• Bridging the gaps in tree-ring records: Creating a high-resolution dendrochronological network for southeastern Europe

      Ważny, T.; Lorentzen, B.; Köse, N.; Akkemik, Ü.; Boltryk, Y.; Güner, T.; Kyncl, J.; Kyncl, T.; Nechita, C.; Sagaydak, S.; et al. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      Dendrochronological research in North-Central Europe and the East Mediterranean has produced networks of long regional oak (Quercus sp.) reference chronologies that have been instrumental in dating, provenancing, and paleoclimate research applications. However, until now these two important tree-ring networks have not been successfully linked. Oak forests and historical/archaeological sites in southeastern Europe provide the key for linking the North-Central European and East Mediterranean tree-ring networks, but previous dendrochronological research in this region has been largely absent. This article presents the initial results of a project, in which we have built oak tree-ring chronologies from forest sites and historical/archaeological sites along a north-south transect between Poland and northwestern Turkey, with the aim of linking the North-Central European and East Mediterranean tree-ring networks and creating a new pan-European oak data set for dendrochronological dating and paleoclimatic reconstruction. Correlation among tree-ring chronologies and the spatial distribution of their teleconnections are evaluated. The southeastern European chronologies provide a solid bridge between both major European dendrochronological networks. The results indicate that a dense network of chronologies is the key for bridging spatial and temporal gaps in tree-ring records. Dendrochronological sampling should be intensively continued in southeastern Europe because resources for building long oak chronologies in the region are rapidly disappearing.
    • Data management in dendroarchaeology using Tellervo

      Brewer, P.W. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      The Tellervo dendrochronological software builds upon the Tree-Ring Data Standard (TRiDaS) to provide a tool for recording and managing all manner of dendrochronological data. However, Tellervo is especially useful for dendroarchaeological research. The traditional file formats used in dendrochronology—and by association the applications that use them—have very limited and nonstandard methods for recording rich information about dendro samples and their context. Such information is especially important in dendroarchaeological research to ensure accurate conclusions are made. Tellervo is described here in the context of research carried out as part of the excavations of the Theodosian Harbor at Yenikapı, Istanbul.
    • Dendrochronological dating in Egypt: Work accomplished and future prospects

      Kuniholm, P.I.; Newton, M.; Sherbiny, H.; Bassir, H. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      We assess the state of and potential for expansion of dendroarchaeological research in Egypt. We also report previously unpublished findings, which we hope will assist with the new effort in constructing tree-ring chronologies in Egypt. In doing so, we explain briefly some of the problems and potential of the future enterprise.
    • Dendroclimatology in the Eastern Mediterranean

      Touchan, R.; Meko, D.M.; Anchukaitis, K.J. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      Dendroclimatology in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region has made important contributions to the understanding of climate variability on timescales of decades to centuries. These contributions, beginning in the mid-20th century, have value for resource management, archaeology, and climatology. A gradually expanding tree-ring network developed by the first author over the past 15 years has been the framework for some of the most important recent advances in EM dendroclimatology. The network, now consisting of 79 sites, has been widely applied in large-scale climatic reconstruction and in helping to identify drivers of climatic variation on regional to global spatial scales. This article reviews EM dendroclimatology and highlights contributions on the national and international scale.
    • Editors' Note

      Jull, A.J.T.; Leavitt, S.W. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
    • Potential for a new multimillennial tree-ring chronology from subfossil Balkan River oaks

      Pearson, C.L.; Ważny, T.; Kuniholm, P.I.; Botić, K.; Durman, A.; Seufer, K. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      A total of 272 oak (Quercus sp.) samples have been collected from large subfossil trees dredged from sediment deposited by the Sava and various tributary rivers in the Zagreb region of northwestern Croatia, and in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Measurement series of tree-ring widths from these samples produced 12 groups, totaling 3456 years of floating tree-ring chronologies spread through the last ca. 8000 years. This work represents the first step in creating a new, high-resolution resource for dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction in the Balkan region and potentially a means to bridge between the floating tree-ring chronologies of the wider Mediterranean region and the continuous long chronologies from central Europe.
    • Radiocarbon dating, mineralogy, and isotopic composition of hackberry endocarps from the Neolithic site of Aşıklı Höyük, central Turkey

      Quade, J.; Li, S.; Stiner, M.C.; Clark, A.E.; Mentzer, S.M.; Özbaşaran, M. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      Carbonate is abundant in many Neolithic tells and is a potentially useful archive for dating and climate reconstruction. In this paper, we focus on the mineralogy, radiocarbon dating, and stable isotope systematics of carbonate in hackberry endocarps. Hackberry fruits and seeds are edible in fresh and stored forms, and they were consumed in large quantities in many Neolithic sites in the Near East, including the site of our study, Aşıkli Höyük in central Anatolia, an Aceramic Neolithic tell occupied from about 9.4 to > 10.3 BP (7.4 to > 8.3 BCE). Detailed 14C age control provided by archaeological charcoal permits a test of the fidelity in 14C dating of hackberry endocarps. Modern endocarps and leaves yield fraction modern 14C values of 1.050–1.066, consistent with levels present in the atmosphere when sampled in 2009. On the other hand, archaeological endocarps yield consistently younger ages than associated charcoal by ca. 130 14C years (ca. 220 calendar years) for samples about 10,000 years old. We speculate this is caused by the slight addition of calcite or recrystallization to calcite in the endocarp, as detected by scanning electron microscopy. Subtle addition or replacement of calcite by primary aragonite is not widely recognized in the 14C community, even though similar effects are reported from other natural carbonates such as shell carbonate. This small (but consistent) level of contamination supports the usefulness of endocarps in dating where other materials like charcoal are lacking. Before dating, however, hackberries should be carefully screened for mineralogical preservation and context. We examined the carbon and oxygen isotopic systematics of the fossil endocarps to try to establish potential source areas for harvesting. Most of the hackberries are enriched in 18O compared to local water sources, indicating that they were drawing on highly evaporated soil water, rather than the local (perched and regional) water table sampled in our study. Isotopic evidence therefore suggests that most but not all of the hackberries were harvested from nearby mesas well above the local streams and seeps fed by the water table.
    • The Interaction of Climate Change and Agency in the Collapse of Civilizations c. 2300–2000 BC

      Wiener, M.H. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      Human history has been marked by major episodes of climate change and human response, sometimes accompanied by independent innovations. In the Bronze Age, the sequencing of causes and reactions is dependent in part on dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating. This paper explores the interaction of a major, prolonged desiccation event between c. 2300 and 2000 BC and human agency including migrations, the displacement of trading networks, warfare, the appearance of weapons made of bronze, and the first appearance of sailing vessels in the Mediterranean.
    • Tree Rings and the chronology of ancient Egypt

      Creasman, P.P. (Tree-Ring Society, 2014)
      A fundamental aspect of ancient Egyptian history remains unresolved: chronology. Egyptologists (and researchers in related fields that synchronize their studies with Egypt) currently rely on a variety of insufficiently precise methodologies (king lists, radiocarbon dating, etc.) from which to derive seemingly “absolute” dates. The need for genuine precision has been recognized for a century, as has the potential solution: dendrochronology. This manuscript presents a case for further progress toward the construction of a tree-ring chronology for ancient Egypt.