Experimental Archaeology

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...

Experience and Discovery: Engaging the Public in Research. A Survey on Experimental Archaeology Contemporary Practice and Meaning – Preliminary Results

Lara Comis (IE)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***The traditional way of engaging the public with the past has changed: now, through experimental archaeology, we can have a direct, physical contact with the “past”. But, as researchers know, the means used to engage the public are the fruits of an active process of investigation, especially in experimental archaeology...

The Mother of All Bead Furnaces: Testing a Hypothesis about a Natural Draft Bead Furnace

Neil Peterson (CA)
As a part of the ongoing exploration of Viking Era glass bead production, the Dark Ages Re-creation Company (DARC) team perform new pilot experiments on a regular basis. These experiments provide a preliminary understanding of a specific construct or research question, allowing us to judge the validity of further experiments, as well as what equipment or additional questions may be necessary as a part of...

The Variation of Elastic Modulus and Changes of Structures and Mineral Phases In Rocks as Parameters for the Identification of Fire-Setting in Ancient Mines

Angela Celauro (IT) and
Alexander Maass (DE)
The article is focused on the creation of a protocol for the analytical characterization of fire-setting in different types of rock. A set of experiments of heating and cooling have been carried out on different kind of rocks under various conditions and durations in order to record changes in the structures and composition of the samples. This study was set to support the solution of issues in the case of...

CRAFTER: Potting Techniques of the Bronze Age

Caroline Jeffra (NL)
Throughout its history, experimental archaeology has fulfilled a valuable role in archaeological research, allowing craftspeople and scholars alike to deepen an understanding of people and their societies in the past. EXARC’s recent involvement in the CRAFTER project, and the author’s participation in its International Meeting in Mula (Spain), has demonstrated that significant knowledge gaps remain in...

Experimental Archaeology: Who Does It, What Is the Use?

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
In two surveys, several people working with experimental archaeology explained what they believe is experimental archaeology. They also described their activities. We asked universities, societies, freelancers and museums. Several adjacent activities are discussed, like archaeotechnique, making reconstructions and life experiments. After some confusing and clarifying examples, the future of ...

Vegetable Plaiting Materials from the Site of Abu Tbeirah (Southern Iraq, Third Millennium BC): Experimental Approach

Maria Virginia Montorfani (IT)
This study is based on plaiting materials from Abu Tbeirah, Iraq, with a particular attention to baskets and reed mats. The study focuses on the various raw materials used, on diverse plating techniques and tries to understand possible uses of these artefacts in their context. The research has been developed with an experimental approach, based on archaeological and ethnographic sources...

The Question of Fuel for Cooking in Ancient Egypt and Sudan

J. Budka,
C. Geiger,
P. Heindl,
V. Hinterhuber (DE) and
H. Reschreiter (AT)
Little is known about the actual cooking processes and in particular fuel-related activities in Egypt and Northern Sudan (Nubia) in antiquity, especially during the Bronze Age. Considering that wood was, in general, rare along the Nile valley and therefore an expensive raw material, animal dung was tested in 2018 by means of...