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The purpose of this study was to date, using tree rings, wooden coffins which were excavated from graves located in Naeheung-dong, Gunsan city, in the western coastal area of South Korea. The species of wood used for the coffins was identified to belong to the diploxylon group of the genus Pinus, most likely Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.), one of the major conifers growing in Korea. From thirteen graves, six were successfully dated by a master chronology of Japanese red pine for Korea. Due to the absence of bark rings or the cambial surface (waney edge), the number of sapwood rings had to be estimated to obtain the likely cutting dates. The cutting dates of six coffins were estimated to be from A.D. 1643 ±10 to 1660 ±10. These tree-ring dates were at least 100 years younger than expected for this type of graves by archeologists.


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