Calendar of Events

Meso 2020 Session: Experimental Archaeology in Mesolithic Research

Kind of Event
Organised by
Aimée Little, University of York (Department of Archaeology) (UK)
Annelou van Gijn, Leiden University (Faculty of Archaeology) (NL)

Every five years since 1973, all specialists of the European Mesolithic gather in a city for a major international congress. in 2020, this will be Meso'2020 - 10h International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, Toulouse (France). The conference will have a session on experimental archaeology. 

Experimental Archaeology in Mesolithic Research

Experimental archaeology is becoming increasingly important in archaeological practice: both as a scientific tool and as a way to include the public in research. Experiments range from constructing dwellings to burial experiments exploring organic residue survival, involving state-of-the-art bioarchaeological techniques. But how are these approaches transforming our understanding of the Mesolithic, whether that be our own research agendas or the way the Mesolithic is visualised by the public? In this session we would like to bring together researchers who are using experimental archaeology to address key theoretical questions regarding the different aspects of Mesolithic lifeways: pushing beyond functional typological studies to explore more socially grounded questions relating to past processes, activities and materials. We aim to show how a close and intensive dialectic between Mesolithic archaeological remains and experimental archaeological research can enable us to move beyond cliché assumptions about Mesolithic life. We invite speakers to present research which utilises scientific, well documented experiments to address a specific research question relating to archaeological objects, structures, activities and processes, for example, pyrotechnology, adhesive production, foraging, fishing, or burial practices.