Friday, January 31, 2014

Joshua Feinberg on “Magnetic Applications to Archaeological Studies”

Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 6pm, in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College.

A few of the 1400 obsidian artifacts collected from a Middle Palaeolithic cave site in Armenia.  Magnetic measurements of the artifacts help determine where the obsidian was collected, and allow researchers to address questions about how early humans procured material for tool production
Look closely at any archaeological material and you will find trace amounts of magnetic minerals. Whether your passion is in ceramics, metals, glassware, obsidians, or cherts, the magnetic properties of such artifacts and the materials in which they are found often retain valuable, quantifiable information about an artifact's original age, as well as the age of the deposit in which it was discovered. This talk will share several recent efforts at the University of Minnesota where magnetic methods were used to provide information about the age of archaeological features or the origin of archaeological artifacts. Projects to be discussed will include obsidian research in Syria and the American Southwest, archaeomagnetic dating of ceramics in Israel and Syria, metallurgical slag from Cyprus and Israel, Clovis sites in Texas, and footprints preserved in volcanic ash in Mexico.

 About the speaker: Joshua Feinberg is Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences and Associate Director of the Institute for Rock Magnetism at the University of Minnesota. His research uses a combination of geophysical approaches (e.g., rock magnetism, paleomagnetism, gravity), material characterization techniques (e.g., scanning and transmission electron microscopy, scanning force microscopy, X-ray diffraction), and field geology methods to critically examine a broad range of scientific problems. These tools enable my group to collaborate with specialists from a variety of disciplines, including the geosciences, anthropology, soil science, planetary geology, material sciences, physics, chemistry, and biology. Our research aims to understand the fine details of processes that operate on global, tectonic, outcrop, and nanometer scales.

 A no-host dinner open to AIA members with the speaker will follow the lecture at Pad Thai Grand Restaurant, 1681 Grand Avenue, St. Paul

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