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The more ancient part of the chronology was constructed from oak logs preserved in peat beds, for example.
The European oak chronology provided an excellent check of the American dendrochronologies. Ring-width patterns are determined by local environmental factors, such as temperature and rainfall.
Also, oak trees and bristlecone pine or Douglas fir trees are very different.
Bristlecones, for example, are evergreens which grow very slowly, at high altitude, in a cold, arid environment, and live for thousands of years.
We could discuss the details of pattern-matching technique or the probability of error, but there is another, more quantitative way, to determine if the long tree-ring chronologies are accurate or not.
One can use the amount of radiocarbon in the individual tree rings.
The patterns in America could not bias the work on patterns in Europe, because the specimens came from two different local climates, separated by an ocean.
The annual growth rings vary in thickness each year depending on environmental factors such as rainfall.The pattern of radiocarbon in the rings showed a maximum divergence, even at very old ages, of only around 40 years.This objective, quantitative test of dendrochronology showed it to be reliable and accurate.These measurements demonstrated the basic validity of the science of dendrochronology.
If the method had a large component of random error due to inaccurate pattern matching, how could such detailed agreement between the radiocarbon in the rings of two independent dendrochronologies be possible?
The following article is abstracted from The Biblical Chronologist Volume 5, Number 1. The science of constructing chronologies from tree rings is called dendrochronology. Modern trees are known to produce one growth ring per year. (The idea that ancient trees grew more than one ring per year will be discussed below.) Therefore, by coring a living tree and counting rings from the present backwards, it is possible to determine the year in which each ring grew. The bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California live to extremely old ages, some in excess of 4,000 years.