Oak wood is characterized by a high resistance to effects of biotic factors and thereby it is often found in archaeological excavations. While lying over many years in the wet environment, the wood turns black as a result of reaction with iron compounds. Archaeological oak is a valuable raw material. In this paper selected mechanical and chemical properties of a thousand years archaeological oak were investigated. Then the archaeological oak properties were examined and compared with the contemporary oak wood. Archaeological oak wood as well as contemporary oak wood has a directly proportional relationship between MOE (modulus of elasticity) and wood density, and similar relationships between wood density and compressive strength, bending strength, content of mineral substances. Contemporary wood of the same density as the archaeological oak wood would show significantly higher mechanical properties.
The research consisted in testing Polish sawn timber dedicated for construction applications made of pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) that grew in the Silesian Forestry Region, taking into account three parts of the log: butt, middle and top. The boards had the same cross section, a nominal thickness of 40 mm and width of 138 mm, typical for Polish structural timber. The mean nominal length of the boards under research amounted to 3500 mm. Each set was composed of 70 boards. Before the tests, boards were dried in an industrial drier until reaching the moisture content of 12%, and they were planed on 4 sides. First of all, the sawn timber was graded into strength classes, and their dynamic modulus of elasticity (MOE_dyn) was tested with a non-destructive method, with the use of a portable MTG device. The next step consisted in a bending test with four points of support, according to the EN 408 standard, and with the use of the TiraTest 2300 machine, in order to determine the global modulus of elasticity (MOE_EN-408) and the static bending strength, also referred to as modulus of rupture (MOR). Finally, the average growth ring width was determined for each board (PN-D-94021), as well as wood density according to EN-408. The hereby paper presents the test results for all the tested sawn timber boards, taking into account the part of log that each board came from: butt, middle or top. The hereby paper presents the influence of density on the mechanical properties of wood, taking into account the location on the round timber. The analysis does not include the influence of the width of annual growth rings and the proportion of latewood on the wood properties under research.