Experimental activity represents one of the most relevant research tools involved when reconstructing technical traditions. As a research group working on hunter-gatherers societies at the University of Ferrara, our experimental activity is mostly focused on the technical aspects related to stone and colouring materials (goethite and hematite) exploitation in the Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic.
Regarding lithic technology our interest concerns the reconstruction of chaîne opératoires, from raw material selection to manufacturing techniques (i.e. both retouch and knapping techniques) and methods and from use to discard patterns. On the other hand, ochre manipulation is analysed through experimental sessions with the objective to test processing techniques and identifying gestures and conceptual schemes applied by human groups during the mechanical and chemical treatments of such minerals.
Most recently we have extended our research area, through collaborations with other institutions working on use-wear formation on lithic and organic retouchers related to backed tools production (collaboration with Rome “La Sapienza” University, Prof. Emanuela Cristiani) and analysis of combustion features (collaboration with Soprintendenza of Trento, Dr. E. Mottes).