Chronology Project


To fully understand how events occurred in the Orontes Watershed, it’s vital to known when events happened.

CRANE is creating a robust and high-resolution absolute timescale for the Orontes Watershed that spans the Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 3500-500 BCE).  Headed by Sturt W. Manning (Cornell University), the timescale will draw on dendrochronology, dendro-radiocarbon-wiggle-matching, and radiocarbon dating.

Charcoal (and other organic) samples will help build a high-resolution chronology and paleoclimatic reconstruction. Data from radiocarbon samples will be combined with detailed archaeological data, such as stratigraphy, ceramics and architecture, to develop an integrated chronology for the period.

This integrated, sequence-based approach will permit resolution to the decade – a much greater chronological resolution than is presently available. The integration of these various absolute and relative dating efforts (absolute refers to an actual time an event occurred, while relative dating places events before or after other events) will provide the precise chronological framework needed to build a computational environment capable of facilitating the complex analyses CRANE is aiming for.


• Wood and charcoal samples are being collected from archaeological sites in the study area from Bronze Age, Iron Age and immediately

post-Iron Age contexts.

• The primary aim will be to build dendro-sequences/chronologies for specific sites and hopefully the wider study area. The focus will be on

sequences ending in outer tree-rings (sapwood or bark), providing data directly relevant to the human use of the wood in question.



• Dendro-14C 'wiggle-matching' correlates radiocarbon dates from floating tree-ring time series with the absolutely-placed 14C time series

offered by standard international radiocarbon calibration curve datasets.

• Collecting samples from sites in the study area will allow us to create a continuous sequence of tree rings which can then be used for