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Co-author Gregory Hodgins, director of the UA AMS lab, said, "Charlotte is redoing the calibration curve at an annual scale.

What fell out of that was that the old calibration curve wasn't precisely correct during this time frame." The paper, "Annual radiocarbon record indicates sixteenth century BC date for the Thera eruption," by Pearson and her colleagues is scheduled to publish online Aug. Her other UA co-authors are Peter Brewer, Timothy Jull, Todd Lange and Matthew Salzer.

The 285 samples of annual tree rings were analyzed for radiocarbon at the UA AMS lab., but that doesn’t say very much about your region’s climate—the area’s average weather conditions over a long period of time (30 years or more).However, that big tree in your backyard has been keeping a detailed climate record for decades."It's about tying together a timeline of ancient Egypt, Greece, Turkey and the rest of the Mediterranean at this critical point in the ancient world -- that's what dating Thera can do," said lead author Charlotte Pearson, an assistant professor of dendrochronology at the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research."What we can say now is that the radiocarbon evidence is compatible with the archeological evidence for an eruption of Thera in the 16th century BC," Pearson said.

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