The Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory was formed in 2010 by Michael Worthington and Jane Seiter to provide cutting-edge dendrochronological services to archaeologists, architectural historians, art historians, cultural resource managers, and private house owners. Dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, is the science of dating wood utilizing the phenomenon of yearly tree-ring growth. By using this technique, we can provide precise calendar dates for wooden structures and other objects. Our latest project is a complete investigation and rethinking of the historical development of the Officers' Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. Our members of staff have dated buildings as diverse as Windsor Castle and Uncle Tom's Cabin (the Josiah Henson Site). Although we specialize in the tree-ring dating of standing buildings, we also provide dates for archaeological artifacts, boats, wooden panel paintings, and live trees. We accept private and commercial commissions throughout the USA, the UK, continental Europe, and the Caribbean and publish a comprehensive report for every commission that is undertaken.
Michael Worthington, Dendrochronologist
Michael Worthington is a dendrochronologist with wide-ranging experience
working on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the many buildings he has dated
are the Officers' Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California; Mount
Vernon and many of the buildings in Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia; the
birthplaces of John Adams and John Quincy Adams and the Fairbanks House (the
oldest surviving timber frame house in North America) in Massachusetts; the
Josiah Henson Site (Uncle Tom's Cabin) and Doughoregan Manor in Maryland;
and Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London in England.
He also enjoys working on smaller vernacular buildings, and has been
commissioned by numerous homeowners in the US and Europe to date their
houses privately. He has extensive media experience and has appeared on the
American television series "History Detectives," where he dated an historic
New England saltbox house.
Michael began his career in buildings as an industrial archaeologist at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire, England. He spent seven years as the excavation supervisor for the British television series "Time Team," where he was known by the nickname Mick the Dig. After deciding to specialize in dendrochronology, he received his academic training through a grant from English Heritage at Oxford University. At Oxford he was a member of staff at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art and an assistant tutor on the master's degree course in Archaeological Science. As a founder and partner in the Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory, he spent more than a decade building a series of base chronologies for the East Coast of America stretching from Maine down to South Carolina. Upon moving full-time to the United States in 2010, Michael opened the Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jane Seiter, Researcher and Archaeologist
Jane Seiter is a researcher and archaeologist working on a wide
variety of historic sites both above and below ground in Europe, the
Americas, and the Caribbean. She is a partner in the Oxford Tree-Ring
Laboratory, where she records and researches the fabric of historic
buildings, and has prepared numerous successful nominations to the National
Register of Historic Places. She has more than twelve years of excavation
experience on sites ranging from monasteries and Roman villas to colonial
plantations and industrial complexes and has extensive experience in
standing building recording, surveying, map regression, archival research,
and the preparation of archaeological site reports, desktop surveys, and
Jane received a BA in American Studies from Yale University with magna cum laude honors and an MA in Landscape Archaeology from the University of Bristol. In July 2011 she completed her PhD at the University of Bristol with a dissertation analyzing material changes to the landscapes and settlements of the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries. Before training as an archaeologist, Jane worked as an editor at Penguin Books in New York and as a private trust officer for Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco. Jane currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.