The dramatic development of European oak chrologies over the last ten years parallels and supplements the bristlecone-pine chrology in the United States. Dendrochrologists can w provide a wood sample - a time capsule of biological material - for any calender date over the last seven millennia from two continents. For archaeologists, resigned to the imprecision of radiocarbon dating, the implications are profound. For the first time it is possible to establish precise dates for prehistoric events. Similarly, we have an independent and scientifically objective way of testing historical accounts, such as the traditional Egyptian chrology. Equally fundamental are the insights provided by the related disciplines of dendroecology and dendroclimatology. The Bronze Age eruption of Santorini and the AD 540 'event' are explored as fascinating case studies. Drawing on a further decade of research by himself and others, Mike Baille t only brings the pre-1980 story up to date, but demonstrates the wide and exciting applications of this comparatively new science.
Professor Mike Baille works at the Palaeoecology Centre, Queen's University, Belfast, one of Europe's leading research institutes for dendrochronological studies. He has written many articles on the subject and his 1982 book Tree-ring Dating and Archaeology described the early development of this revolutionary new science.