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Archaeomagnetism

 
 
The study of the magnetic properties of rocks and artefacts in archaeological contexts may provide useful guidance to clarify the problematic aspects of the events that affected the site. Herculaneum deposits of the 79 AD first surge invaded boat chambers, located on the ancient beach of Herculaneum, within which about 300 Herculaneum sought refuge. The comparative study of the TRM (Thermal Remanent Magnetization) of oriented samples taken in one of the boat chamber, and outside, from deposits resulting from the first surge of 79 AD Vesuvius eruption, indicated in 500 °C the deposition temperature. On the basis of knowledge of the physical mechanism of acquisition of the TRM, a detailed study of the spectrum of blocking temperatures of the samples and deposition mechanism of the surge within the boat chamber, and by thermodynamic calculations performed by volcanologists taking into account the volume of the material deposited in the boat chamber, the number of individuals present in the boat chamber, the volume of soft tissues and organs, the area of contact between bodies and piroclastite, the cause of death was definitely ascribed to "fulminant shock syndrome" and not choking as it was generally assumed for all the victims of the of 79 AD Vesuvius eruption in. Finally, this study also demonstrated that a protection from direct impact of a piroclastite is not always sufficient to ensure survival. The results of a comparative archaeomagnetic study of Lazio sites are currently being processing. On this issue collaborations with the Second University of Naples, IAMC of CNR, University of Liverpool are in progress.
 
 
 
 
Incoronato A. 2002 – DETERMINAZIONE DELLE TEMPERATURE DI DEPOSIZIONE DEI DEPOSITI PIROCLASTICI AD ERCOLANO. – In: Petrone P. P. & Fedele F. (eds) “Vesuvio 79 AD. Vita e morte ad Ercolano”. Fridericiana Ed. Univ., Napoli, 53-54
Mastrolorenzo G., Petrone P. P., Pagano M., Incoronato A., Baxter P. J., Canzanella A. & Fattore L. 2001 HERCULANEUM VICTIMS OF VESUVIUS IN AD 79. – Nature, 410, 769-770.
Gialanella P. R. & Incoronato A. 1992 - INDAGINE ARCHEOMA-GNETICA AL PIAN DEI CAVALLI, SITO CA1. - in Fedele F. et al. (eds) "Preistoria e Paleoambienti della Valchiavenna: Pian dei Cavalli 1991", Clavenna, 30, 57-61