Mixed Matters

Book Review: With One Needle: How to Nålbind by Mervi Pasanen

Emma Boast (UK)
In the modern world currently, there is an interest in and desire to understand ancient craft technologies, along with learning the practical side of these skills. Nålbinding is a craft which has been taught and demonstrated for the last 50 years, mainly within heritage and re-enactment communities. The cultural and social history of this craft has survived as a narrative better in some countries than others...

Conference Review: Experiencing Experimental Archaeology, May 2020

Katharina Singer (DE)
The conference “Experiencing Experimental Archaeology / Experimentelle Archäologie Erleben” took place between May 9th - 10th 2020 at the Lauresham Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Lorsch Abbey site, Germany. In previous years the event was held on site through lectures, information booths and presentations, providing the visitors with information about...

Book Review: Viking and Iron Age expanded Boats by Ole Crumlin-Pedersen and Hanus Jensen

Robert Holtzman (UK)
Viking and Iron Age expanded boats is the English version of the simultaneously-published Danish edition, Udspændte både fra vikingetid og jernalder. The two editions are identical in layout and are heavily illustrated with colour and black and white photographs, and line drawings from a variety of sources. This review is of the English edition. By “expanded boats”, the authors mean those craft that are more...

Book Review: Historical Brewing Techniques by Lars Marius Garshol

Susan Verberg (US)
My fascination with Scandinavian yeast rings let me to meet Lars Marius Garshol, online, several years ago. It was refreshing to meet someone, even if only online, who, just like I, enjoys the practical aspects of enjoying and brewing a good home brew as well as being deeply fascinated with its traditions and history. We shared research, compared notes, and had lively discussions, even though...

Book Review: The Routledge Handbook of Reenactment Studies by Agnew, Lamb & Tomann (eds)

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Re-enactment studies are booming, just like re-enactment, living history and role play are. This handbook, therefore, is a good introduction for those interested in the more academic aspects of re-enactment. However, as is often the case with an academic-only approach, this book is not meant for those interested in the backgrounds of re-enactment per se. The authors are academics, writing for their peers...

Experience instead of Event: Changes in Open-Air Museums Post-Coronavirus

Roeland Paardekooper and
Annemarie Pothaar (NL)
The year 2020 started out for museums as usual, with plans for new exhibitions, new buildings even, and above all many events and visitors. Soon we saw how wrong we were. Open-air museums who had prepared to open up for the season found out that COVID-19 meant they were sitting ducks: no visitors, no income, no life in the museum area. The situation will not return to 'normal'...

Conference Review: Documentation Strategies in (Archaeological) Open-air Museums

Matilda Siebrecht (NL)
The conference in Documentation Strategies in (Archaeological) Open-air Museums, organised through the Experimental Archaeology Society (EXARC), was due to be held in Berlin on March 26th and 27th 2020. Unfortunately, the first half of March 2020 saw the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic throughout Europe which caused the implementation of government restrictions on travel and...

Book Review: Bronze Age Combat: An Experimental Approach by Raphael Hermann et al

Rena Maguire (UK)

Cometh the hour, cometh the book? There was a considerable anticipatory kerfuffle on archaeological social media about the release of Bronze Age Combat: an experimental approach, and rightly so. It is much more than just an experimental archaeology book with rather gorgeous photographs of swords, spears and shields (although it is that too!). It is a rare publication which manages to...

Conference Review: 2nd Experimental Archaeology Student Symposium

Yvette A. Marks (UK)
The Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield hosted the 2nd Experimental Archaeology Student Symposium (EAStS) between the 28th February and 1st March 2020, following on from the first successful meeting held in Newcastle in October 2018. The Symposium hosted nine papers on a variety of different experimental reconstructions of material production and processes...