Old Wood in a New Light
A large part of our cultural heritage is composed of wood. We have used it for houses, boats and tools for thousands of years. Sweden’s landscape image is affiliated with wood, forestry and appreciation of woodlands. Trees, by their annual growth rings, are in themselves archives of cultural heritage, and much information has been extracted through dendrochronology. The Laboratory for Wood Anatomy & Dendrochronology (LWD), Lund, in collaboration with archaeologists, will lead a team of four university-based dendrochronology facilities in a national effort to make data from all scientifically analysed wooden artefacts, structures and natural samples publicly available for international research. The open access research data infrastructure SEAD (Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database) will be used for digitisation and publication of raw data, reference series, dates, species determinations, comprehensive metadata and derived variables, e.g. provenance, context, cultural function, past environment and climate. SEAD is already adapted to this purpose, a pilot study has been undertaken and digitization workflows and time estimates confirmed for the nearly 40,000 samples in LWD’s paper archive, a model which will also be applied to other dendro data. International coverage of research networks, stakeholder interaction and strategic support from the Swedish cultural heritage community is guaranteed by the project partners and an established multi-disciplinary reference group.