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POTENTIAL MAGNETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY AND FRACTIONAL CONVERSION STUDIES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOILS AND SEDIMENTS

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Potential magnetic susceptibility (MAX) and, hence, fractional conversion (CONV) are shown to be critical in interpreting low-frequency mass-specific magnetic susceptibility (LF) data. Results presented from 29 sites in the UK and one in Hungary encompass six types of investigation: Quaternary sedimentary stratigraphies, archaeological contexts, surveys of old ground surfaces, topsoil surveys of lithic scatter sites, topsoil prospection surveys and ‘natural’ topsoils. The findings highlight the wide range of MAX values that may be encountered; identify factors affecting MAX; demonstrate that CONV provides a measure of enhancement resulting from burning; and identify environments in which LF analysis is likely to be problematic.
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Keywords: ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONTEXTS; FRACTIONAL CONVERSION; MAGNETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY; POTENTIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY; SEDIMENTS; SOILS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Archaeology, University of Wales, Lampeter, Ceredigion SA48 7ED, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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