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It was now possible to assign a calendar date to archaeological sites in the American southwest for over 1000 years.
Determining calendar rates using dendrochronology is a matter of matching known patterns of light and dark rings to those recorded by Douglass and his successors.
Dendrochronology has been extended in the American southwest to 322 BC, by adding increasingly older archaeological samples to the record.
There are dendrochronological records for Europe and the Aegean, and the International Tree Ring Database has contributions from 21 different countries.
Unfortunately, the wood from the pueblos did not fit into Douglass's record, and over the next 12 years, they searched in vain for a connecting ring pattern, building a second prehistoric sequence of 585 years.
In 1929, they found a charred log near Show Low, Arizona, that connected the two patterns.
The basis for stratigraphy seems quite intuitive today, but its applications were no less than earth-shattering to archaeological theory.For example, JJA Worsaae used this law to prove the Three Age System.For more information on stratigraphy and how it is used in archaeology, see the Stratigraphy glossary entry.Many of the first efforts of archaeology grew out of historical documents--for example, Schliemann looked for Homer's Troy, and Layard went after the Biblical Ninevah--and within the context of a particular site, an object clearly associated with the site and stamped with a date or other identifying clue was perfectly useful. Outside of the context of a single site or society, a coin's date is useless.And, outside of certain periods in our past, there simply were no chronologically dated objects, or the necessary depth and detail of history that would assist in chronologically dating civilizations.