Correspondence in tree-ring and thermolumines cence dating: A protohistoric navajo pilot study

Douglas D. Dykeman, Ronald H. Towner, James K. Feathers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Dating of early Navajo residence and special use sites, ca. A.D. 1500-1775, has been hampered by a lack of datable materials and poor precision in radiocarbon results. Methods described in this paper use materials biquitous at early Navajo sites in northwestern New Mexico and employ a dual strategy involving tree-ring dating of nonarchitectural wood and thermolumi nescence assay of ceramics and burned rock. Comparison of samples obtained from a number of sites near the Morris Site 1 pueblito indicates remarkable correspondence between tree-ring and thermoluminescence results. These techniques are argued to have considerable reliability for relatively recent cultural manifestations such as these early Navajo sites. Thermoluminescence in particular may be useful in protohistoric contexts where tree-ring dating is unavailable. The thermoluminescence technique has the added benefit of directly dating pottery sherds, which can be useful for developing ceramic cross-dating sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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