Tree ring dating services
It is the science of assigning calendar-year dates to the growth rings of trees, and Colorado figures prominently in its development and application in archaeology and other disciplines.
Tree-ring dating provides scientists with three types of information: temporal, environmental, and behavioral.
Ring patterns from newly collected specimens, such as those from archaeological sites, are then compared to the master chronology in order to provide a tree-ring date for that specimen. First, tree-ring dating is about matching patterns, not counting rings.
Second, sample sizes must be large in order to understand tree-growth variability in a given region.
This means these pieces of wood may not give you the correct date even using dendrochronology, so it is very important to look at more than one set of tree rings.
Maybe you’ve heard of carbon dating, and are wondering “Why do archaeologists use tree-ring dating at all? ” Yes, you could, but carbon dating (which our final blog post in the series will be about next week) always has an error range of as many as 50-100 years, meaning that we can only have a general idea of how old something is.
For example, if there is a drought in the area the tree might produce a very narrow ring, but if it is warm and sunny, with just enough rain, the ring might be thicker.
The method was developed in the early 20 century by A. The thickness of the ring changes each year based on the growing season, changes in the climate in the weather, illnesses, and things like that.
With fall coming to a close, there is no better time to talk about tree rings and their use in archaeology.
You probably know that trees have rings, which you can see and count when you look at a stump after a tree has been cut, but did you know that the rings of a tree let you know how old it is?
He introduced the American public to the technique in a December 1929 article in entitled “Talkative Tree-Rings and the Tales They Tell.” In that article, Douglass published construction dates for six cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park (MVNP) in southwestern Colorado, including Balcony House, Cliff Palace, Oak Tree House, Spring House, Spruce Tree House, and Square Tower House.
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 and occupied in the mid-1200s.