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Experimental Archaeology

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...

An Iron Age Horse Bridle Reconstructed: Design, Action and Usability

Laura Bunse (NO)
As a part of my master thesis on Iron Age horse gear and horse skeletal remains from Northern Norway, the results from this reconstruction project made an important contribution to the understanding and analysis of the archaeological material...

Probable Measure Estimating Tool Employed by the Aeneolithic Potters

Eva Lamina (US)
The article proposes that an item, ornamented with a geometric pattern with inscribed diagonal cross and attributed to the Afanasievo culture (Aeneolithic, South Siberia), represents a primitive tool reflecting practical knowledge of basic geometry by the ancient potters. The article suggests an experimental reconstruction method for crafting the proposed instrument, and...

The Theory of the Archaeological Raft: Motivation, Method, and Madness in Experimental Archaeology

P.J. Capelotti (US)

Between 1947 and 2006, nearly forty expeditions set out in recreated maritime drift vessels to demonstrate hypotheses with varying levels of relevance to archaeology and cultural diffusion. This paper divides the motivations of these expeditions into four major categories...

Contribution to the medieval building technology based on the reconstruction of a rounded church

Ákos Nemcsics (HU)

This article presents the experimental archaeological project to build a medieval rotunda reconstruction using rough stone building technology. Here, a medieval rotunda reconstruction is presented by contemporary building technology...

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