From May 30 to June 1, the 42nd conference of the Serbian Archeological Society was held in Negotin (Serbia). The session "Summa summarum - experimental archaeology in the Balkans" was co-organised with EXARC. About 130 experts from Germany, the USA, Poland, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Russia and other countries took part in the event, and of these, several EXARC members presented their research: Vesna Vučković (RS), Milica Tapavički-Ilić (RS), Artūrs Tomsons (LV), Ivan Semyan (RU), Spyros Bakas (GR), Rene Masaryk (SI), Andreja Kudelić (HR), Tena Karavidović (HR) and Ina Miloglav (HR).
The event was very informative, and useful for sharing ideas. The organizers created an amazing, warm atmosphere of communication. Many thanks to Milica Tapavički-Ilić, Vojislav Filipovic and Roeland Paardekooper for the kind invitation to the conference.
As the head of the laboratory of experimental archaeology at South Ural State University and director of the Archaeos Association, Ivan Semyan became a member of the scientific committee of the conference, and also lectured at a plenary session where he had the opportunity to talk about experimental archaeology in the South Urals. There was also a specialized section working on experimental archaeology at the conference, where Ivan and his Greek colleague Spyros Bakas, head of the Association of Historical Studies Koryvantes, presented the “Sintashta bow” project, a project which aims to experimentally reconstruct and test the bow of the Sintashta culture. This section brought together a large number of EXARC members. After hearing a short story about Arkaim at the plenary session, the council of the Serbian Archaeological Society decided to let Ivan hold a special lecture about the Sintashta culture; it was successfully held after the completion of the sections.
Communicating with colleagues from various countries and organizations made it possible to obtain a lot of comprehensive information on reconstructing the processes of cremation, archaeometallurgy, pottery, flint knapping and much more. Senior colleagues shared the experience of past projects. It was very interesting to listen to the report of Dr. Arthur Bankoff on the reconstruction of the process of burning the Chalcolithic house, built in the 70s. Young colleagues tested their first attempts in experimental activity.
Despite the regional specifics of the meeting, we were able to use the experience of some of our colleagues in our own research. For example, after listening to Medović Aleksandar's report “The Archaeobotanical Garden of the Museum of Vojvodina”, we created a paleo-garden in the "Archaeos" paleopark, which is an experimental testing ground for archaeologists of the South Ural State University. This fall, students will harvest their first wheat crop there.
The comprehensive report "Experimental Archaeology of the Jadar Geoarchaeological Project: a Tin-Related Study" by Vojislav Filipović, Wayne Powell, Aleksandar Bulatović, Ognjen Mladenović Milica Popović, Arthur Bankoff, Jasminka Bogić, Andrea Mason and Mirko Vranić, is advanced in the study of the archaeometallurgy of the Bronze Age. The South Ural State University is one of the leaders in the study of archaeometallurgy in Russia, and their method of studying tin isotopes will also be used by the authors, based on the experience of our colleagues.
The event turned out to be an important centre for cultural and scientific communication. It enriched the archaeological community with new ideas and allowed us to test existing projects. We will be very happy to take part again in the future!