The Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory is an independent tree-ring dating lab with close links for training with the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford University, as well as the Scientific Dating Section, English Heritage. In 1986 work initially concentrated in the City and County of Oxford, but now covers most of Southern England, West Midlands, and Wales. There have also been incursions into France and a respectable group of buildings dated in America. The Lab is currently undertaking a number of county-wide research projects in Shropshire, Hampshire, and Somerset, as well as Wales and Jersey. These are generally organised by one person or group and have the advantage of producing a number of dated chronologies for a small region, thus allowing better results to be obtained through the multiplicity of local chronologies thus produced. Other work is for private house holders and English Heritage, as well as for Oxford Archaeology.
We concentrate primarily on the dating and analysis of standing timber structures, although a substantial medieval wet wood project from Reading is almost completed. The lab has developed a system for extracting miniature cores, opening up a whole new field of dating thin panels and art-historical objects such as doors and chests. This has been successfully employed in dating the medieval chests at Magdalen College, Oxford, and doors from the Tower of London, Salisbury Cathedral, and the north door St. Mary's Kempley, Gloucestershire.
The Laboratory follows a rigorous publication policy, and have published all buildings dated each year, first through the Ancient Monuments Laboratory, and later independently.
Other areas of research currently underway includes the analysis of cedar, aspen, and junipers from the Sierra-Nevada mountains of California, USA and which has culminated in the production of a 3500-year replicated chronology for Western Juniper.
New Report Changes History:- An historic mid Wales church has given up 400-year-old secret thanks to new dating techniques