Can dendrochronology solve the Santorini/Thera question? State of the art AD2012

Category: Time:
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 12:00 to 13:00
Room: Speaker:
Dr. Tomasz Wazny
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona
Ron Towner

Since 19th century, the date of the Minoan eruption of volcano Thera in the Southern Aegean Sea has been one of the most challenging historical questions in Aegean archaeology. This catastrophic event became the most important time-marker for East-Mediterranean civilizations. Recent application of the scientific dating methods generated new data, but confrontation with robust historical chronologies based on kings lists, documents, astronomic observations, etc., revealed weaknesses of radiocarbon and ice-core analysis. It appears that only dendrochronology, which provides continuous annual tree-ring sequences beginning at present, and is independent of other sources of information, can solve the problem in the coming years. I present here the main directions of dendrochronological "expansion" in the region in the last two years and the situation at the end of 2012.TOMASZ WAŻNY is an associate research professor in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona and professor in the Institute for Study, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. In 2012 he moved with Aegean Dendrochronology Project from Cornell University to join the Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology and the Environment. Tomasz Ważny received a PhD in wood biology from the University of Hamburg, Germany in 1990, and was a Fulbright scholar at Cornell University in 2006. His major research interest is dendrochronology and its applications to dendroarchaeology and dendroprovenancing methods in particular. Since 2006 he has focused his research on dendrochronology of the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.