Experimental Archaeology

The Arrowheads of the Squared-Mouthed-Pottery Culture: Reconstruction and Shooting Experiment

Maddalena Sartori (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***This international experimental project focused on the production of replicas of different models of flat-retouched flint arrowheads (stemmed, with flat base, and ogives -with rounded base-) in use within the Neolithic Squared-Mouthed-Pottery Culture (SMP) of Northern Italy. The aim was to test their efficiency in order to understand if...

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...

Basalt Handaxes: Preliminarily Testing the Lithic Translation Strategy Hypothesis and Comparisons with the Fontana Ranuccio Site Bifacial Tools

Giorgio Chelidonio (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***The oldest bifacial “handaxes” known so far belong to the “Kokiselei 4” site, dated to 1.76 Ma (West Turkana, Kenya; Texier, 2018). They have been manufactured by direct lithic percussion on magmatic effusive stone materials. Considering that the evolution of “fully operational intelligence” (Wynn, 1979) has been associated with the so-called...

The Contribution of Experimental Archaeology in Addressing the Analysis of Residues on Spindle-Whorls

Vanessa Forte (UK),
Francesca Coletti (DE, IT),
Elena Ciccarelli (IT) and
Cristina Lemorini (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***This contribution focuses on residues developing on spindle-whorls during spinning. Such a kind of tools is largely diffused in archaeological contexts where spindle-whorls were used in textile activities or deposited in burials as grave goods. Scholars recently approached...

Making, Multi-Vocality and Experimental Archaeology: The Pallasboy Project

Benjamin Gearey,
Mark Griffiths,
Brian Mac Domhnaill,
Cathy Moore and
Orla-Peach Power (IE)
This paper outlines The Pallasboy Project, which set out to craft a replica of the eponymous Irish Iron Age wooden vessel. We consider the process and progress of the project, as it developed in a number of slightly unusual directions. The paper includes a description of the experimental work, alongside personal reflections and comments by...

Bringing Experimental Lithic Technology to Paleoamerican Brazilian Archaeology: Replication Studies on the Rioclarense and Garivaldinense Industries

João Carlos Moreno De Sousa (BR)
Experimental archaeology, especially experimental lithic technology, has not yet been established as a line of research in Brazil (or most of South America). This article presents the first systematic experimental research aiming the replication of Paleoamerican (or Paleoindian) lithic industries. Experimental replication of the stemmed points from Rioclarense and Garivaldinense industries were carried out...

X-Ray Tomography and Infrared Spectrometry for the Analysis of Throwing Sticks & Boomerangs

Luc Bordes (FR)
Throwing sticks, including boomerangs as a subclass, are prehistoric objects as old as humanity. They have endured on many continents in different forms, uses, and traditions of manufacture. Numerous different approaches have been used to study them. Many studies of throwing sticks are dominated by morphological determination and focused on Australian objects which have been...

Skills Shortage: A Critical Evaluation of the Use of Human Participants in Early Spear Experiments

Annemieke Milks (UK)
Hand-delivered spears are the earliest clear hunting technology in the archaeological record, with origins from 400,000 years ago, before the evolution of our own species. Experimental archaeological approaches to early weaponry continue to grow, and both controlled and naturalistic experiments are making significant contributions to interpreting such technologies...

Going Underground: An Experimental Archaeological Investigation of an Early Medieval Irish Souterrain

Tom Meharg (IE)
During the summer of 2018 I completed a master’s degree in experimental archaeology and material culture at University College Dublin, this research was carried out for the final dissertation. The project was to build and test a 1:1 model of an early medieval Irish souterrain. The subterranean structure is based on one of over 3,500 examples of this feature identified in Ireland...