Experimental Archaeology

An Experimental Study of Lesions Observed in Bog Body Funerary Performances

Tiffany Treadway and
Clement Twumasi (UK)
The analysis of sharp force trauma has usually been reserved for prehistoric osteological case studies. Bog bodies, on the other hand, due to the excellent preservation of the soft tissues, provide a unique example of visible lesions. This type of preservation of prehistoric soft tissue trauma that would otherwise be predominantly absent from osteological remains allows archaeologists to understand better the ...

More Testing of Mesoamerican Lunate Artifacts as Possible Loom Weights, that also Functioned as Twining Tools

Billie J. A. Follensbee (US)
In previous replication studies and experiments, a lunate jade artifact from the Pre-Classic/Formative period (1500 BC-AD 250) of Mesoamerica was analysed, researched, and tested for its similarities to the crescent weight, a specialized type of loom weight found in ancient Central and Southern Europe. These analyses successfully established that even a form of this artifact made of wood, shell, or other...

Archaeological Experiment on Reconstruction of the “Compound” Bow of the Sintashta Bronze Age Culture from the Stepnoe Cemetery

Ivan Semyan (RU) and
Spyros Bakas (GR)
#EAC12 World Tour 2021
***This article presents data from an international experimental study on the reconstruction of the “compound” bow of Sintashta culture of bronze age South Ural, Russia. The project is carried out by a collective of researchers from Greece and Russia as part of the grant program of EXARC - “Twinning program”...

Pyrgos Mavroraki Smelting and Melting Experiments in a Metallurgical Workshop of the Second Millennium BC

Maria Rosaria Belgiorno and
Livio Pontieri (IT)
Interpreting the cultural influences of Cyprus in antiquity has posed an issue, depending on one’s point of view or the different conclusions reached. Until the 1970s, in large part due to the extensive excavations along the northern coast of Cyprus, it seemed reasonable to recognise a plethora of Aegean traits in the island culture. Every element of the Cypriot Bronze Age was analysed and interpreted in...

Throwing Punic Amphorae: An Archaeological and Experimental Approach to the use of the Potter's Wheel in southern Iberia during the Iron Age

A.M. Sáez Romero,
R. Belizón Aragón and
P.A. Albuquerque (ES)
The transport of food products in amphorae was a basic pillar for the maritime-oriented economies and sustenance supplies of the Phoenician and Punic communities of first millennium BC southern Iberia. Over the last few decades, numerous investigations have been carried out aimed at identifying the manufacturing sites of these amphorae, at defining both their typological and chronological aspects...

Killing the Cauldron: Experimental Research on Dented Bronze Cauldrons from the (post)Medieval Period

Vincent van Vilsteren (NL)
Bronze cauldrons from the late Middle Ages, and the 16th and 17th century are hardly ever discovered during archaeological excavations but are usually unearthed by detectorists having discovered the find of their life. Many of these vessels happen to be damaged. Sometimes one or two legs are lost, or a piece of the rim is missing, more often they exhibit one or more dents. We know that in prehistory the ritual...

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...

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...