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Using tomography and dendrochronology to determine the age of the recovered bowsprit

Author(s): Carol Griggs

Year: 2014

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The culturally modified timber, possibly of a ship, buried near Washington Island, between Green Bay and Lake Michigan has been found to be an oak. Dendrochonological analysis is underway to place the shipbuilding of this artifact in time. Sampling the wood for this purpose was limited due to the wet condition of the timber, but tomography (CT scans) will be utilized to reveal the wood structure and tree-ring boundaries. CDendro and CooRecorder software will be used to measure the tree rings. Dating the tree-ring sequence in time depends on the existence of and access to oak chronologies from the possible sources of the wood. If we can successfully date the tree rings, then the exact felling date will be determined if no rings had been removed in shaping the timber, or during its years in the lake. However, a calendar date of the outermost ring in the bowsprit will give an ‘earliest date’ for possible shipbuilding and thus more concrete evidence of whether the timber is from the long-lost Griffin ship.

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Using tomography and dendrochronology to determine the age of the recovered bowsprit. Carol Griggs. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436831)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-30,05

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America