Dendrochronology vs carbon dating

This says nothing about either when the particular tree was felled, nor about the date it was used (8).In past times, good quality timber may have been reused (10) and for the archaeologist, it is important to check other records against the new data.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.

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.In each growth season, trees create a new ring that reflects the weather conditions of that growth season.On its own, a single record can tell us only a little about the environmental conditions of the time in a specific year of the growth of the tree, and of course the age of the tree at felling, but when we put hundreds and thousands of tree-ring records together, it can tell us a lot more.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.

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We can date organic archaeological material and create a chronological record against which artefacts can be dated (3).

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