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Experimental Archaeology

Results of a discussion on the state of experimental archaeology in Switzerland

T. Doppler,
S. Osimitz,
K. Schäppi (CH)
On 27 March 2010, the board of the Working Group on Experimental Archaeology in Switzerland (AEAS-GAES) invited a panel of experts to hold a public debate in Olten on whether the incentives that had existed at the time still played their part, how they were now constituted and what the future perspectives were...

Scandinavian Iron Age and Early Medieval Ceramic Moulds - Lost Wax or Not or Both?

Anders Söderberg (SE)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***Since the 1940s we have had a discussion in Scandinavia concerning ancient mould-making methods. The question of different methods in the production of ceramic moulds has taken a large part in these discussions; by lost wax or by direct matrix-methods.

How Metallographic Examinations can Give the Forming Process of Metal Artefacts? The Example of the Hoard Of Farébersviller

Cécile Veber,
Michel Pernot (FR)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***The hoard of Farébersviller (Moselle, France) was discovered in 1991 during rescue excavations (See Image above). This set contains 130 "bronze" artifacts, which date to the Late Bronze Age (8th century BC).

Historical Techniques: Cold Gilding

Michiel Langeveld (NL)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***An historal technique of goldplating, described in 18th century literature, was reproduced. This cold-plating technique uses salts of gold, produced by dissolving gold in aqua regia. these salts are then rubbed onto a silver surfaces.

Precision Lost Wax Casting

Nigel Meeks (UK),
Caroline Tulp (NL) and
Anders Söderberg (SE)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***The limits of precision casting were explored experimentally at the Bronze Casting Workshop at Wilhelminaoord, the Netherlands, by making wax models, moulds and lost wax castings using essentially early metalworking conditions. Geometrically patterned models of Dark Age type dies were used to make wax patterns to simulate one of...

The Experimental Reconstruction in Bronze of a Merovingian Treasure Box from Sixth Century A.D.

Frank Willer (DE)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***Considerations about a lost ancient fabrication technique of bronze attachements from a merowingian treasure box pointed out that practical experiments had to be done to reconstruct the cast and coldwork. A self made oven and mould sould help to create a realistic situation of a merowingian workshop.

From the Object to the Mould: Is there a Connection between Microstructure of a Cast Bronze Object and its Mould Material Used?

Emanuela Jochum Zimmerman,
Nina Künzler Wagner and
Stefanie Osimitz (CH)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***The question studied within the framework of the Wilhelminaoord Workshop was: In which way the mould material does influence the cast structure of a bronze object? For this, casts in two different mould materials (clay and soapstone) were carried out. The 10% tin bronze was cast at about 1100°C into slightly preheated moulds.

Producing Silver Sheet According to Cellini

Martin Damsma (NL)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***During a short internship in The Hagues Municipal Museum, I noticed some blisters in a seventeenth century V.O.C.-dish. I thought they were gas bubbles which might have been introduced in the material during coagulation. When hammering to sheet the bubbles would take the shape of blisters which would turn visible during annealing.

Ancient Repairs on Bronze Objects

Renske Dooijes (NL)
1999 Wilhelminaoord Workshop
***Bronze objects can be damaged in many ways, for example during casting or during their time of use. Often this damage was repaired using various techniques. In this paper, some examples of ancient repairs and their techniques are described and illustrated with examples published in the literature.

The use of metal moulds to cast lead weights onto the wooden shaft of a plumbata

David Sim (UK)
Plumbata - Plural plumbatae. a projectile weapon used during the latter part of the Roman period – a fletched dart. They usually consisted of a barbed iron head with a lead weight fitted to a fletched wooden shaft. Plumbatae have been found on several sites in Britain and abroad and written evidence for their existence has been reported in the fourth century by Vegitius...


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