Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmec Primacy?

  title={Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmec Primacy?},
  author={John B. Carlson},
  pages={753 - 760}
Considering the unique morphology (purposefully shaped polished bar with a groove) and composition (magnetic mineral with magnetic moment vector in the floating plane) of M-160, and acknowledging that the Olmec were a sophisticated people who possessed advanced knowledge and skill in working iron ore minerals, I would suggest for consideration that the Early Formative artifact M-160 was probably manufactured and used as what I have called a zeroth-order compass, if not a first-order compass… 
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    This initial experiment is described briefly in print only in R. Fuson
    • My information is directly from M. D. Coe
    • 1969
    The experiment was performed in the paleomagnetism laboratory of R. DuBois
      The corresponding radiocarbon dates (based on a 5730-year half-life for '4C) are 1200 to 900 B.C., implying a shift of -200 and 100 years, respectively, for the current correlations
      • See V. R. Switsur, Antiquity
      • 1973
      The floating plane is defined to be the plane of M-160 parallel to the liquid surface on which it is floating (with the grooved face up). This is the y-z plane in Fig
        The first sentence in this quotation (marked by ellipsis points) actually appears just after the main body of the quotation in Needham's text. It was transposed for the sake of clarity and emphasis