Brita Lorentzen

Research Associate and Lecturer


Dr. Brita Lorentzen is a paleoecologist and environmental archaeologist who uses dendrochronology, wood anatomy, tree-ring stable isotopes, and wider archaeobotanical methods to investigate human-environment interactions and their long-term impact legacies during the Anthropocene. She is particularly interested in how humans have used timber resources and shaped forest ecosystems over time.

Much of her fieldwork focuses on the environmental histories of Cyprus and the Levant, although she has also conducted research projects in southeast Europe, Mexico, and the Northeast US. She currently co-directs an NEH-funded heritage project with Sturt Manning and Nikolas Bakirtzis (Cyprus Institute), which is using dendrochronology, digital mapping, and additional heritage science analytical methods to characterize and document a group of key Byzantine and medieval churches, monuments, and religious artwork inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Cyprus. She also analyzes wood assemblages for multiple terrestrial and maritime archaeological projects, including the Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments (KAMBE) project in Cyprus.

Dr. Lorentzen manages the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory and teaches laboratory sections in the Introductory Dendrochronology course, as well as topics in Mediterranean environmental history, paleoclimate, and archaeology.



  • Manning, S.W., Lorentzen, B., Hart, J.P. 2021. Resolving indigenous time and social history across the long century of European permanent settlement in Northeastern North America: the Mohawk River Valley ~1450–1635 CE. PLoS ONE 16 (10): e0258555
  • Lorentzen, B., Manning, S.W., Cvikel, D. 2020. Shipbuilding and maritime activity on the eve of mechanization: dendrochronological analysis of the Akko Tower Shipwreck, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 33: 102463
  • Manning, S.W., Lorentzen, B., Welton, L., Batiuk, S., Harrison, T.P. 2020. Beyond megadrought and collapse in the Northern Levant: the chronology of Tell Tayinat and two historical inflection episodes, around 4.2ka BP, and following 3.2ka BP. PLoS ONE 15 (10): e0240799
  • Manning, S.W., Wacker, L., Büntgen, U., Bronk Ramsey, C., Dee, M.W., Kromer, B., Lorentzen, B., Tegel, W. 2020. Radiocarbon offsets and Old World chronology. Scientific Reports 10: 13785
  • Bechor, B., Sivan, D., Miko, S., Hasan, O., Grisonic, M., Radic Rossi, I., Lorentzen, B., Aritioli, G., Ricci, G., Ivelja, T., Spada, G., Brook, A. 2020. Salt pans as a new archaeological sea-level proxy: a test case from Dalmatia, Croatia. Quaternary Science Reviews 250: 106680
  • Liss, B., Howland, M.D., Lorentzen, B., Smitheram, C., Najjar, M., Levy, T.E. 2020. Up the wadi: the trajectory of Iron Age metal production in Faynan, Jordan. Journal of Field Archaeology 45 (6): 413–427
  • Manning, S.W., Griggs, C.B., Lorentzen, B., Bronk Ramsey, C., Chivall, D., Jull, A.J.T., Lange, T.E. 2018. Fluctuating radiocarbon offsets observed in the southern Levant: implications for archaeological chronology debates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (24): 6141–6146
  • Jones, I.W.N., Ben-Yosef, E., Lorentzen, B., Najjar, M., Levy, T.E. 2017. Khirbat al-Mana‛iyya: an Early Islamic Period copper smelting site in the southeastern Wadi ‛Araba, Jordan. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 28: 297–314
  • Manning, S.W., Barjamovic, G., Lorentzen, B. 2017. The course of 14C dating does not run smooth: tree-rings, radiocarbon, and potential impacts of a calibration curve wiggle on dating Mesopotamian chronology. Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 13: 70–81
  • Rollefson, G.O., Wasse, A., Rowan, Y., Kersel, M., Jones, M., Lorentzen, B., Hill, A.C., Ramsay, J. 2017. The 2016 excavation season at the Late Neolithic Structure SS-1 on Mesa 7, Black Desert. Neo-Lithics 2 (17): 19–29
  • Manning, S.W., Griggs, C.B., Lorentzen, B., Barjamovic, G., Bronk Ramsey, C., Kromer, B., Wild, E.M. 2016. Integrated tree ring-radiocarbon high-resolution timeframe to resolve earlier second millennium BC Mesopotamian chronology. PloS ONE 11 (7): e0157144
  • Höflymayer, F., Yasur-Landau, A., Cline, E., Dee, M.W., Lorentzen, B., Riehl, S. 2016. New radiocarbon dates from Tel Kabri support a High Middle Bronze Age chronology. Radiocarbon 58 (3): 599–613
  • Shaar, R., Tauxe, L., Ben-Yosef, E., Kassianidou, V., Lorentzen, B., Feinberg, J.M., Levy, T.E. 2015. Decadal-scale variations in geomagnetic field intensity from ancient Cypriot slag mounds. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 16: 195–214
  • Rowan, Y.M., Wasse, A.M.R., Rollefson, G.O., Kersel, M.M., Jones, M.D., Lorentzen, B. 2015. Late Neolithic architectural complexity at Wisad Pools, Black Desert. Neo-lithics 1 (15): 3–10
  • Lorentzen, B., Manning, S.W., Kahanov, Y. 2014. The 1st Millennium AD Mediterranean shipbuilding transition at Dor/Tantura Lagoon, Israel: dating the Dor 2001/1 shipwreck. Radiocarbon 56 (2): 667–678
  • Lorentzen, B., Manning, S.W., Cvikel, D., Kahanov, Y. 2014. High-precision dating the Akko 1 shipwreck, Israel: wiggle-matching the life and death of a ship into the historical record. Journal of Archaeological Science 41: 772–783
  • Wazny, T., Lorentzen, B., Köse, N. 2014. Bridging the gaps in tree-ring records: creating a high-resolution dendrochronological record for southeastern Europe. Radiocarbon 56 (4)/ Tree-Ring Research 70 (3): S39–S50
  • Griggs, C.B., Pearson, C.L., Manning, S.W., Lorentzen, B. 2013. A 250-year annual precipitation reconstruction and drought assessment for Cyprus from Pinus brutia tree-rings. International Journal of Climatology 34: 2702–2714


  • Lorentzen, B., Kuniholm, P.I., Wazny, T. 2021. Dendrochronological dating and provenancing of the Late Ottoman buildings. In: Excavations at the Ottoman Military Compound (Qishle) of Jaffa. Arbel, Y. (ed.) Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, vol. 4.  Peilstöcker, M. and Burke, A.A. (series eds.) Ägypten und Altes Testament, vol. 91. Wimmer, S. and Zwickel (series eds.). Münster: Ugarit Verlag, pp. 325335
  • Höflymayer, F., Dee, M.W., Lorentzen, B., Riehl, S. 2020. Environmental and physical studies: radiocarbon dates. In: Yasur-Landau, A. and Cline, E.H. (eds.), Kabri II: The 20052011 Seasons. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 111. Boston: Brill, pp. 325–332
  • Lorentzen, B. and Manning, S.W. 2018. Analysis and 14C dating of wood remains found in Amathus harbour. In: Empereur, J-Y. (ed.), The Hellenistic Harbour of Amathus Underwater Excavations, 19841986. Vol. 2. Athens: École Française d’Athènes, pp. 211–216
  • Manning, S.W., Kearns, C.M., Lorentzen, B. 2017. Dating the end of the Late Bronze Age with radiocarbon: some observations, concerns, and revisiting the dating of Late Cypriot IIC to IIIA. In: Fischer, P. and Bürge, T. (eds.), “Sea Peoples” Up-To-Date: New Research on Transformation in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 13th–11th Centuries BCE. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, pp. 95–112
  • Lorentzen, B. 2016. What is dendrochronology? In: Schafer-Elliot, C. (ed.), The 5-Minute Archaeologist in the Southern Levant. Bristol: Equinox Publishing, pp. 131–139

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