PRELIMINARY ARCHAEOMAGNETIC DIRECTIONS OBTAINED FROM FIRST MILLENNIAL CE SITES FROM SAN JOSÉ DE MORO, PERU
The newly established Yale University Archaeology Laboratory – Archaeomagnetic Laboratory is dedicated to increasing the number of observations of magnetic field behavior obtained from Southern Hemisphere sites. We present preliminary archaeomagnetic directional data obtained from first millennia CE sites from San José de Moro, coastal Peru. San José de Moro is an ideal place for an archaeomagnetic investigation because long-term excavations have produced a highly detailed sequence spanning much of the first and second millennium CE. A total of fifty-one independent horizons of archaeomagnetic samples were collected from burnt architectural elements (floors, plasters, hearths, etc.). We present preliminary results from six of these sites obtained from archaeological material classified as Middle Moche (CE 400-600). Samples were treated with stepwise alternating field demagnetization and yield virtual geomagnetic pole positions of about 200° N and 80° S with typical alpha95 values between 3° and 7°. Virtual geomagnetic poles positions through time are used to create secular variation curves. Secular variation curves provide an independent age constraint to aid in deciphering the timing of socially significant events preserved in the archaeological records. Future research efforts will focus on obtaining both direction and intensity values from this and other Peruvian Archaeology sites.