Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Chronometric dating method based on the principle that trees in dry climates tend to accumulate one growth ring per year, so the number of rings indicates the age of a tree in years. The width of a ring varies according to climate: as wet years result in broader rings. A specific tree-ring pattern can be compared with a sequential master chart of such rings for a given region, which typically covers the past 10 000 years or so. First applied in 1901.

See cambium.

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