Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


26 December 2014

The olive branch chronology stands irrespective of tree-ring counting

Walter L. Friedrich, Bernd Kromer, Michael Friedrich, Jan Heinemeier, Tom Pfeiffer & Sahra Talamo Antiquity 88:339 (March 2014), 274-277

From the introduction

Cherubini et al. question the reliability of identifying annual growth increments in olive trees, and therefore voice caution against the result of the wiggle-match of the four sections of a branch of an olive tree to the 14C calibration curve. Friedrich et al. (2006) were well aware of the problematic density structure of olive trees, and therefore assigned rather wide error margins of up to 50 per cent to the ring count. This still resulted in a late seventeenth century BC youngest date for the modelled age range of the outermost section of wood (95.4% probability). One can even remove any constraint from ring counting altogether and model the four radial sections as a simple ordered sequence, in which only the relative position is used as prior information, in other words that outer sections are younger than inner ones in a radial section.


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