Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Advisor

Hudgins, Carter L.

Committee Member

Marks, Richard

Committee Member

Ford, Frances H.

Committee Member

Muldrow, Ralph

Abstract

Architectural historians and historic preservation practitioners have turned with increasing frequency to dendrochronology to determine dates of construction for houses and other timber structures for which the application of traditional dating techniques, chief among them historical documentation and stylistic analysis, failed. Since the advent of modern, statistically-driven tree-ring dating, analysis of the application of dendrochronology on the eastern region of the United States reveals that the use of this scientific technique has been unevenly applied and is most often used in New England and the Chesapeake. While the techniques used by American dendrochronologists are generally similar, practitioners have failed to adopt a consistent methodology. This study is an assessment of the current state of dendrochronology in the eastern United States and a recordation of available information on locations of dendrochronologically dated buildings. Analysis of dendrochronology reports for 475 buildings conducted by seven labs and consultants reveal expanding application that has produced greater clarity and precision in regional architectural histories.

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