Experimental Archaeology

What was *platъ and how Did it Work?: Reconstructing a Piece of Slavic Cloth Currency

Jan Kratochvíl and
Jakub Koláček (CZ)
Using a credit theory of money, we propose that at least some Slavic tribal communities underwent a process of social monetization. In order to fully support this hypothesis, however, many linguistic and historiographic sources would need to be discussed – a task which exceeds the scope of a single article. Therefore, we will here focus on examining (from technical perspective) the oldest type of “money”...

An Experiment with the Warp-weighted Loom and Heavy Loom Weights. The Case of the Giant Refractory Ceramic “Doughnuts” from North Piedmont, Italy

Lorena Ariis (AT)
Heavy, doughnut-shaped, loom weights made of refractory clay are often found in excavations of Roman and Late Roman settlements in North Piedmont. Unfortunately, they are not found in situ with a weaving loom. We have interpreted them as having been specifically designed for use on a warp weighted loom with a lower mobile beam which is weighed down by a few heavy loom weights...

Groundstone Indications from the Southern Levant for a 7th Millennium BCE Upright Mat Loom

Janet Levy (IL)
The southern Levant features a long-established matting tradition: soumak (weft wrapping) and also weft twined matting from the 10th millennium BC, and coiled matting from the 8th millennium BCE. The Chalcolithic period, 5th millennium BCE, attests to the introduction of plain plait, twill, sewn through techniques and also the use of the horizontal ground mat loom...

Crafting Beyond Habitual Practices: Assessing the Production of a House Urn from Iron Age Central Italy

Caroline Jeffra (NL)
A house-shaped urn dating to the Early Iron Age from Central Italy was technologically assessed in order to establish the forming techniques necessary to produce it. This hypothesized forming sequence was then tested through the production of two experimental urns. It was found that there is a meaningful relationship between the clay texture choices, the forming techniques, and the overall morphology of the finished object...

Hunting for Use-Wear

Matilda Siebrecht and
Diederik Pomstra (NL)

Harpoons are an essential part of the hunting toolkit amongst Inuit and have been integral to the material culture assemblage of Arctic groups for thousands of years. The pre-Inuit population known as the Dorset cultures (app. 800 BC–1300 AD) - also sometimes referred to as Tuniit - were highly dependent on a maritime subsistence with harpoon heads as one of the dominant artefact categories at Dorset sites...

Testing Mesoamerican Lunate Artifacts as Possible Crescent Loom Weights

Billie J. A. Follensbee (US)
While the importance of textiles in Mesoamerica from the Classic period (AD 250-900) onward is well-recognized, scholars have conducted little exploration of earlier Mesoamerican textile production. This lack of scholarship may be attributed in great part to the scant preservation of perishable textiles and tools from ancient times. New sources of information have been recognized, however...

Experiment with Kindling Oil Lamps

Aleksei Vaiman (IL)
This article deals with the daily technology of ceramic oil lamps from the period of the 1st century AD until the first half of the 7th century AD. The questions underlying in this article include the following: How long did combustion take and what was its intensity? Were wicks pulled and when? Was the oil poured into an already-burning lamp to increase the burning time, as Dr. Amar Zohar, of Bar Ilan University suggests?...

Roe Deer as Raw Material for Middle Mesolithic Fishhooks? An Experimental Approach to the Manufacture of Small Bone Fishhooks

Anja Mansrud and
Morten Kutschera (NO)
Bone fishhooks have occasionally been retrieved from bone assemblages at coastal sites dating to the Middle Mesolithic phase (8300-6300 cal. BC) in Southern Norway and Western Sweden. Several studies of fishhooks from these sites have been undertaken in recent years. Fishhooks can be manufactured from different osseous materials, including antler, ribs and shafts of different long bones...

Experimental Research on the Neanderthal Musical Instrument from Divje Babe I Cave (Slovenia)

Matija Turk (SL) and
Giuliano Bastiani (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***The supposition that an unusually perforated femur of a juvenile cave bear found at the Divje babe I Palaeolithic cave site in Slovenia could be a musical instrument led to heated debates. According to its archaeological context and chronostratigraphic position, if made by humans, it could only be attributed to Neanderthals...

Enhancing the Accuracy of Use Interpretation: The Discovery of a New Wear Formation with the Complementary Methods of Experimental Archaeology and Use-Wear Analysis

Amber Roy (UK)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***Experimental archaeology and use-wear analysis are methods used together to understand aspects of an object’s life, such as manufacture and use. This paper demonstrates the benefits of analysing use-wear through experiments. It presents the results of experiments which were carried out to test the use of battle-axes and axe-hammers...