Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lichen Dating of Alpine Villages in the White Mountains, California


These problems are not likely to disappear anytime soon. Theoretical developments on a variety of fronts make it clear that the kinds of archaeological phenomena that must be investigated and interrelated to form reasonably comprehensive interpretations of given points in time are exceedingly diverse and therefore unlikely to yield to any single chronometric technique. Given these circumstances, the prudent archaeologist will seek to use as many techniques as possible, balancing their costs, reliability, and breadth of potential application. It is partly our purpose here to illustrate the use of a technique, lichenometry, that has until now enjoyed use principally in glacial geology but that would seem to deserve consideration in archaeology as well. As with any other chronometric technique, lichenometry has both advantages and disadvantages. We are certainly not holding it up as a panacea; it is hardly that. It is, however, a largely untapped source of information that should prove useful in developing comprehensive archaeological chronologies for some regions.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View