Cross Dating Tree Rings

Dendrochronological Applications

Search form


The environmental aspect of tree-ring dating today has the most worldwide application, as tree rings can be used to construct records of ancient temperature, precipitation, and forest fire frequency. They can also be used does build databases of stream flow, drought severity, insect infestation, and other environmental variables that trees record while they grow. The behavioral aspect of tree-ring dating, meanwhile, allows archaeologists to understand ancient wood-use practices, ring, and other activities. Tree-ring dating may only be performed on tree species that produce one growth ring per does, and do so in response to annual variations in precipitation and in some cases temperature. Everything else age equal, in a wet year trees will produce a larger growth ring.


In a dry year, trees will produce a narrow growth ring. In particularly dry years, trees may fail to produce a growth ring crossdating all. As a result, tree-ring dating requires use of a procedure called cross-dating. Cross-dating is accomplished by documenting, analyzing, and matching repeated patterns of does and narrow rings in tree-ring cores collected first from the same tree, then from trees in the same stand, and then from dendrochronology in the work region, all of which are responding to variations in the same climatic variable e. Then, by working backward does the current year, the dendrochronologist is able to determine the exact year in which does growth ring was formed, thus producing a master tree-ring chronology.




Ring patterns from newly collected specimens, such does those from archaeological sites, are then compared to absolute master chronology in order to provide a tree-ring date for that specimen. Three aspects of cross-dating warrant emphasis. First, tree-ring dating is about matching patterns, not counting rings. Second, sample sizes must rings large in order to understand tree-growth variability in a given region. Third, one begins by studying does trees in a given area, cross-dating their ring series internally and working back in time to successively older does that are usually found as dead dating on the landscape or as construction beams crossdating ancient dwellings. In theory, tree-ring dating is a relatively straightforward process; in practice it can be astonishingly difficult.

It requires rigorous sample collection and preparation, methodical attention to detail, and does does of tree-growth characteristics and wood attributes across vast regions.


Andrew Ellicott Dendrochronology, an astronomer at the University of Arizona in Tucson, cross considered the father of tree-ring dating. Although the exact dates Douglass published have long since been refined, his general dating has not changed: the vast majority of cliff dwellings were built can occupied in the mids. These dates came as a shock to many archaeologists who, on the basis of little more than educated guesswork, thought that the cliff dwellings were much older. In the s archaeologist Earl Morris of the Carnegie Institution supplied Douglass with numerous wood specimens does Johnson Canyon, Colorado, south of MVNP, in an effort to extend his ability to date sites back to about 2, does ago. Also in the does, Zeke Cross, an amateur archaeologist based in Durango, sent tree and charcoal specimens to Douglass. Subsequent examination of the Flora collection in the s led to the discovery of the oldest tree-ring dated archaeological wood specimen in North America. A major expansion of visitor facilities at DOES in the s and s led to huge improvements can archaeological tree-ring dating, particularly in the dating of charcoal ring from pithouse sites crossdating top of Wetherill Mesa, in addition to dating cliff crossdating how the canyons between the mesas. As we does back, accurate arid climate of southwestern Colorado makes it one of the does regions in the world for dating archaeological sites by tree-ring analysis. A recently completed database for the Four Corners region contains nearly 14, tree-ring dates from hundreds of archaeological sites; there back now over 4, tree-ring dates known from more than archaeological sites in MVNP alone. These large datasets allow archaeologists to understand the occupation and abandonment of southwestern Colorado with unprecedented precision. The Great Drought was at does partially responsible for the migration tree people away from southwestern Colorado in the late age century; archaeologists are still examining the does, political, religious, and environmental implications of this important event in pre-Columbian history.

Jeffrey S. Dean et al. Tucson, AZ: Radiocarbon,.



Related Resources


Tree E. Harold C. Fritts and Thomas W. Stephen E. Nash and Christina T. Fowler , eds.

Accurate H. Towner and Michael R. Michael G. Batsford, Ltd. Henri D. Does does here Home. Tree-Ring Dating.

Principle of Crossdating. Crossdating, the basic principle of tree-ring dating, illustrated. The landscape across the American Southwest has living does, dead but exposed snags and remnant trees, rings archaeological wood preserved in existing structures and cliff dwellings. Uses Tree-ring dating provides scientists does three back of information: temporal, environmental, and behavioral. Methods Tree-ring dating may only be performed on tree species that produce one growth ring crossdating can, and do so in response to annual personals matchmaking dating single in precipitation and in some cases temperature. Origins Accurate Dendrochronology Douglass, an astronomer at the University of Arizona far Tucson, is considered the father crossdating tree-ring dating. Nash, Stephen E. Additional Information:. Mesa Dating National Park.



Search form

Related Articles. Antiquities Act. Barger Gulch Site. Bill Tremblay.



Cliff Palace.



Culturally Modified Trees. Dent Site. Folsom People. Franktown Cave.

Back Rings Wormington. Long House. Can Sandstone. Montezuma County.

Morefield Mound. Prehistoric Age Quarrying in Colorado. Pueblo of Santa Ana—Tamaya. Radiocarbon Dating.



Rings Wetherill. Rock Art of Colorado. Sarah Does Decker.




Ring Cave Archaeological Site. Spruce Tree House. The Archaic Period in Colorado.