• Preface: An Introduction To Dendroarchaeology In The Southeastern United States

      Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee–Knoxville (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
      Dendroarchaeology has a discontinuous history in the Southeastern United States, mostly because of misconceptions (the Southeast is too mesic), bad sampling practices (no standard protocol exists for preserving prehistoric wood samples), and a lack of reference tree-ring chronologies long enough to date wood from the abundant prehistoric sites. The majority of archaeological applications in recent years has focused on the dating of historic sites and structures to verify the documented year(s) of construction largely in response to requests from historical agencies to verify when a particular structure was built. We have found that most structures are one to two generations younger than their reported date(s) of construction, but most agencies find this information useful as tree-ring dating lends historical credibility to any site. The future of dendroarchaeology in the Southeast is encouraging but many more trained experts are needed to meet the demand of dating historical structures and sites. Furthermore, once a sampling protocol becomes standardized for retrieving wood from prehistoric sites, the potential for absolute dating of these sites is enormous given that abundant wood is archived in locations throughout the Southeast.
    • Tree-Ring Dating Of Old-Growth Longleaf Pine (Pinus Palustris Mill.) Logs From An Exposed Timber Crib Dam, Hope Mills, North Carolina, U.S.A.

      Van De Gevel, Saskia L.; Hart, Justin L.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Robinson, Kenneth W.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee; Department of Anthropology, Wake Forest University (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
      On 26 May 2003, intense rainfall from a series of thunderstorms in eastern North Carolina caused flooding that eventually destroyed the concrete dam in Hope Mills, draining Hope Mills Lake, and revealing a formerly submerged and buried structure that was identified as a timber crib dam. Inspection revealed these logs to be old-growth longleaf pines, which are now rare on the coastal plain landscape. Our primary objective was to develop a new multi-century longleaf pine tree-ring chronology by crossdating the tree rings from sections extracted from logs in the crib dam with an anchored tree-ring chronology created from nearby living longleaf pine trees. We also examined the climatic response in the longleaf pine trees to evaluate their potential for reconstructing climate. Using tree-ring measurements obtained from old-growth longleaf pines found at a nearby church, we were able to date the rings on 21 series representing 14 logs from the crib dam, spanning the years 1597 to 1825. Distorted sapwood in many of the logs prevented us from finding absolute cutting dates and lessened the strength of correlation during the period of overlap between the church series and crib dam series. Human disturbances, specifically related to the naval stores industry, likely influenced the growth-ring patterns of the crib dam pine samples, as well. Correlation analyses between the longleaf pine chronology and temperature, precipitation, Palmer Drought Severity Indices, and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures showed a significant response to cool and wet spring months.