Universität Hamburg (DE)

Since the 1990s, experimental archaeology has been anchored in teaching and scientific research in pre- and early-historical archaeology at the University of Hamburg, and has been applied in different ways and considered in individual theses with a clear archaeological experimental contribution.

By 2004, the Experimental Archaeology with its own seminar and adjoin practice part is an integral part of the curriculum of Prehistoric and Early Archaeology. In addition to the introduction to the history, theories and methods of experimental archaeology, the seminar offers students the opportunity to develop their own projects with archaeological-experimental questions. The supervision of the students takes place on the whole by two experimental archaeologists and is supplemented by further experts for certain questions. In the independent practical part, the so-called "practical week", the projects will be implemented and documented. The practical week takes place in close cooperation with the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen (AÖZA), which not only provides space and materials, but also the accommodation as well as one or the other research question. Both the seminar and the practical week can be repeated and thus offer the option to deepen projects. Since the beginning of the combined course, an average of 30 students per year have taken advantage of the offer. In order to ensure scientific transparency and to pass on existing knowledge, a written leprosy to the own project has been mandatory since 2017 and will be published at university level.

Important in teaching the theories and methods of experimental archaeology in the department is also the close connection with the museum work and the accompanying didactics. The students are involved early in the dialogue with the interested public and involved in practical mediation.

Some of the student experiments have developed their own projects and / or found their way into other projects in the VFG and have been scientifically evaluated in the context of BA and Master's work. In particular, the use-wear and the palaeo-mechanics is an important area of research for pre- and early-historical archaeology at the University of Hamburg. There are currently some funded projects nearing completion.

Current focal points of research and expertise include:

  • Use-wear analysis. Experiments and investigation of traces of manufacturing and use on stone, bones and textile residues as well as analysis of adhesions. (B Meller, H. Harten-Buga, Student Research Group / Fabian Speyer /)
  • Palaeomechanics. (H. Harten-Buga, M. Schwinnig)
  • Ceramic technology. Production process and technological differences in comparison (B. Meller, Felicitas Faasch, Student Research Group / AnnKatrin Meyer / L. Thielen)
  • Combined landscape archaeology. Combination of Surveying Techniques, Geoarchaeological Investigation Methods, Ethno Archaeology, Experimental Archaeology and 3D Digitization Verification of Archaeological Fund Contexts and their Formation. (T. Becker, B. Meller, F. Schwenn / Lorenz Luick / Lukas E)
  • Metalwork. Manufacturing Process, Object Analysis and Metal Object Fabrication (F. Nikulka / Student Research Group, Ilian Finkeldey)

Photo: Students in the Stone Age Park Albersdorf (AÖZA) are busy with their respective projects (Photo Meller 2019).

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