Ancient Technology

Columella’s Wine: a Roman Enology Experiment

Mario Indelicato (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***The study of archaeological and written sources made it possible to commence an extensive research project on Roman viticulture, starting in 2013 on the slopes of Mount Etna, in Sicily (Indelicato, Malfitana and Cacciaguerra, 2017). The general aim is to thoroughly examine the knowledge of the Roman wine production cycle in...

“A Mirror for Men” – Reconstructing a Medieval Polishing Bench and Putting it to the Test

Florian Messner (AT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***In the late 5th century AD, the famous Ostrogoth Theoderic the Great received a truly regal gift from the king of the Warini: he was given highly elaborated swords, richly decorated and able to cut through armour. Their fullers (long grooves along the flat side of the blade to reduce weight and to gain stability...

Working with Artisans; The ‘It Depends’ Dilemma

Christina Petty (CA)
We live in a world where scientific method is both the expected and accepted path to knowledge. With any scientific method, experiments based on detailed, well-documented, well-considered theories, and precise set-ups must be replicated exactly by others who come to the same conclusion to consider the information gleaned from them to be valid. This has become the accepted practice for most...

Replication of a Maori Ethnographic Textile Hem Border Pattern

Lisa McKendry (NZ)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***Replication of archaeological and ethnographic Māori textiles, under the direction of customary knowledge and previous practical experience, can provide a more nuanced understanding of the manufacture of taonga (treasures) made from fibre materials. A case study is presented here from the unique perspective of a weaver who...

Stone & Metal: Experimental reproduction of a stone monument of the Metal Age, Located between Liguria and Tuscany (Italy)

Edoardo Ratti (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***The Italian region of Lunigiana, is located between Liguria and Tuscany, and is rich in stone statues which were worked from the third millennium B.C. until the beginning of the historical period, around the 6th century B.C. (Anati, 1981). Eighty statues have been collected and show stylized male and female characters...

The Iron Age Shepherd Sling

David Jackson (UK)
The purpose of this experiment was to examine the shepherd sling to form an understanding as to why it would appear to be the most dominant missile weapon of Iron Age Britain (Harding, 2012, p.194). The experiment consisted of making and using the sling, testing its range and accuracy to reveal its strengths and limitations. This experiment was also intended to introduce a different interpretation...

Replica of the Knife 2165 found in Flixborough a Late Anglo-Saxon Period Knife with an Inlay of Twisted Bronze and Silver Wires

Mauro Fiorentini (IT)
This work aims to show the reconstruction of a medieval era knife that was found in Flixborough, Lincolnshire (UK). Flixborough’s Anglo-Saxon cemetery has returned a total of 11 knives that can be dated between the 8th and the 10th century AD. The specimen discussed here is known as Knife 2165 and was found in context 3417 of the site. This knife is the smallest of the inlaid knives found in Flixborough...

Experimental Analysis of Metal Points from Quattro Macine: Reproduction and Interpretation

Ruben Cataldo (IT)
This paper relates to a study of experimental archaeology, executed by Ruben Cataldo, about the forging methods used to produce some replicas of two metal points found during the archaeological excavations carried out between 1992 and 1996 by the University of Salento in the medieval village Quattro Macine (translated Four Millstones), located in the municipality of Giuggianello, a small town in...

Let’s Do the Tine Warp Again: Reconstructing a Late Bronze Age Bridle from Moynagh Lough, County Meath, Ireland

Rena Maguire (UK)
Both before and after the Irish Late Iron Age (AD 50 - 400) there is an exceptional paucity of knowledge regarding equitation in Ireland. We know that equids are present during prehistory, but basically nothing about their use. This paper documents the reconstruction and use of an organic bridle, based on a possible Late Bronze Age cheek-piece found at Moynagh Lough, Co. Meath...

Spinning in Circles: the Production and Function of Upper Palaeolithic Rondelles

A. Needham,
A. Langley,
H. Benton,
S. Biggs,
J. Cousen,
A. Derry,
M. Hardman,
K. Macy,
D. Millar,
E. Murray,
F. Pock,
J. Rowsell,
M. Sandin Catacora,
G. Van Oordt,
D. Veitch-Scoggins and
A. Little (UK)
Rondelles are thin, circular disc cut-outs typically made from the blade of the scapula of medium sized ungulates, such as horse or cervid. These are primarily associated with the Late Upper Palaeolithic Magdalenian and focused around northwest Europe. Rondelles are frequently...