Dendrochronology is a method of dating through the analysis of tree rings. While it has broad applications for geologists, historical environmentalists, and dendroecologists, dendrochronology has proven especially helpful to archaeologists. Prior to the 1930s, archaeologists could assign only relative dates to their material, using, for example, artifact typologies, an object's position relative to artifacts in other stratigraphy, or the artistic tradition with which the object was ornamented. Relative chronologies, however, are especially problematic for pre-historic sites, which often lack any written corroboration not only of the site in question, but also of the civilization.

Dendrochronology emerged from the American Andrew Ellicott Douglass's master chronology of yellow pine in the 1920s for the dating of prehistoric Indian cultures (such as the Anasazi) in the southwestern United ...

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