Ancient Technology

Some Uses of Experiment for Understanding Early Knitting and Erasmus' Bonnet

Geeske M. Kruseman (NL)
10th EAC Leiden 2017
***Of Erasmus, prince of humanists (1466?-1536), no less than eight portraits from life survive – all eight in the exact same bonnet. A recently published investigation of this iconic garment (Kruseman, Sturtewagen and Malcolm-Davies, 2016) involved establishing a 250-year typology of the bonnet from iconographical sources, compiling technological and...

A Seventh Century BC Picenian Cloack Clasp Made of Iron, Bone, Bronze and Amber: Reconstruction of a Masterpiece

Mauro Fiorentini (IT)
This article is dedicated to the reconstruction I’ve done in 2017 of a Picenian cloack clasp which is a pretty unique find. It has been found in a prince’s grave dating back to the early 7th Century b.C. and is considered a rare find because only a few similar items have been found in Central Italy, and because of the rare use of amber decorations and bronze plates, that makes this find a true masterpiece...

Traction Trebuchet

Siri Hjesvold (NO) and
Simon McCallum (NZ)
The trebuchet, in all its forms, was very much in vogue in the reenactment and research community in the 1980s and 1990s. Several museums around the world have also built their own, with Middelaldercenteret in Nykøbing Falster in Denmark as one of the first modern examples of counterweight trebuchet (Hansen, 1989). Despite the multitude of builds, very little has been published about...

Animal Teeth in a Late Mesolithic Woman’s Grave, Reconstructed as a Rattling Ornament on a Baby Pouch

Riitta Rainio (FI) and
Annemies Tamboer (NL)
10th EAC Leiden 2017
***In one of the Late Mesolithic graves at Skateholm, Sweden, dating from 5500–4800 BC, was buried a woman together with a newborn baby. Altogether 32 perforated wild boar (Sus scrofa) teeth, along with traces of red ochre pigment, were found in this grave. We interpreted these artefacts as a rattling ornament decorating a baby pouch...

Adze-plane, Skeparnon, Multipurpose Adze or Two-handled Adze? Practical Work with an Alleged Predecessor of the Woodworking Plane

Rüdiger Schwarz (DE)
10th EAC Leiden 2017
***This article presents a practical approach to a Graeco-Roman woodworking tool called “ascia-Hobel” in the archaeological literature, respectively “adze-plane” as the corresponding English term. The tool in question consists of an often semi-circular adze-blade attached to a two-handled shaft and seems to be suited both for chopping and...

Reconstruction of the Ancient Greek Long Jump - an Opportunity for Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Hannah Friedman and
Peter J. Miller (US)
The Games of the XXXI Olympiad – the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (5 August to 21 August, 2016) – continued the long tradition of Olympic sports, which began in ancient Greece (circa 776 BCE), and were heavily modified in their re-creation by the International Olympic Committee...

The Modern Reproduction of a Mongol Era Bow Based on Historical Facts and Ancient Technology Research

Jason Wayne Beever (USA) and
Zoran Pavlović (RS)
This bow was a concept, commissioned from Ulrich Velthuysen, a Swedish archer. This horn bow could be classified as a post-conquest design from early 14th century AD Mongolia. In this article, I will describe, step-by-step, the gathering and processing of materials, and the construction of this design of horn bow...

Reconstruction of the Geometric Décor Technology of the Bronze Age Ceramics in Siberia

Eva Lamina (US)
The grassland and forest steppes ranging from the Ural to the Altai-Sayan mountains were dominated by Andronovo Family cultures during the second millennium BC (the Bronze Age) (Koryakova & Epimakhov 2007; Мартынов 2005). The Andronovo dated ceramic series were characterized by a distinctly expressed geometric ornamentation style...

Cooking in Baskets Using Hot Rocks

Jonathan Thornton (US)
Baskets are among the most ancient of human artefacts. Everyone is familiar with their most common functions as containers for transport and storage. When told that baskets have also served as cooking vessels, most people will be unable to conceive of how this is possible, yet this was a primary function of baskets for many cultures of the past, and some until the present...

Recycled Flint Cores as Teaching Tools: Flintknapping at Archaeological Open-Air Museums

Matthew Swieton and
Linda Hurcombe (UK)
This article examines the art and craft of flintknapping and how the OpenArch project has influenced the way in which this specialized body of craft-knowledge can be most efficiently presented to the public, but additionally—and more importantly—how making the most of teaching opportunities can convey a deeper interpretation to the museum-goer...