Journal Highlights

Recognizing the existence of epsilon iron oxide in rock and archaeomagnetism

Editor’s Highlight—


Identifying the magnetic phases in archaeological samples is useful for understanding their magnetic properties, and thus helps extracting genuine information of the geomagnetic field recorded by them. Besides, recognition of transformation series in heated archaeological samples may have implications for understanding their thermal history. This paper attempts to understand a mysterious low Curie temperature high coercivity stable phase (HCSLT) in heated archaeological samples. The authors show evidence for the existence of epsilon iron oxide with a new technique of Confocal Raman Spectroscopy. There has been a long controversy as to whether epsilon iron oxide is present as a “natural” mineral under normal terrestrial conditions; this study will add positively to this controversy and draw attention to this interesting mineral.