Wood anatomy and tree cores will be collected from archaeological site material (building structures, drydocks, ship timbers) and living trees in the Niagara Region. We aim to collect samples for the different species of pine, oak, red oak and burr oak found in the region; these will be visually cross dated and then verified. Standardized site chronologies will be developed for each site for the different species.
For analysis of archaeological timbers we will develop a floating chronology to date shipyard samples, cross dating this chronology with the living tree chronologies we develop for the Niagara Region, to determine the age of the shipyard timbers. Chronologies that extend further in the past will be preferred, to increase the chances of time overlap with samples from the shipyard. Further pre-screening will include development of correlation fields between Niagara Region tree ring chronologies and those from other parts of the Great Lakes to insure that existing tree ring chronologies, share similar growth trends and will be useful for cross dating purposes.
Determining the provenance of timbers from archaeological sites enables reconstructing historical trends and developments. Through advances in the field of isotope dendroprovenancing, we will identify the geographic origin of wood. These methods are widely used in a number of dendro-archaeological projects throughout the world with much success. Determining the provenance of the Shickluna Shipyard samples will comprise the use of isotope dendro-provenancing methods including strontium (Sr) isotopic values and the use of stable carbon isotopes. This will enable us to narrow down the origin of timber, providing a more specific geographic position.