A research team in the Czech Republic unearthed a box-like wooden structure used in the building of an old well.
The tree-ring dating technique has revealed that the oak wood used to make it was cut around 7,275 years ago. This makes it the oldest known wooden structure in the world, scientists say.
According to the study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the researchers used the tree rings and the radiocarbon dating techniques to determine the structure's age.
The age of a tree can be determined based on the rings or the annual growth layers of the trunk and roots' stems. It can be calculated by dividing the trunk's diameter by the tree's growth factor according to its type, and then multiplying the obtained result with the trunk's circumference. The final result would be the tree's age. Experts may also use the Radiocarbon dating technique known as "carbon-14 dating", which uses the radioactive properties of radiocarbon.
In a report published on the Science Alert website, Archaeologist Jaroslav Peška of the Archaeological Centre Olomouc in the Czech Republic, and the study's senior author said: "According to our findings, based particularly on dendrochronological data, we can say that the tree trunks for the wood used were felled in the year 5255 BCE. Some side wooden planks seemed a little bit younger."
The researchers suggested that the trees were felled 7,244 to 7,261 years ago, and the smaller planks were used in repairing the well at some point.
The well was unearthed and discovered near the town of Ostrov in 2018 during construction on the motorway in the Czech Republic.
Ceramic fragments found inside the well dated the site to the early Neolithic, but no evidence of any settlement structures were found nearby, suggesting the well serviced several settlements at a bit of a distance away.
The discovered structure consisted of four oak poles, one at each corner, with flat planks between them. The well was roughly square, measuring 80 by 80 centimeters (2.62 feet). It stood 140 centimeters tall (4.6 feet), with a shaft that extended below ground level and into the groundwater.
PUKmedia/ Asharq Al-Awsat