Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, UK (BRAD)

Role in the Network
  • Main speciality research areas: International reputation for the integration of archaeology and science, specifically scientific dating methods, magnetic properties of archaeological materials, archaeological sediments, prospection methods. All areas supported by extensive field and laboratory instrumental facilities.
  • Other factors: One of largest groups of pre- and postdoctoral students in British archaeology. Involvement in many major archaeological field.
  • Bradford hosted meeting and the AARCH workshop 1 with Liverpool. The network co-ordinator heads the Bradford team.
Research Linkage
Links with Plymouth, UK. Co-operation with English Heritage (Archaeometry Section), Oxford University (Research Lab. Archaeology & History of Art), numerous professional archaeological units and trusts.
Senior Scientist
Dr. C. M. Batt (e-mail:, Tel.: 00441274233533, Fax: 00441274235190)
Young researcher
Dr. Irene Zananiri, Calin Suteu, Assunta Trapanese
Calin Suteu
My research project in Bradford will be concerned upon the theoretical and practical methodology of constructing the Romanian reference system and also upon its maintenance, all taking into consideration the examples found in UK and in Europe mainly. It will also present a side-project concerning the introduction of this dating method to the Romanian archaeologists and the establishment of a national system of reporting and collecting AMS samples from archaeological excavations in progress.

Assunta Trapanese

The use of various sampling techniques for archaeomagnetic dating is a difficult issue in distinguishing between the errors occurring in the field and those caused by the laboratory measurement procedures. The current sampling techniques are applied on four well-dated archaeological sites and on a modern fire. The geophysical survey will support the detailed sampling location. The use of magnetic remanence measurements along with microscopic and granulometric observations will make possible the comparison between the different collections, in order to define the guidelines on the best practice of the fieldwork strategy.

Irene Zananiri

The currently used British calibration curve was produced by A.J. Clark et al. in 1988, using archaeomagnetic measurements from 92 features, over 200 direct observations of the geomagnetic field and measurements of magnetic directions from lake sediments. It covers the period from 1000 BC to 1975 AD, and consists of a line drawn freehand through the available dated points. As it is clear, many uncertainties are incorporated due to a) Lack of error representation, b) Lack of representation of the density of data, c) Use of freehand fitting technique. Several new ideas have been proposed lately in order to create a more reliable calibration curve. My research project will involve:

a) Collection of all existing UK data, which will be incorporated in the existing dataset. Information about the accuracy of their archaeological 
     date will be included as this matter is crucial about the construction of the curve.
b) A thorough research of previous and newly suggested techniques concerning the creation of a calibration curve.
c) Several techniques will be applied to the new dataset in order to decide the most appropriate one for the case of the UK.
d) An effort to apply the same or a similar approach to the existing Greek data (though much fewer, and mostly intensities).

Recent Publications

Tarling, D.H., and C.M. Batt, Archaeomagnetic Applications for the Rescue of Cultural Heritage (Abs.). Contributions to. Geophysics and Geodesy, 134, 154, 2004.

Batt, C. M., Preliminary investigations into the acquisition of remanence in archaeological sediments. In: Palaeomagnetism and Diagenesis of Sediments (Eds. Tarling, D.H. and P. Turner), Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, 151, 9-19, 1999.

Batt, C.M., The British archaeomagnetic calibration curve: an objective treatment, Archaeometry, 39, 153-168, 1997.