Featured in the EXARC Journal

Ancient Technology

Bottle Gourd as an Implement for the Poor in Roman Italy

Brittany Bauer (CA)
Bottle gourds, which are thought to have originated in Africa, have been collected and cultivated in Italy since antiquity for the making of vessels and utensils, as well as food, musical instruments, and fishing buoys. Columella and Pliny the Elder both write extensively about the uses of bottle gourds, yet the importance of this vegetable in antiquity is notably absent from modern scholarship...

Diet of the Poor in Roman Italy: An Exploration of Wild and Cultivated Plants as an Essential Dietary Component

Brittany Bauer (CA)
Most of the population of Roman Italy was poor, whether they were the poor who were constantly in search for food and shelter, or the temporarily poor who were artisans or shopkeepers but could fall into poverty at times. In classical literature, pleasures of the mind were favoured over pleasures of the body. Epictetus wrote that only stupid men spent time dwelling on matters of the body such as eating...

Throwing Stick to Spear Thrower - Study of Ethnographic Artefacts and Experimentation

Luc Bordes (FR)
Little is known about the process of the invention of the prehistoric spear thrower which appeared around 25,000 years ago in Europe, although it may have emerged earlier on other continents. This innovative weapon had a late arrival in Australia from Papua New Guinea at the end of the late glacial maximum, and probably induced an adaptation in hand throwing spear technology used by local people...