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Unbroken Chronologies But before such achievements were possible, scientists needed to obtain complete tree-ring chronologies extending backward in time for thousands of years, in unbroken sequences.
Minsi Stuiver of the University of Washington, Seattle, have independently discovered an important relationship between the true age of a wooden object and its apparent age as determined by carbon dating.
He found that these panels are slightly curved rather than flat, and that they contain identifiable sequences of tree rings.
At first it seemed that the dates of many paintings, accurately known from historical records, failed to match their tree-ring dates. Baillie discovered that the tree-ring sequences of western Europe are six years out of phase with the comparable sequences of oak trees that grew in the East European Baltic states.
Scientists must use computers both in measuring individual tree rings and in finding patterns that match.'' Basically,'' Dr.
Baillie said, ''when you're building a chronology, you start out by measuring the widths and distribution of rings in living trees.