Joint event: Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and School of Anthropology --- A 2364-year oak chronology for the Aegean and its implications

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 12:00 to 13:00
Peter Kuniholm
Research Professor LTRR; Professor Emeritus and Former Director, Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology Cornell University,
Calendar Status: 

Forty years of dendrochronological collecting in the Eastern Mediterranean have until now been stymied by the lack of suitable timbers from the 500 years on either side of the Year 1.  Roman buildings have plenty of beam-beds but no preserved timbers.  Recently an enormous $5 billion metro/subway project through downtown Istanbul/Constantinople has provided the missing link: some 4000 oak pilings from a long series of Byzantine and Late Roman docks and other structures.  Three long chronologies, adding up to 1441 years so far, have enabled us to fill a number of gaps and to build a continuous chronology back to the year 357 B.C.  We expect to be able to extend this further into the past in the very near future after the samples collected in Summer 2012 have been measured.  Dozens of monuments--some of them sampled and measured as far back as 1974 but never dated--now have absolute dates.  The prospect of linking to a 2009-year B.C. chronology is better than ever.