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When scientists and archaeologists use tree rings for dating it is always a good idea to use multiple samples because the wood can sometimes be older or younger than the purpose or structure they were used for.Older pieces of wood were often reused, while new pieces of wood were often used to mend things.This means these pieces of wood may not give you the correct date even using dendrochronology, so it is very important to look at more than one set of tree rings.Maybe you’ve heard of carbon dating, and are wondering “Why do archaeologists use tree-ring dating at all? ” Yes, you could, but carbon dating (which our final blog post in the series will be about next week) always has an error range of as many as 50-100 years, meaning that we can only have a general idea of how old something is.

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Background, Context, and General Assessment Research conducted by archaeologists, prehistorians, historians of ancient cultures and civilizations, and art historians, among other scholars and scientists, has, in the main, four primary components: 1) description; 2) location, provenance, or provenience; 3) chronology; and 4) explanation, inference, and/or the testing of hypotheses.

We could debate the issue whether archaeology is a social science or is a humanities' discipline that employs paradigms, field and laboratory methods, and analytical techniques derived from the natural and physical sciences to verify artifact origins, discern cultural chronology, and interpret or infer human behaviors.

Nonetheless, chronology--the science of measuring time in fixed periods and of dating events and epochs and arranging them in their order of occurrence (e.g., the sequential ordering of events or the tabulations derived from this activity)--is a fundamental component of scientific and humanistic inquiry.

Basic textbooks on archaeological method and theory relate that there are two methods of establishing chronology: 1) methods of relative dating (ascertaining the correct order of the events) and 2) absolute or chronometric dating (quantifying the measurement of time in terms of years or other fixed units).

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