Experimental Archaeology

Experimental Archaeology and the Sustainability of Dental Calculus Research: The Case of Chocolate and the Nuns Of S. Maria Della Stella’s Church, Saluzzo, Italy

Sarah Sandron 1 ✉,
Anita Radini 2,
Dominique Scalarone 3,
Beatrice Demarchi 1,
Rosa Boano 1,
Alison Beach 4,
Cynthianne Spiteri 1
Publication Date
In Italy, chocolate (Theobroma cacao L.) was introduced during the Columbian exchange, and it quickly became both an important and accessible part of the Italian culinary tradition. Today, Italy is Europe’s second-largest chocolate producer...

Can Experimental Archaeology Confirm Ethnographic Evidence? The Case of Aboriginal Boomerangs Used as Retouchers

Eva Francesca Martellotta 1, 2
Publication Date
In this article, an experimental programme is used to examine how boomerangs may be used to retouch stone tools. The programme's findings confirm ethnographic data pertaining to the employment of hardwood boomerangs in retouching activities and investigate their technological similarities to Palaeolithic bone retouchers...

How were Half-Moons on Shells Made in the Upper Palaeolithic? An Experimental Approach

Annamaria Daniele 1
Publication Date
In the Upper Palaeolithic levels of the site of Grotta Continenza (Abruzzo, Italy), numerous shells shaped as half-moons have been found. These artifacts, being important examples of ancient ornaments, have been regularly subjects of study, but the production process has only been hypothesised...

Casting a Copper Age Axe Using a Replica of the Marl Mould Found in Baffoni Cave (AN)

Mauro Fiorentini 1
Publication Date
The Baffoni Cave is a cavern that lies in the Genga territory, in the province of Ancona, Italy. It is part of a complex of caves, the most famous of which are the Frasassi Caves. The whole territory is rich in archaeological features, with the most ancient specimen found within the Genga territory being a flint biface dating to the Lower Palaeolithic...

Drawing Wire

Henriette Lyngstrøm 1
Publication Date
Very few experiments have been conducted on drawing wires of iron made from bog ore. One of them, however, was carried out at the forge at Lejre Land of Legends in Denmark. The iron used for the experiments was obtained from three different sites in Denmark where well-documented experiments in the extraction of bog iron ore took place...

Experimenting with the Ancient Greek Pottery Production Process from Clay Selection to Firing in a (Re)constructed Updraft Kiln

Francesca Tomei 1 ✉,
Juan Ignacio Jimenez Rivero 2
Publication Date
This article presents an experimental archaeology project that aimed to reproduce the Hellenistic Greek pottery production process. The project's main research questions were focused on understanding how locally available raw materials and climatic conditions influenced the production process and how the process created social networks with the local community...

An Experimental Approach to Tannur Ovens and Bread Making in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Iron Age

Carmen Ramírez Cañas 1 ✉,
Penélope I. Martínez de los Reyes 1,
Antonio M. Sáez Romero 1
Publication Date
Culinary culture has played an essential role in the configuration and interaction of human societies throughout history, shaping both individual and collective identities. Like the modern Mediterranean diet, Phoenician-Punic subsistence relied on cereals, often in the form of...

The Production of Roman Metal Screw Threads

David Sim 1 ✉,
Chris Legg 2
Publication Date
The production of Roman screws and screw threads is a topic that is largely absent in the archaeological literature. During the Roman period, small metal screw threads were used both as fastenings and to impart motion. This paper will show that it is possible to produce small metal screw threads using very simple technology that was well within the skill set of any competent metal worker...

Department of Archaeology and Sheffield Archaeomaterials, University of Sheffield (UK)

Member of EXARC

Experimental archaeology has been a core research and teaching methodology at Sheffield since the early-1990s. Crossing archaeomaterials and environmental archaeology, experimental investigations are a key component of our work and have offered a multifaceted approach to our research. We integrate experimental methodologies and practice into our taught modules to inform interpretation as part of understanding our past. 

Our research covers a vast number of archaeological periods from prehistory to recent history, working closely with modern practitioners to inform our work in a collaborative environment.

Peat Burns: The Methods and Implications of Peat Charcoaling

Paul M. Jack 1
Publication Date
The Northern Isles of Scotland offer a fascinating case study for understanding past economies and resource management due to the comparative lack of trees found elsewhere in the British Isles. Archaeological evidence proves that this environment did not prevent the development of industrial pursuits in this region during the Iron Age and local accounts dating to ...