Dendrochronology is an example of what kind of dating

Dendrochronology, or Tree-ring dating, has emerged in the last decade as one of the most important dating tools for medieval carpentry and timberwork in general.Briefly stated, dendrochronology creates a statistically-based calendar from the meticulous measurement of the variation in width and character of annual tree rings.The trees are felled or bored through to obtain a core sample and the rings inside the bark are counted to determine the age of the tree. Thus, each ring width measured in millimeters can be assigned to a particular calendar year.The essential concept behind dendrochronology is based on the fact that trees of the same species grown at the same time and place will produce practically identical ring patterns.Hence, when detailed measurements of the variations in the width and character of the annual rings have been accumulated and classified for large numbers of trees from the same species and region, a chronology of ring widths derived from actual dimensions can be established.With the aid of databases, rapid exchange of information, increased interest in vernacular buildings, and the sponsorship of national organizations like English Heritage or the CRMH (Centre de Recherches sur les Monuments Historiques) in France and Belgium, a quantum leap has occurred in the number of monuments now dated by this method.

This is especially important for medieval architecture, since oak, above all other species was the premier building material for large-scale carpentry.A so-called master chronology must begin ultimately with living trees of a particular species, such as oak or pine.


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