How can wood last forever in a building? The oldest timber buildings in the world are the temple complex of Horyu-ji in Japan and particularly the pagoda building. The wood used in the centre pillar of the pagoda is estimated through dendrochronological analysis to have been felled in 594 over 1400 years ago! The wood has lasted so long in part because it is such a valued, cared for and unique historical building but also because the skills of those craftsmen that built in Japan selected a durable wood species and prevented its exposure to moisture thus ensuring a long service life!

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