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A 7,272-year tree-ring chronology for western Europe


Long tree-ring chronologies provide a unique calendrical record that is of value for archaeological dating, climatic and post-glacial studies. They also form a standard for the calibration of the radiocarbon time scale. The world's longest continuous tree-ring chronology is based on the bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata and Pinus longaeva) growing in the White Mountains of California1–3. The great age of living and sub-fossil trees of this species enabled a continuous tree-ring sequence of 8,681 years to be established, providing absolutely dated wood samples for the first radiocarbon calibration4,5. We have now established an unbroken west European tree-ring sequence spanning the past 7,272 years.

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Pilcher, J., Baillie, M., Schmidt, B. et al. A 7,272-year tree-ring chronology for western Europe. Nature 312, 150–152 (1984).

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