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The tree is still alive, and the age given below, 5062 years, is its age as of the growing season of 2012.

Crossdated ages are derived through recognized dendrochronological procedures (e.g., Stokes and Smiley 1968; Swetnam, Thompson, and Sutherland 1985; Schweingruber 1987; Speer 2010).

Radiocarbon dating is a key tool archaeologists use to determine the age of plants and objects made with organic material.

But new research shows that commonly accepted radiocarbon dating standards can miss the mark—calling into question historical timelines.

Manning, professor of archaeology at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory, is the lead author of "Fluctuating Radiocarbon Offsets Observed in the Southern Levant and Implications for Archaeological Chronology Debates," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Pre-modern radiocarbon chronologies rely on standardized Northern and Southern Hemisphere calibration curves to obtain calendar dates from organic material.

But new research shows that commonly accepted radiocarbon dating standards can miss the mark -- calling into question historical timelines.So we wondered whether the radiocarbon levels relevant to dating organic material might also vary for different areas and whether this might affect archaeological dating." The authors measured a series of carbon-14 ages in southern Jordan tree rings, with established calendar dates between 16 A. They found that contemporary plant material growing in the southern Levant shows an average offset in radiocarbon age of about 19 years compared the current Northern Hemisphere standard calibration curve.Manning noted that "scholars working on the early Iron Age and Biblical chronology in Jordan and Israel are doing sophisticated projects with radiocarbon age analysis, which argue for very precise findings. But our work indicates that it's arguable their fundamental basis is faulty—they are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region." Applying their results to previously published chronologies, the researchers show how even the relatively small offsets they observe can shift calendar dates by enough to alter ongoing archaeological, historical and paleoclimate debates.There has been a lot of focus on in the media recently about very old trees that are based on radiocarbon dating of a remnant piece of wood in association with a currently living tree and is assumed to have been an ancient stem that reproduced clonally.For example, "Old Tjikko" is a Norway spruce (Picea abies) growing in Sweden.

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