handles provide information on changes in the strength of the geomagnetic field between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE, indicating a fluctuating field that peaked during the 8th century BCE.
“The field strength of the 8th century BCE corroborates previous observations of our group, first published in 2009, of an unusually strong field in the early Iron Age. We call it the ‘Iron Age Spike,’ and it is the strongest field recorded in the last 100,000 years,” says Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of TAU’s Institute of Archaeology, the study’s lead investigator. “This new finding puts the recent decline in the field’s strength into context. Apparently, this is not a unique phenomenon – the field has often weakened and recovered over the last millennia.” BreakingNewsIsrael