The study of tree-rings (dendrochronology) provides a key resource for determining dates for archaeological and other contexts where wood/charcoal is present (and so cultural chronology), and for investigating past climate and environment. In the central and east Mediterranean region, Peter Ian Kuniholm is synonymous with dendrochronology and dendroarchaeology. He led the creation of numerous tree-ring chronologies for the region (from forests, buildings, archaeological sites), and demonstrated the enormous potential and power of dendrochronology to a range of topics.
This rich collection of papers by an international authorship, deriving from a conference held at Cornell University in honor of Peter Kuniholm, provides wide-ranging and up-to-date discussions and assessments on a number of key topics concerning the chronology and environment of the central to east Mediterranean and Near East and the field of dendrochronology. This includes controversy: a set of papers addressing the current debate over the dating of the great Santorini/Thera volcanic eruption in the mid second millennium BC; famous sites and finds, including a report on the absolute dating of the extraordinary Uluburun ship of the late 14th century BC; papers concerned with the dating and interpretation of important sites and topics such as Gordion, Akrotiri on Thera, the rise and fall of the Hittite empire, and the Anatolian Iron Age.
Other papers explore the history, scope and potential of dendrochronology in the Mediterranean region. The debate over what happened around AD536-540 is also examined, along with papers exploring the relevance of dendrochemical approaches to identifying past environmental events (such as major volcanic eruptions), and a review of work on timberline dynamics and climate change in Greece.
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