The Interpretation of Archaeological Tree-Ring Dates

TitleThe Interpretation of Archaeological Tree-Ring Dates
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsAhlstrom, RVN
Academic DepartmentAnthropology
UniversityUniversity of Arizona

A comparative approach to analysis of the body of tree-ring data from prehistoric sites in the American Southwest provides information on patterns of wood use, the effectiveness of interpretive methods, and culture history. Requisite to this approach is an interpretive framework developed since the 1920’s by archaeologists versed in tree-ring analysis. Central to this scheme is indirect dating, by means of which dates derived for biological events of tree growth are applied to progressively more remote events in human history. A new contribution to this framework is an interpretive model that focuses on the shape of tree-ring date distributions.