Experimental Archaeology

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...

Ceramicists, Apprentices or Part-Timers? On the Modelling and Assembling of Peak Sanctuary Figurines

Céline Murphy (IE)
The question of who made peak sanctuary figurines has frequently been raised but seldom deeply examined. The assumption that the aesthetically refined pieces were carefully made by skilled ‘artists’ while the less visually pleasing ones were rapidly made by low-skilled ‘artisans’ has consequently endured. Revisiting these conclusions from a materially inclusive perspective that...

Ancient Distillation and Experimental Archaeology about the Prehistoric Apparatuses of Tepe Gawra

Maria Rosaria Belgiorno (CY)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***The Perfume Theme Park Museum of Cyprus’ research protocol of Experimental Archaeology (https://www.perfumecypark.org), aims at verifying hypotheses of ancient perfume manufacturing processes, to formulate a possible comparison with modern realities derived from the island’s ancient cultural heritage. What has recently emerged...

Smelting Conditions and Smelting Products: Experimental Insights into the Development of Iron Bloomery Furnaces

Y. Marks,
N. Groat,
L. O. Lortie,
M. Hughes,
H. F. Thompson,
C. J. Woodland,
T. MS Adams,
T. Thorpe,
B. Tang,
R. Kenyon,
B. Langhorne and
J. Fraser-Darling (UK)
The material record for bloomery furnaces in Iron Age and Roman Britain is fragmentary and, because of this paucity of evidence, the reconstruction of the ceramic structures used in iron production is difficult. Experiments have nevertheless been carried out to ...

Roar Ege: The Lifecycle of a Reconstructed Viking Ship

Tríona Sørensen and
Martin Rodevad Dael (DK)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***In 1962, the remains of five late Viking Age ships were excavated from Roskilde Fjord, near Skuldelev on the Danish island of Zealand. Twenty years later, the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde began the process of building its first full-scale Viking ship reconstruction, the 14 m long coastal transport and trading vessel, Skuldelev 3...