Dendrochronology And Past Human Activity- A Review Of Advances Since 2000
AffiliationDepartment of Wood Science and Technology, University of Ljubljana
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AbstractSince 2000, important advances have been made worldwide in the dendrochronology of wood associated with past human activity and cultural heritage. This review summarizes this recent progress in regions with a longstanding tradition of using tree-ring methods, such as Europe and the USA, as well as others such as Asia where developments have been particularly rapid in recent years. The oldest wood generally originates from archaeological sites and the largest amount of wood for research comes from historical structures such as monumental and vernacular architecture. In addition to construction wood, wooden doors, ceilings, furniture, objects of art (such as panel paintings and sculptures), Medieval books, musical instruments and boats can also be utilized. Dating is the first and crucial step of the research and is often difficult even in regions where dendrochronology has a long history of use. In addition to absolute dates, dendrochronology has provided extra information that has enhanced historical knowledge from other sources. Behavioral and environmental inferencing and dendroprovenancing are becoming major areas of research in regions with well-developed networks of reference chronologies and active cooperation among laboratories. The online Bibliography of Dendrochronology and information from conferences have been indispensable in this compilation, because much work related to dendrochronology in cultural heritage is still published in ‘‘gray’’ literature, making it difficult to access.