Skip to content

Help & guidance Guides to Good Practice

Project planning and requirements

Peter Brewer (Laboratory of Tree-Ring ResearchUniversity of Arizona, USA), Esther Jansma (Cultural Heritage Agency and Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Version 1.1 – June 2016, Archaeology Data Service / Digital Antiquity, Guides to Good Practice

Project planning requirements will vary dramatically depending on many factors including: the type of object(s); state of preservation; species; size of samples; whether destructive sampling is allowed; financial resources. What and how to sample should be carefully considered following standard dendrochronological procedures (table 1) while making informed decisions about what metadata to collect.

Table 1: Examples of national guidelines for dendrochronological analyses.

Country Author Year Title
NL Jansma 2002 Veldhandleiding dendrochronologisch onderzoek
NL Jansma 2006 Nederlandse onderzoeksagenda voor archeologie: Dendrochronologie
UK Historic England 1998 Dendrochronology: Guidelines on producing and interpreting dendrochronological dates
IT UNI 2004 Cultural heritage – Wooden artefacts – Wood dendrochronological dating guidelines

Metadata should follow the Tree Ring Data Standard (TRiDaS) data model which provides the ability to record a wealth of information. Not all TRiDaS fields will be applicable at any one time, but consider recording as much metadata as possible without adding an undue burden to the project. If you have very simple research goals you may need very little metadata to achieve your aims, but with the addition of just a few metadata fields, it is likely your dataset will be of much greater use to you and fellow researchers in the future.

Diagram of the general structure of the Tree Ring Data Standard (TRiDaS) data model
Figure 1: Diagram shows the general structure of the Tree Ring Data Standard (TRiDaS) data model. For further description of the component parts of the model see the glossary in this guide.