If we have a tree that is 500 years old we can measure the radiocarbon in the 500 rings and see what radiocarbon concentration corresponds to each calendar year.
Using very old trees (such as the Bristlecone Pines in the western U. A.), it is possible to make measurements back to a few thousand years ago.
This is on charcoal from an oak twig at the very top of the secondary fill of the ditch and it calibrates to between 15 BC.
This ought to mean that the outer ditch, which of course is now completely buried, was still a visible feature in the landscape in the Middle Bronze Age.
Many of the finds from the pits and the enclosure look very similar but we don’t know if the pits and ditches were in use at the same time, whether some of the pits are earlier than the enclosure ditches or whether the enclosure came first and the pits were a later response to the visible remains of an earlier enclosure (confused yet, I know I am).
This is pit M13, inside the enclosure, which we dug in 2014.
This helps to make sense of one of the important questions about this site.
An additional complication is that the stratigraphic record below and above the transition at this site, as well as at most other sites in the region, is far from complete.
The wood in these rings once laid down remains unchanged during the life of the tree.
This is very useful as a record of the radiocarbon concentration in the past.
A date on a fragment of alder charcoal from the top fill of this pit (just about behind Connie’s head) shows that it was in use in the Middle Bronze Age too, between 15 BC.
Based on 92 radiocarbon dates (some unpublished) obtained from 30 sites subjected to dendrochronological calibration, previous chronologies of the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of Yakutia are revised and a new “calendar chronology” proposed.