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What do we do

Dendrochronology

In the field of archaeology, the study of tree rings as they relate to archaeological sites is referred to as Dendrochronology.

Dendrochronology plays a role in a variety of ways in the discipline of archaeology. Wood samples found in archaeological contexts can be analyzed to determine accurate age estimates for archaeological sites. In particular, culturally modified trees, cabins, charcoal and dwellings or features made from wood that is preserved still demonstrate individual tree ring chronologies.

Compared with Radio Carbon dating, tree ring chronologies demonstrate the exact calendar year to which an archaeological site is dated. Radio carbon dating provides dates with variances of +/- 100s or even 1000s of years.

Amanda Marshall has studied dendroarchaeology at the University of Arizona, under Dr. Jeffrey Dean and Prof. Ron Towner. Ms. Marshall learned how to properly collect, store, analyze and curate dendroarchaeology samples from the oldest dendrocarchaeoloy lab in the world.

Using dendroarchaeology, Culturally Modified Tree samples can be analyzed and compared using cross dating methods to ensure accuracy. Features that are no longer alive can also be analyzed, such as girdled trees, expired CMTs, aboriginally logged features which have been harvested, and cabins or other log type structures.

For more information on dendrochronology, and tree ring dating techniques, please contact us.