Joel (or is it Robert?),
You wrote: I apologize if I missed it but I am interested in the tree ring
data and I was wondering if you had given a reference for climatological
interpretation of the Mesopotanian region based on tree rings. I would like
to get the original articles for my own collection.
One of the articles I originally linked to had a link to this article:
It says in part:
Mike Baillie is Professor of Palaeoecology at Queens University, Belfast,
Northern Ireland. He is an authority on tree rings and their use in dating
ancient events (every year, a tree adds a "ring" to its trunk as it grows -
good years are represented by thick rings while bad years are represented by
thin rings). He conducted a complete (and continuous) review of annual global
tree growth patterns over the last 5,000 years and found that there were five
major environmental shocks that were witnessed worldwide. These shocks were
reflected in the ring widths being very thin. Wanting to know more, he turned
to human historical records, and found that the years in question (between
2354 and 2345 BC, 1628 and 1623 BC, 1159 and 1141 BC, 208 and 204 BC, and AD
536 and 545) all corresponded with "dark ages" in civilisation.
The minimal growth of trees around 2350 BC has been associated in the past
with the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. Yet, the period in question is
also associated with floods, the creation of new lakes, and even the start of
Chinese history. Furthermore, Marie-Agnes Courty, an archaeologist from
France, has claimed new data regarding a catastrophe said to have occurred in
the Middle East. Samples from three separate regions all appear to contain a
calcite material found only in meteorites, and analysis of debris show what
seems to be a combination of "a burnt surface horizon and air blast."
You may want to try this article which also discusses the subject matter:
It says in part:
The situation is summed up well by Social Anthropologist, Dr. Benny J.
Peiser, of John Moores University, Liverpool: "At some time around 2300 BC, a
large number of major civilisations collapsed. At the same time, there is
widespread evidence for abrupt and widespread environmental catastrophes.
Sudden sea-level changes, catastrophic inundations, widespread seismic
activity and earthquake damage, changes in glacial features and a signal for
an abrupt climatic downturn have been detected at c. 2350. A survey of some
500 excavation reports, research papers and scientific abstract on late 3rd
Millennium BC civilisation collapse and environmental change show a distinct
patttern of environmental and social upheaval at this time."
The evidence the BSCC is accumulating has been greatly helped by the
dendrochronological (tree-ring) records, which are able to determine 'exact
dates' of abrupt climate changes by virtue of the fact that each tree-ring
represents the growth of a particular tree in a single year. The leading
scientist in this field, Mike Baillie, an arch ologist, at Queens University,
Belfast, in the north of Ireland, developed the computer program that allows
any piece of wood recovered during arch ological excavations to be precisely
The dendrochronology record stretches back some 8,000 years, and throughout
that period Baillie has noted numerous 'narrowest tree-ring events' that
indicate poor annual growth. From this data Baillie has produced several
dates throughout the last 5,000 years in which the climate abruptly changed,
and he correlated these with ice-core records, marine and lake sediment
records, pollen and paleo-climatic records.
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