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Tree ring dating and archaeology

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.

Birch and willow are not used at all because of the erratic nature of their growth cycle.Before this, their ancestors would have a recognisable tree form, believed to be that of a giant type of fern that began the process of developing a woody stem.Wood helps the developing tree to stay strong as it gets older and grows upwards, building new branches and drinking in more sunlight for photosynthesis reproduction.They live in all sorts of conditions too: in temperate and tropical areas and in arid locations, from mountain landscapes to the rainforests of the equator and the temperate uplands of Scandinavia, they are everywhere.They are used for decoration in parks and gardens all over the world.They come in all shapes and sizes from the smallest saplings up to the colossal redwoods of North America - it could be said that we take them for granted, yet they are vital to teaching us about many aspects of our past. Before then, tree ancestors may have looked slightly tree-like but they were not trees in any proper sense.The dawn of the age of true trees came with the evolution of wood in the late Devonian period.This enormous and comprehensive data set is fundamental to both European and North American studies of the palaeoclimate and prehistory (8).There is one major drawback to dendrochronology and that is that we can only date the rings in the tree.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.


  1. Tree-ring dating is formally known as “dendrochronology” literally, the study of tree time. It is the science of assigning calendar-year dates to the growth.

  2. Dendrochronology What Tree Rings Tell Us. Dendrochronology is the study of data from tree ring. Archaeology - for the purpose of dating materials and.

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