The third annual meeting for Experimental Archaeology in Denmark 2023 (Eksperimentelarkæologi i Danmark) was held between the 3rd and 5th of November 2023 at Bork Viking Harbor (Bork Vikingehavn) in Denmark.
Continuing into the forums’ third year, it is still clear that having an opportunity for researchers, museum workers, craftspeople and practitioners in experimental archaeology to meet, is very much welcomed in Denmark. The third annual meeting for Experimental Archaeology in Denmark (EAD) was held at a new location, as it was hoped that the forum would relocate each year making it easier for everyone interested to participate and giving other institutions a chance to exhibit their progress.
The program started on Friday the 3rd at 17:00 at Bork Viking Harbor 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 in modern housing nearby overnight. All meals were prepared and served by Bork Viking Harbor.
After breakfast a series of discussions and presentations were held in the modern buildings of the Bork Viking Harbor and on their grounds outside. The opening talk was held by Jannie Marie Christensen followed by a presentation on the relevance of experimental archaeology from an international perspective by Roeland Paardekooper. Ida Marie Andersen continued with a presentation on the process of building a clay oven, which was followed by a discussion of how EAD has progressed so far, whether the forum should continue, and in what form. This was followed by lunch.
A tour of the grounds of Bork Viking Harbor, including the tasks undertaken daily, and reasons for development choices, was led by Mikkel Hollmann. After a coffee break Jannie Marie Christensen presented a summary of the several experimental archaeological investigations being undertaken of indoor environment in standing and reconstructed houses, dating from stone age to medieval period. A second presentation was led by Ken Ravn Hedegaard, on new information and the making of vendel-period toffee-brooches and beakbrooches. These were followed by dinner.
The third day continued with a presentation and explanation on how to date ceramics looking at macrofossils by Anders Kiiehn Hansen. This was followed by a show and tell of glass beads and arrows by Leon Dam Jacobsen. Gustav Solberg held a presentation on the experimental approach to the development of combat techniques and technologies of the Viking age which he is undertaking as part of his PhD studies.
A continued discussion of the future of EAD was undertaken by the participants, resulting in a consensus for the forum to continue. The forum will continue to be a free networking event for everyone who is interested in experimental archaeology in Denmark regardless of their academic background, occupation, or experience. The fourth annual meeting will be held between the 1st and 3rd November 2024 at Trelleborg Viking Fortress, Denmark.
Furthermore, the Facebook group (Eksperimentelarkæologi i Danmark) will continue to be operational, making it easier for members to share material and communicate. Everyone is encouraged to present and share their experiment regardless of whether this is just a first idea, ongoing or completed. The platform will also be used to announce meetings and share invitations on topic(s) relating to experimental archaeology. This can be delivered online or for practical demonstrations, in person at an agreed location.
To conclude, EAD 2023 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.