Antique Chinese and Japanese Porcelain collector's help and info page


Archaeo-magnetic dating

Non-destructive dating method for ceramic finds. The idea behind this technique is that the magentic fields of the natually occuring iron in the soil surrounding a fire are aligned to the magnetic poles when heated, and stay that way after the fire goes out. This technique makes use of the motion of the magnetic poles over long periods of time to get a differential with the static fields of the soil (or other earthen material) that has been heated. Theoretically one could apply this to ceramics that contain iron, but only if they were never moved after firing, which would make the technique generally impractical except in the case of archaeological digs.