Further progress in the study of epsilon iron oxide in archaeological baked clays

Journal article


Lopez-Sanchez, J, Palencia-Ortas, A, Del Campo, A, McIntosh, G., Kovacheva, M, Martin-Hernandez, F, Carmona, N, Rodriguez de la Fuente, O, Marin, P, Molina-Cardin, A and Osete, ML 2020. Further progress in the study of epsilon iron oxide in archaeological baked clays. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 307, p. 106554. https://doi.org//10.1016/j.pepi.2020.106554
AuthorsLopez-Sanchez, J, Palencia-Ortas, A, Del Campo, A, McIntosh, G., Kovacheva, M, Martin-Hernandez, F, Carmona, N, Rodriguez de la Fuente, O, Marin, P, Molina-Cardin, A and Osete, ML
Abstract

The occurrence of ε-Fe2O3 in archaeological samples that have been subjected to high temperatures is gradually being detected by the use of micrometric structural characterization techniques. This work provides new information by revealing that the ε-Fe2O3 is formed as a response to temperature, the aggregation state and the position within the baked clay with respect to the nearest heat source. In addition, depending mainly on the atmospheric environment, the temperature reached by the combustion structure, the distance from the heating source and the particle aggregation, other iron oxide magnetic phases are produced. In the baked clay studied here, hematite is found over the whole range of samples studied but its magnetic contribution is negligible. Magnetite is observed at the sample surface, probably due to local atmospheric environment closest to the combustion source. Maghemite is found at all depths up to 6 cm below the sample surface. ε-Fe2O3 has a limited distribution, found within 2–3 cm of the sample surface. Furthermore, the viability of this compound as a palaeofield marker has been evaluated in both archaeological and synthetic samples. The results indicate that ε-Fe2O3 is able to register the direction of the magnetic field. Linear palaeointensity plots have been obtained in synthetic samples, although the value of the palaeofield could be, sometimes, overestimated.

KeywordsEpsilon iron oxide ; Baked clay; Archeology
Year2020
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Journal citation307, p. 106554
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0031-9201
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org//10.1016/j.pepi.2020.106554
Official URLhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031920120301291
Publication dates
Print18 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Jul 2020
Deposited16 Aug 2021
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Open
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8y661/further-progress-in-the-study-of-epsilon-iron-oxide-in-archaeological-baked-clays

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