European Dendroecological Fieldweek 2016


12 - 18 September 2016


Kranjska gora and the upper Sava walley, Slovenia, are located in the Alpine phytogeographical area. The old objects of the rural architecture in the area have rarely been investigated by means of wood anatomy or dendrochronology. The wood of the objects possibly contains information on past land and wood use, wood technological practices and people’s life. Wood anatomy could reveal which wood species were used whereas dendrochronology could provide information on time of building, possible reconstructions an origin of timber. Working with wood from historical object requires interdisciplinary cooperation between dendrochronologists and conserves, restorers, historians as well as local population interested for the protection of the cultural heritage.

How does it work
We intend to meet local specials for cultural heritage, visit some potentially interesting buildings and examine their timber constructions. We will make a plan of sampling and collect wood for analyses. The surfaces of the samples (mainly cores) will be smoothed for wood identification and tree ring measurements. The obtained tree-ring series will be cross-dated and averaged in chronologies of the constructions or their parts. Dating will be performed by using different reference chronologies. As the wood might belong to different wood species and originate from forests of different elevations we will possibly need several reference chronologies for dating. If the available reference chronologies will not cover all potential wood species and sources we will use the principle of teleconnection and heteroconnection. Finally the results will be interpreted and discussed with specialist for the protection of cultural heritage.

What will you learn?

  • How to inspect wooden constructions to define their dendrochronological potential
  • How to do the sampling
  • Processing of samples (smoothing of cross-sections)
  • Wood identification (characteristic features of the most frequent wood species in the area)
  • Tree-ring measurement
  • Cross-dating
  • Dating
  • How to solve problems related to lack of adequate reference chronologies (teleconnection and heteroconnection)
  • Interdisciplinary co-operation with professionals of other fields (e.g. cultural heritage, local population), and with other groups of the fieldweek (e.g. groups dealing with wood identification and construction of local chronologies)
  • How to present the result and how to write a good dendrochronological report

Prof. Dr. Katarina Čufar, professor for wood science, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Wood Science and Technology with temporary support of Dr. Maks Merela and Luka Krže, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Wood Science and Technology and Saša Roškar, univ.dipl. ethnologist and cultural antrophologist, higher conserver, Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, and the staff of the museum Gornjesavski muzej Jesenice