Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (NL)

The University of Groningen has seen numerous experimental archaeology projects throughout the years, such as the construction of a medieval sod house and experimentation with growing crops in salt marshes in Frisia. These projects were guided by research interests, but it is not (yet) incorporated firmly in the curriculum. Introductions to flint knapping are provided for new students each year. 

The student-led Workgroup Experimental Archaeology Groningen (WEAG) was founded in 2019 to create an environment where fellow students can be introduced to experimental archaeology. They get to know natural materials otherwise only encountered during excavations, while at the same time practising with the creation and implementation of research designs, as well as their execution and presentation. 

The students have set up strong collaborations with archaeological parks and open-air museums like Prehistorische Nederzetting Swifterkamp and Hunebedcentrum Borger, where they can work in groups to conduct experiments, for example, related to Mesolithic huts and hearth pits. Students are encouraged to work together with university lecturers to design experiments that could aid in better understanding archaeological phenomena that the lecturers are currently researching, thereby firmly embedding any experiment within a scientific debate. Through this initiative, students are able to incorporate experimental archaeology in their curriculums, already resulting in various theses and tutorial-based research articles.

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