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In 1901, Douglass began investigating tree ring growth as an indicator of solar cycles.
Not only that, it varies regionally, such that all trees within a specific species and region will show the same relative growth during wet years and dry years.
Stratigraphy is the oldest of the relative dating methods that archaeologists use to date things.
Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition--like a layer cake, the lowest layers must have been formed first.
First used, and likely invented by archaeologist Sir William Flinders-Petrie in 1899, seriation (or sequence dating) is based on the idea that artifacts change over time.
Like tail fins on a Cadillac, artifact styles and characteristics change over time, coming into fashion, then fading in popularity. The standard graphical result of seriation is a series of "battleship curves," which are horizontal bars representing percentages plotted on a vertical axis.
There are dendrochronological records for Europe and the Aegean, and the International Tree Ring Database has contributions from 21 different countries.