EXARC Journal Issue 2021/1

© EXARC, 2021; ISSN: 2212-8956; Publishing date: February 25, 2021

The EXARC Journal consists of Reviewed articles and unreviewed Mixed Matters contributions.
As a Service to all our Interested Readers, the Full EXARC Journal is Open Access.

Please consider supporting EXARC with a donation (PayPal) or Become an EXARC Member.

Reviewed Articles

Experimental Roman Minting: Casting Silver-Copper Alloys into a Bronze Mould

Nicola George (UK)
This paper provides the details of a Roman minting experiment, which used a bronze mould to cast debased silver blanks typical of the third century A.D. The investigation follows the paper ''Experiments reproducing Roman debased alloys" (George, 2020) which studied the manufacturing methods used in the production of Roman silver coinage. The purpose of those experiments was to both...

Just how practical is it to Move a Warp-weighted Loom from between the Interior and Exterior of a Roundhouse?

Helen Poulter (UK)
An experimental programme at Butser Ancient Farm run between 2015 and 2017 was to investigate weaving within a roundhouse on a warp-weighted loom. Part of these investigations was an examination into the feasibility of moving the loom in and out of the house, to take advantage of the longer daylight available in summer...

Approaches to the Documentation of Houses in Open-Air Museums

Enrico Lehnhardt and
Stefan Solleder (DE)
The seminar was divided into two parts. One group professionally documented the long-term experiment “House 1” in the Museums Village Düppel for the first time. The house was built in the 1970s and left to decay in 1990. The area was freed from vegetation and photographed at regular intervals. The second group reflected on the continuous documentation of reconstructed houses in archaeological...

Standardized Reporting of Experimental Iron Smelting - A modest (?) Proposal

Darrell Markewitz (CA)
The development of effective bloomery iron smelting has progressed over the past decades from the first repeated experiments into documented, effective, methods. This progression has primarily been the work of often isolated individuals, many with great practical experience as artisans, but most often with little formal academic training. The overall result is a patchwork of recording methods and descriptions...

Oakbank Dog Rose: A Working-model of an Iron Age Wooden Whistle from a Loch Tay Crannog

Simon Wyatt (UK)
In 1980 a small piece of worked wood was discovered during excavation at Oakbank crannog in Loch Tay, Scotland. It was interpreted as a whistle by Nick Dixon. While there are several other Iron Age artefacts which have been interpreted as whistles, in Britain, this is the only one currently known to the author which is made of wood. This paper describes the manufacture and sounding of a model of this Iron Age...

A Spark of Inspiration: Experimentally Testing Manganese Dioxide as a Fire Lighting Aide

Andy Langley and
Andy Needham (UK)
Evidence for the production, use, and control of fire by Neanderthals in Europe ranges from the scale of ecosystems to microscopic alterations of artefacts. While there is a consensus that Neanderthals were skilled in the use of fire, there remains a dispute over whether they had mastered the ability to produce fire on demand. The unique discovery that Neanderthals may have been utilising manganese dioxide as...

Weaving Production in Butser Ancient Farm Roundhouses in the South of England

Helen Poulter (UK)
From 2015 to 2017 a series of weaving experiments using warp-weighted looms were conducted in the roundhouses at Butser Ancient Farm. The aim was to focus on the working environment within the roundhouse and to assess any potential issues that may occur whilst weaving, including benefits. The results of the research would also assist in evaluating any seasonal patterns which cause productivity to...

Traces of Manufacture, Use, Repair and Modification Observed on Ethnographic Throwing Sticks and Boomerangs

Luc Bordes (FR)
Throwing sticks and boomerangs are present in the collections of many French and international museums. Collected mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries by travelers, they were mainly analyzed from a stylistic point of view, to relate them to their region of origin. Some of these objects were made by the indigenous populations especially to be exchanged with Europeans and only bear...

The Process of Making Schist Axes of Paja Ul Deˀŋ – “The People of Big Water”

Alexander Akulov (RU)
Paja Ul Deˀŋ [padʒaul’deˀŋ] “The People of Big Water” is a conventional and compact name given to Neolithic inhabitants of the territories of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region in their hypothetical reconstructed language (it is possible to state that these people spoke a language that was very close to Yeniseian languages). Paja Ul Deˀŋ made axes/adzes mainly of schist, a process that takes...

Alternative Reconstruction of a First Century AD Roman Cavalry Saddle

Moira Watson (UK)
The reconstruction of a First Century AD Roman cavalry saddle has not been investigated since Peter Connolly introduced his ideas of a wooden tree saddle in 1984, based on the evidence and dimensions provided by archaeological finds of leather saddle covers and bronze saddle horn reinforcers. This alternative reconstruction, not using wood, was designed to address the written and practical evidence for the lack of...

Irish Copper Axe-Ingots Recovered in Brittany: Experimental Casting to Recreate Porous Material

Aurélien Burlot (IE)
The present study discusses the casting of copper axe-ingots in open, wet sand moulds, in an attempt to recreate porous artefacts that have been recovered in Brittany, France. The original axe-ingots are considered to be Irish copper metalwork from the Early Bonze Age. However, these artefacts are not finished objects and are poorly cast. This nevertheless appears to be deliberate because...

A Shared Warp: The Woven Belts of the Lao Han People, China

Celia Elliott-Minty (UK)
The remote mountain area of Guizhou in southwest China is ethnically diverse, and interesting textile traditions survive among the groups. Perhaps the best known are the multicoloured costumes of the Miao people that are skilfully decorated with embroidery and braids (Smith, 2007). Another ethnic group are the "Lao Han" (the ancient Han Chinese) who consider themselves unique from the rest of ...