Introduction to Dendrochronology

Event Date:
Start at 9:00 AM
July 20, 2022 - July 21, 2022

Course Aims

This course will provide an introduction to dendrochronology in maritime archaeology. Through a balance of short lectures, demonstrations, practical hands-on sessions and underwater practicals, participants will gain an understanding of the role of dendrochronology within the discipline. Participants will learn the skills required to take effective samples that will be suitable for scientific testing.

The course is aimed at individuals undertaking the NAS Education Programme, as well as professional archaeologists wanting to increase their knowledge of the role of dendrochronology and dendroprovenancing in archaeology with a particular emphasis on maritime and nautical archaeology.


Nigel Nayling has worked as an archaeologist and dendrochronologist for thirty years and is the foremost expert in tree-ring dating. He is a Professor at Lampeter University and widely sought-after consultant in dendrochronology.


This course is for anyone involved in the NAS Education Programme and particularly for professional or avocational archaeologists who want to learn how to take effective dendrochronology samples on their sites.

NAS members will earn 5 credits per day towards their Certificate or Award.



NAS members £200
Non-NAS members £280 (although as NAS membership starts at £12, you’re better off becoming a member and getting the discount rate immediately!)

Timetable provisional and subject to change

Wednesday 20 July

09.00 Arrive and complete Covid tests if necessary

09.30 Welcome and introduction to course

09:45 What is dendrochronology and how is it used in maritime archaeology? (presentation)

10.30 Interpreting data and identifying dates (presentation)

11.00 Tea break

11.15 Assessing a site for dendrochronology potential (presentation)

11:45 Sampling strategies and techniques (presentation)

12.15 Sampling strategies and techniques (dry practical)

13:00 Dive briefing

13.15 lunch and dive preparation

13.45 Locating sampling sites on Gresham wreck and sketching them (wet practical)

15.00 Dendrochronology in maritime archaeology – case studies (presentation)

15.45 tea break

16.00 Handling dendrochronology samples (dry practical)

17.00 Day finish

Thursday 21 July

09.00 Arrive and complete Covid tests if necessary

09.30 Building dendrochronology into your project objectives (presentation)

10.00 Gresham wreck – the work done so far (presentation)

10.45 tea break

11.00 Methods of measurement and analysis (dry practical)

12.15 Dive briefing

12.30 Lunch

13.00 Identifying sampling sites on the Gresham wreck (wet practical)

15.00 Timber identification and selection from a range of archaeological sites (dry practical)

16.00 Effective methods for labelling, packaging and recording samples (dry practical)

16.30 Getting involved with NAS

17.00 Course End