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Andrew Ellicott Douglass

Died 20 Mar 1962 at age 94 (born 5 Jul 1867).American astronomer and archaeologist who coined the name dendrochronology for tree-ring dating, a field he originated while working at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Ariz. (1894-1901). He began to collect tree specimens, believing that variations in the width of tree rings would show a connection between sunspot activity and the terrestrial climate and vegetation. His study showed how tree rings could be used to date and interpret past events. The width of tree rings is a record of the rainfall, with implications on the local food supply in dry years. Archaeologist Clark Wissler collaborated in this work by furnishing sections of wooden beams from Aztec Ruin and Pueblo Bonito so Douglass could cross-date the famous sites. Thus the study of tree rings enables archaeologists to date prehistoric remains.«

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