The geomagnetic field is among the most important and spectacular phenomena on Earth. Constraining its past evolution is essential for our understanding of the Earth’s history. Moreover, its past behavior is rich of informationnot only on the dynamo processes acting in the liquid outer core, but also on the interactions between all the Earth envelopes, from the solid inner core to the atmosphere and biosphere. Paleomagnetism, allowing the recovery ofthe main features of the ancient geomagnetic field at various time scales, is hence a key discipline at the crossroadsof many other scientific themes, such as geomagnetism (core dynamics), mantle dynamics, plate tectonics and platedeformation, volcanology, archeology, climatology or fauna evolution. The last decade has seen the emergence of new fundamental questions and new hypotheses that our project aimsat scrutinizing, such as the possible influence of geomagnetic field variations on regional or global climate (and related environmental changes) over centennial and millennial time scales, the possible influence of the late growth of the inner core (<1 Gyr) on the long-term geomagnetic field evolution or the occurrence of major dynamical events at the time of the explosion of life at the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary.
Our project relies on two pillars, 1) the creation of a new paleomagnetic- archeomagnetic laboratory in the Schmidt Institute, which would become a unique place in the world thanks to the quality and diversity of the available instruments, 2) the study of invaluable geological and archeological objects existing on the Russian territory, which would allow us to obtain crucial data to constrain the geomagnetic field behavior at different time scales. An important part of the project concerns archeomagnetism, which aims at characterizing the geomagnetic field evolution over the past few millennia through magnetic property analyses of archeological artifacts. Russia has hada long tradition of archeomagnetic studies but this discipline became almost extinct in the past few years, while it is rapidly growing in other countries because of its important applications. We propose to renew with this activity in the Schmidt Institute, which crucially depends on the construction of a modern, fully equipped archeomagnetic laboratory and on the research activity of young scientists.