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Title: The use of tree-ring widths as a means of dating timbers from historical sites
Author: Bridge, M. C.
Awarding Body: Portsmouth Polytechnic
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 1982
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Techniques for the extraction of cores from dry historical timbers have been developed. A microcomputerbased ring-width measuring and recording system has been successfully designed and operated. Historical oak structures from the south of England have yielded site chronologies from various historical periods, which cross-match with reference material from throughout the British Isles. These show that, in some circumstances, it is possible to date structures from only a few samples. The historical chronologies did not provide sufficient evidence to be able to either accept or reject the oak-growth model proposed by Fletcher (1978), but they indicate that it is not likely to be valid. Studies on living trees from three sites in East Anglia show that cross-matching between sites from several parts of the British Isles is possible. They suggest that there is no association between the distance apart and the level of agreement either between sites, or between individual trees within a wood. An association between the level of agreement between two sites, and the site conditions in respect of soils, re1 ief and annual precipitation levels is however, indicated. The Fritts model for the production of ~complacent and sensitive ring-width series, is assessed as being over simpl ified. Investigations of the sapwood characteristics of the living trees give lower values for the mean number of sapwood rings per tree than publ ished figures. Significant correlations were found between both the number of sapwood rings, and the width of the sapwood, with the tree's mean ring-width. The growth of standard trees failed in a study to show any affects due to coppicing of the surrounding underwood. An investigation into the affects of insect defo1 iation on the magnitude of the annual ring-width suggests that there is an associ~tion between the severity of the attack, and the subsequent ring-width in the same growth season.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology Archaeology