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Methods of dating trees

Most people who enter into studying tree rings typically come from one of several disciplines: Though dendrochronology also has uses for art historians, medieval studies graduates, classicists, ancient and historians due to the necessity to date some of the materials that the fields will be handling in their research projects.Typically, a bachelor's degree in any of the above disciplines are enough to study the data that comes out of dendrochronology.It is an accurate and reliable dating method with a large number of uses in environmental studies, archaeology and everything in between.The method has gone from strength to strength and is now a vital method across multiple disciplines.This chronometric technique is the most precise dating tool available to archaeologists who work in areas where trees are particularly responsive to annual variations in precipitation, such as the American Southwest. These cross-dated sequences, called chronologies, vary from one part of the world to the next. Douglass pioneered the science of tree rings in this 1929 article titled "The Secret of the Southwest Solved by Talkative Tree Rings." Includes numerous fascinating historic photographs. Douglass in the 1920s, dendrochronology—or tree-ring dating—involves matching the pattern of tree rings in archaeological wood samples to the pattern of tree rings in a sequence of overlapping samples extending back thousands of years.We can see this in any tree stump, a series of concentric rings circling the heart wood and fanning out towards the edge.Naturally, the outer rings represent the youngest years of the tree and you may notice that not all rings are uniform - some are thinner, some thicker, some light and some dark.

There are no degrees in dendrochronology because though it is useful across the board, the method itself is fairly limited.

From the 1980s, several seminal studies began at the University of Arizona (6), (7) studying the bristlecone pine of California and hohenheim oak in Germany.

Thanks to the work of these studies, we now have an 8,600 year chronology for the bristlecone pine and in the region of 12,500 year chronology for the oak.

These represent growth patterns that reflect the conditions of the season or the year (4) and it is these rings on which the entire study of dendrochronology is based.

Dendrochronology is the study of the growth of tree rings and we can learn much from their study.

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