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Experimental Archaeology

The Colour Palette of Antique Bronzes: An Experimental Archaeology Project

Jonathan Devogelaere (FR)
Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, with lead also added. Hellenistic and Roman bronze objects have a variable percentage of metals, and because of this the colour of the alloy will differ depending on the proportions. The colour of the alloy can be maintained by polishing, but it is also possible to give a patina to the surface of bronze using a reagent...

Painting Bronze Age plaster from Thebes Boeotia

Αntonis Vlavogilakis (GR)
A series of experiments were conducted to study an unusual mortar mixture identified by Brysbaert (2008a) in plaster fragments found in Thebes, Boeotia. The mixture was very interesting in its composition, containing unusual aggregates such as crushed seashells and bone. The techniques used in the samples are...

A Minoan experimental house – paying tribute to Middle Bronze Age Cretan vernacular architecture

Sabine Beckmann (GR)
In the mountains south of Agios Nikolaos, north-east Crete, the Minoans of the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1650 B.C.) left behind several kinds of ruins, which were studied in my PhD thesis (Beckmann 2012a). The 337 ancient sites discovered during this investigation were arranged in a loose settlement pattern, with dwellings ca. 150 m from each other...

The Gislinge Boat Open Source Project: An Old Boat and a New Idea

T. Sørensen,
M. Rodevad Dael,
S. Tavs Ravn,
M. Broen and
M. Krogh Nielsen (DK)
In 1993, the remains of a wooden boat were uncovered during drainage works north of the village of Gislinge, on the island of Sjælland in Denmark (Gøthche 1995). Now reclaimed agricultural land, the area had once been part of the shallow Lammefjord, itself connected to the Isefjord and the open sea...

Hut 1 of Tornambé, Pietraperzia: an Experimental Project for Prehistoric Sicily Studies

Claudia Speciale and
Kati Caruso (IT)
Architectural reconstructions in archaeology represent very common experimental projects throughout Northern and Southern Europe (see for example Page 2012; Burrow 2015). Testing hypotheses and comparing scarce archaeological data with material culture artefacts helps to create an enduring visual experience for both researchers and the public (Paardekooper 2013)...

Getting hammered: The Use of Experimental Archaeology to Interpret Wear on Late Bronze Age Hammers and Modern replicas

E. Giovanna Fregni (UK)
Metalsmithing tools such as hammers are rarely recognised for their significance in understanding prehistoric metalworking technology. Their development and specialisation signal new metalworking techniques and a wider array of the types of metal objects being made. Our knowledge of ancient metalworking is...

Diagenesis in Modern, Danish, Burned Pig Bone

Anne Juul Jensen (DK)
During archaeological excavations, burned bones are often found as a result of cremation, cooking or accidental fire. Even though the bones are burned, their elemental composition might still hold information about diet, habitat and health history in the past.

Problems and Suggested Solutions in the Replication and Operation of a Glass Furnace based on Roman Remains: An Experiment in Glass Production

E. Lauermann,
G. Putzgruber and
D. Götzinger (AT)
Experimental archaeology is taking on an ever more important role in pre- and early historical research. The archaeological open-air museum at the exhibition at the Museum of Pre- and Early History in Asparn/Zaya was a centre and teaching site for experimental archaeology from its beginnings in 1970.

Experiencing Visible and Invisible Metal Casting Techniques in Bronze Age Italy

M. Barbieri,
C. Cavazzuti,
L. Pellegrini and
F. Scacchetti (IT)
OpenArch Dialogue with Skills Issue
***What we know about Bronze Age metalworking in Italy basically relies on finished artefacts and on stone, clay or bronze implements involved in the process of manufacturing (tuyères, crucibles, moulds, hammers, chisels, et cetera; Bianchi, 2010; Bianchi, in press).

A Gaulish Throwing Stick Discovery in Normandy: Study and Throwing Experimentations

L. Bordes,
A. Lefort and
F. Blondel (FR)
In 2010 archaeological excavations on the pre-Roman site of Urville Nacqueville, Normandy (France) discovered a shaped unknown wooden implement. This boomerang shaped wooden artefact, dated from 120 to 80 BC, has been found in an enclosure trench of a Gaulish village close to a ritual deposit of whalebones...


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