Experimental Archaeology

The Colour Palette of Antique Bronzes: An Experimental Archaeology Project

Jonathan Devogelaere (FR)
Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, with lead also added. Hellenistic and Roman bronze objects have a variable percentage of metals, and because of this the colour of the alloy will differ depending on the proportions. The colour of the alloy can be maintained by polishing, but it is also possible to give a patina to the surface of bronze using a reagent...

Painting Bronze Age Plaster from Thebes Boeotia

Αntonis Vlavogilakis (GR)
A series of experiments were conducted to study an unusual mortar mixture identified by Brysbaert (2008a) in plaster fragments found in Thebes, Boeotia. The mixture was very interesting in its composition, containing unusual aggregates such as crushed seashells and bone. The techniques used in the samples are...

A Minoan Experimental House – Paying Tribute to Middle Bronze Age Cretan Vernacular Architecture

Sabine Beckmann (GR)
In the mountains south of Agios Nikolaos, north-east Crete, the Minoans of the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1650 B.C.) left behind several kinds of ruins, which were studied in my PhD thesis (Beckmann 2012a). The 337 ancient sites discovered during this investigation were arranged in a loose settlement pattern, with dwellings ca. 150 m from each other...

The Gislinge Boat Open Source Project: An Old Boat and a New Idea

T. Sørensen,
M. Rodevad Dael,
S. Tavs Ravn,
M. Broen and
M. Krogh Nielsen (DK)
In 1993, the remains of a wooden boat were uncovered during drainage works north of the village of Gislinge, on the island of Sjælland in Denmark (Gøthche 1995). Now reclaimed agricultural land, the area had once been part of the shallow Lammefjord, itself connected to the Isefjord and the open sea...

Hut 1 of Tornambé, Pietraperzia: an Experimental Project for Prehistoric Sicily Studies

Claudia Speciale and
Kati Caruso (IT)
Architectural reconstructions in archaeology represent very common experimental projects throughout Northern and Southern Europe (see for example Page 2012; Burrow 2015). Testing hypotheses and comparing scarce archaeological data with material culture artefacts helps to create an enduring visual experience for both researchers and the public (Paardekooper 2013)...

An Energy Saving House from 3400 Years Ago

Irene Staeves (DE)
The fact that people of the Bronze Age built houses with very good insulation was already presented by Staeves (2010) based on the results of an archaeological excavation in 2003 where an archaeological team of the Main-Kinzig district examined remnants of a Middle Bronze Age settlement. Prior to this, it was assumed that...

Getting Hammered: The Use of Experimental Archaeology to Interpret Wear on Late Bronze Age Hammers and Modern replicas

E. Giovanna Fregni (UK)
Metalsmithing tools such as hammers are rarely recognised for their significance in understanding prehistoric metalworking technology. Their development and specialisation signal new metalworking techniques and a wider array of the types of metal objects being made. Our knowledge of ancient metalworking is...

Problems and Suggested Solutions in the Replication and Operation of a Glass Furnace based on Roman Remains: an Experiment in Glass Production

E. Lauermann,
G. Putzgruber and
D. Götzinger (AT)
Experimental archaeology is taking on an ever more important role in pre- and early historical research. The archaeological open-air museum at the exhibition at the Museum of Pre- and Early History in Asparn/Zaya was a centre and teaching site for experimental archaeology from its beginnings in 1970.