The second annual meeting for Experimental Archaeology in Denmark (EAD) 2022 (Eksperimentelarkæologi i Danmark) was held between the 4th and 6th of November 2022 at Ribe Viking Center in Denmark.
Following up on the inception meeting back in November 2021 it was clear that a meeting opportunity for researchers, museum workers, craftspeople and practitioners in experimental archaeology was missing. A year later it was interesting to follow up on the forum to see if it was actual viable and if there was a desire to continue in its current form.
The program started on Friday the 4th at 5 pm at Ribe Viking Center with dinner for those participants who wanted an early meet and greet. Throughout the evening more participants arrived and stayed in the reconstructed Viking houses or the affiliated school overnight. All meals were prepared and served by the reenactment group Klan Zebitz in the reconstructed Ribe Viking house.
After breakfast a series of discussions and presentations were held in the modern buildings of the Ribe Viking Center and on their grounds outside. The opening presentation on the difference between experimental and experiential archaeology by Jannie Marie Christensen was followed by a discussion of how EAD have worked so far, if the forum should continue, and in what form. Hereafter a tour of grounds of Ribe Viking Center was led by Ann-Sophie Havemose and Anna Lund, before an authentic Viking lunch was served.
Thereafter, Sarah Moores presented the earlier and future Winter Viking Experiments living in the Ribe Viking house during wintertime and Ida Marie Andersen presented her various experiments with salt making. After a coffee break Anna Lund presented on the textiles used at the Centre at their textile workshop; Ulla Hyllested Cordtz presented her experiments with production and the possible use of clay triangles; and Solveig Liv Chaudesaigues-Clausen presented her current work being undertaken as part of her PhD, experimenting with funnel cup tools.
A continued discussion of the future of EAD was undertaken by the participants including written statements from members of EAD who were unable to participate during the meeting. The resulting consensus was that the forum must live on. The forum will continue to be a free network for everyone who is interested in experimental archaeology in Denmark regardless of their academic background or occupation. Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month, either online or in person. The next meeting will be held on 2 March 2023 and the future annual general meeting is scheduled for 3 -5 November 2023.
Furthermore, EAD created an open Facebook group (Eksperimentalarkæologi i Danmark) making it easier for members to share material and communicate daily. The platform will be used as a means to announce meetings and the topic(s) that will be covered during future planned meetings; everyone is encouraged to present their experiment regardless whether this is just a first idea, ongoing or completed. This can be delivered online or for practical demonstrations at a fixed place.
The third day was reserved for a practical demonstration of glass bead making by Mareike Grunert. The demonstration was held at the affiliated school and after a thorough demonstration the participants were welcome to try making glass beads with different techniques and a helping hand from Mareike.
To conclude, EAD 2022 was a successful event, and clearly showed that a network for researchers, craftspeople, and museums workers with an interest in experimental archaeology was very much needed and welcomed, and will continue to grow and develop encouraging everyone to join in.