Archaeological and archaeomagnetic dating at a site from the ager Tarraconensis (Tarragona, Spain): El Vila-sec Roman pottery

Marta Prevosti, Lluís Casas, Josep Francesc Roig Pérez, Boutheina Fouzai, Aureli Álvarez, Àfrica Pitarch

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10 Citations (Scopus)


A very accurate archaeological dating of a Roman site in NE Spain (El Vila-sec) was made based on the typology of pottery artifacts. Three different phases were identified with activity ranging from the mid-1st century BC to the early-3rd century AD. Analyses of bricks from kilns at El Vila-sec produced data on their stored archaeomagnetic vector. These data were compared with the secular variation curve for the Iberian Peninsula and the SCHA.DIF.3K regional archaeomagnetic model. Both, the reference curve and the model, produced probability distributions for the final period of use for two kilns from the second archaeological phase that were not used during the third phase. At a 95% confidence level, both time distributions cover a wide chronological range including the presumed archaeological age. Both the Iberian secular variation curve and the SCHA.DIF.3K regional model proved to be suitable models for dating the site, although on their own they do not produce a single unambiguous solution. This archaeomagnetic approach could also be applied to neighbouring archaeological sites that have an imprecise archaeological age. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2686-2701
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Archaeodirection
  • Archaeointensity
  • Archaeomagnetism
  • Ceramic
  • Dating
  • Geomagnetic field modelling
  • Typology


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