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Experimental Archaeology

Twenty years with flint. The Society for Experimental Prehistoric Archaeology – where are we now?

Grzegorz Osipowicz and
Justyna Kuriga (PL)
The Society of Experimental Prehistoric Archaeology (SEPA, – see Figure 1) is an organisation affiliated with the Nicolaus Copernicus University’s Institute of Archaeology since 1998. The first academic supervisor of SEPA was Jolanta Małecka-Kukawka, now led by Grzegorz Osipowicz...

Research, Experimentation and Outreach in the Early Neolithic Site of La Draga (Banyoles-Spain)

A. Palomo,
R. Piqué,
X. Terradas,
J. A. Barceló,
J. A. Rodríguez,
M. Buch,
J. Junkmanns,
M. de Diego and
O. López (ES)
The exceptional preservation of organic material in the early Neolithic site of La Draga (Banyoles, north-east Iberian Peninsula) has allowed lines of research that had rarely been undertaken in the region. The research project carried out at the site of La Draga involves experimental archaeology as a methodological tool in order to...

Sherd Shatter Patterns Experiment

S. Evans and
S. Barrera Hernandez (CA)
In field archaeology, the importance of non-diagnostic sherds is often overlooked. This archaeological experiment suggests that archaeologists should take into greater consideration, contexts where sherds are found grouped together in close proximity. The authors tested a series of experimental drops of modern pots...

Reconstruction of the Ancient Greek Long Jump - an Opportunity for Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Hannah Friedman and
Peter J. Miller (US)
The Games of the XXXI Olympiad – the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (5 August to 21 August, 2016) – continued the long tradition of Olympic sports, which began in ancient Greece (circa 776 BCE), and were heavily modified in their re-creation by the International Olympic Committee (starting in 1896; cf. Young 2002)...

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...


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