Dendrochronological research in NW Spain is aimed at developing reference chronologies of oak (Quercus sp.), which are suitable for absolute age determinations of cultural heritage from the Basque Country. So far, the main research interest has been on rural architecture such as farmhouses and barns. In order to extend the application range of Basque dendrochronology, the current study focuses on tree-ring research of rural furniture. In close consultation with the curators of cultural centre Gordailu (Irun), four granary chests and a wardrobe were selected for this pilot study. The tree-ring patterns of these objects significantly match against the new Basque reference chronologies, yielding absolute calendar years for the studied panels. The last-formed measured ring from the oldest granary chest in this collection dates to AD 1517. The other three chests have last-formed rings dating to AD 1580, 1665 and 1829, and the wardrobe has a last-formed ring dating to AD 1439. Sapwood ring counts from living oaks in this region were used to estimate the number of sapwood rings missing on the outside of the panels. Derived absolute and terminus post quem felling dates of wood were further refined by adding the estimated drying time of the wood based on information derived from traditional carpenters in this area. All dendrochronologically established construction dates constitute a correction or refinement of the original art-historical age determinations. In addition, the previously assigned provenance of one granary chest could be corrected. These results indicate that dendrochronology is an excellent method to refine our knowledge about the age, and in some cases the exact geographical provenance, of rural movable heritage in and from the Basque region. The fact that the previously established provenance of four of the studied objects within the Basque Country could not be refined further implies that most Basque reference chronologies at present are not sufficiently specific for assessing wood provenance on an intra-regional scale. This can be solved in the future by reassembling the data underlying these chronologies into homogeneous timber groups covering smaller, ecologically more similar, geographical growth areas.

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