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Basic Biographical Information
Following a B.A. in physics and a D.Phil. in high energy physics at the University of Oxford, Martin Aitken (1922–2017) was appointed in 1957 as the Deputy Director of the Oxford Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art which had been established 2 years earlier through the combined efforts of Lord Cherwell and Professor Christopher Hawkes under the directorship of Edward (Teddy) Hall. Martin Aitken then continued to work at the Oxford Research Laboratory until his retirement in 1989.
In the early days, his two main research interests were magnetic dating and magnetic prospection, of which the former remained an ongoing interest throughout his career. Initially, magnetic dating involved the measurement of the past direction of the Earth’s magnetic field using large samples extracted from in situ kilns and hearths, but later, the method was extended to the measurement of the past intensity of the magnetic field, an...
- Aitken, M. 1961. Physics and archaeology. London: Interscience Publishers.
- Aitken, M. 1984. Physics and archaeology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Aitken, M. 1985. Thermoluminescence dating. London: Academic.
- Aitken, M. 1990. Science-based dating in archaeology. London: Longman.
- Aitken, M. 1998. An introduction to optical dating. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Aitken, M., and E. Hall, eds. until 1989. Archaeometry. Available at: