TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 58 (No. 10), pp. 1433-1439, 2006

Archaeomagnetic investigation of oriented pre-Columbian lime-plasters from Teotihuacan, Mesoamerica

A. M. Soler-Arechalde1, F. Sánchez1, M. Rodriguez1, C. Caballero-Miranda1, A. Goguitchaishvili1,2, J. Urrutia-Fucugauchi1, L. Manzanilla3, and D. H. Tarling4

1Laboratorio de Paleomagnetismo, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, Delegación Coyoacán 04510 D.F., Mexico
2Laboratorio Interinstitucional de Magnetismo Natural, Instituto de Geofísica, UNAM, Coeneo, Michoacán
3Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Delegación Coyoacán 04510 D.F., Mexico
4School of Earth Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, U.K.

(Received December 19, 2005; Revised June 26, 2006; Accepted July 6, 2006; Online published November 8, 2006)

Abstract: Results of an archaeomagnetic study of two excavation field seasons at the Xalla and Teopancazco residential areas of the ancient Prehispanic city of Teotihuacan, Central Mexico are reported. One-hundred and fifty three oriented samples of lime-plasters from the two archaeological sites were collected for the study. NRM directions are reasonably well grouped. Alternating field demagnetization shows single or two-component magnetizations. Rock magnetic measurements point to fine-grained titanomagnetites with pseudo-single domain behaviour. Characteristic site mean directions from both sites are correlated to the available palaeosecular variation curve for Mesoamerica. The mean directions obtained from Xalla site point to average dates of 550 AD±25 years that matches with the documented 'Big Fire' of Teotihuacan (AD 575). Two consecutive construction levels at Teopancazco were estimated as AD 250-350 and AD 350-425 respectively.
Key words: Archaeomagnetism, lime-plasters, geomagnetic secular variation, Teotihuacan, Mesoamerica.

Corresponding author E-mail: anesoler@geofisica.unam.mx

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