The construction of the Baptistry of Saint John has a debated and uncertain history; the hypothesis on its main construction phases may span from the Roman period to the 13th century, according to different authors. This uncertainty is mainly due to the lack of primary sources and certain dating issues. By combining dendrochronological analysis and radiocarbon dating, some light was shed on the building's history. Open at least from 897, in 1059 Pope Nicholas II re-consecrated the baptistry after several renovations. Around that period, the octagonal dome was probably built by using chestnut beams to tie the structure together. The dendrochronological analysis dated the silver fir element to 1268. This element possibly represents a replacement coincident with the period, between 1270 and 1300, when a substantial part of the mosaics of the dome was positioned.
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