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Sometimes a wood sample doesn't have enough tree rings or rings with growth patterns that match an already dated sample.
Sometimes important and large groups of matching samples, called "floating chronologies," remain undated.
Willard Libby from the University of Chicago put it to the test.
By 1949, he had published a paper in Science showing that he had accurately dated samples with known ages, using radiocarbon dating.
All of this dating information comes together to produce a chronological backdrop for studying past interactions between people and their environment.
The Earth and our moon are both more than four-and-a-half billion years old.
In other words, life in the universe moves inconceivably slowly.
But for individual humans—and entire civilizations—it does not.
Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating have intertwined histories, she explains, with roots firmly planted at the UA.
A 1929 edition of National Geographic boasts, "The Secret Of The Southwest Solved By Talkative Tree Rings." The 35-page article, penned in whimsical prose, was written by Andrew Douglass, the UA scientist who invented tree ring science. In addition to his work as an astronomer at the UA's Steward Observatory, Douglass was the first to discover that tree rings record time.
Indeed, the "Secret Of The Southwest" was revealed.