The Balkan-Aegean Dendrochronology Project

Tree-Ring Research for the Study of SE-European and East Mediterranean Civilizations

History needs dates. Chronology is the backbone of archaeology as well as of history. For without a time framework there can be no established sequence of events, no clear picture of what happened in the past, no knowledge of which significant development came first” Renfrew, 1991 in James et al. (1991).
The primary goal of this project is absolute dating of key events shaping the history of the East-Mediterranean cultures by means of dendrochronology to systematize the historic chronologies. This strategic target will be achieved by the development of an independent and objective “biological archive” – a set of continuous, absolute, tree-ring chronologies as a solid foundation for the re-interpretation of historic chronologies and as a basis for studying both the environmental and cultural history of the Balkans, Aegean and of their neighborhoods in the Holocene. The region together with adjacent areas offers a special case for long-term, high resolution, investigation of the relationships between climate and human responses. Turning points of western civilization, such as climate extremes or volcanic catastrophic events (e.g. Thera), may be dated with annual precision.

The Balkan-Aegean Dendrochronology project is continuation of Aegean Dendrochronology project of Peter Kuniholm. Our project is based on the results of 20 years work of P. Kuniholm who developed the foundation of East Mediterranean Dendrochronology. Our mission is to strengthen this structure and to link East-Mediterranean tree-ring chronologies to Central European.

Within BAD project study area is extended to the North, to the Balkans as an integral part of history and pre-history of the Old World. Our aim is to:

-absolute dating of existing BC tree-ring chronologies, which remain still floating

-secure dating of Thira eruption, the key event in the Old World’s history. 


The Balkan-Aegean Dendrochronology Project