Experimental Archaeology

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...

Early Efforts in Experimental Archaeology: Examples from Evans, Pitt-Rivers, and Abbott

Carolyn Dillian (US)
Experimental archaeology formally began more than 150 years ago with attempts in replicative flint knapping by well-known archaeologists such as Sir John Evans, Augustus (Lane Fox) Pitt-Rivers, John Lubbock, and Sven Nilsson (Coles, 1973). These individuals sought to discover how stone tools were made in order to better identify archaeological artifacts as the products of human manufacture and to understand...

The Construction of a Replica Section of the Middle Subneolithic Purkajasuo Lath Screen Fish Weir at Kierikki Stone Age Centre, Finland

Peter Groom,
Evon Kirby and
James Findlay (UK)
In July 2018 the Mesolithic Resource Group attended the Kierikki Stone Age Centre, Pahkalantie, Finland. The visit provided us with the opportunity to practice experimental archaeology in a ‘Stone Age’ landscape at Kierikki. One project was the reconstruction of a section of the Neolithic wooden fish weir from the site of Purkajasuo, which is on display in the museum...

Celtic Copper Alloy Coin Minting Technology: Experiential Approaches

Lawrence Herzman and
Monika Townsend (US)
In this paper, details are presented for three technical approaches that can be employed in the reproduction of Celtic coins from Britain: 1) the use of pellet trays to produce coin blanks of standardised weight; 2) the use of successive iterations of clay moulds to shrink coin design images while retaining clarity; and 3) the use of a low-carbon steel die that was heated to a plastic state and struck with a cast bronze slug to...