Dendrochronology dating method
This allows different dendrochronologies to be compared over multiple years to see if they show the same pattern of radiocarbon fluctuations.
Early in the history of the science of dendrochronology, a tree-ring chronology using bristlecone pines from the White Mountains of California was developed.
None of these things are true of the oaks used in the European chronology.
They are deciduous, grow relatively rapidly, at low altitudes, in relatively warm, moist environments, and live for only hundreds of years.
The internal agreement of these American dendrochronologies confirmed that dendrochronologists are able to accurately match ring patterns.
But another independent check came along which was even better than the Douglas fir chronology.
But for the specimen to be useful in extending the tree-ring chronology, the absolute calendar age of its rings must be determined.
The annual growth rings vary in thickness each year depending on environmental factors such as rainfall.
The rings in a non-living specimen can be counted to determine the number of years the specimen spans.Some critics of dendrochronology suggest that the process of pattern-matching is highly error-prone.Are the long tree-ring chronologies inaccurate due to the inability of dendrochronologists to accurately match tree-ring patterns?These measurements demonstrated the basic validity of the science of dendrochronology.If the method had a large component of random error due to inaccurate pattern matching, how could such detailed agreement between the radiocarbon in the rings of two independent dendrochronologies be possible?
Generally, it is not possible to construct a complete sequence of tree rings back through the historical periods using only living trees.