EXARC Journal - Latest Articles

Standardized Reporting of Experimental Iron Smelting - A modest (?) Proposal

Darrell Markewitz (CA)
The development of effective bloomery iron smelting has progressed over the past decades from the first repeated experiments into documented, effective, methods. This progression has primarily been the work of often isolated individuals, many with great practical experience as artisans, but most often with little formal academic training. The overall result is a patchwork of recording methods and descriptions...

Oakbank Dog Rose: A Working-model of an Iron Age Wooden Whistle from a Loch Tay Crannog

Simon Wyatt (UK)
In 1980 a small piece of worked wood was discovered during excavation at Oakbank crannog in Loch Tay, Scotland. It was interpreted as a whistle by Nick Dixon. While there are several other Iron Age artefacts which have been interpreted as whistles, in Britain, this is the only one currently known to the author which is made of wood. This paper describes the manufacture and sounding of a model of this Iron Age...

A Spark of Inspiration: Experimentally Testing Manganese Dioxide as a Fire Lighting Aide

Andy Langley and
Andy Needham (UK)
Evidence for the production, use, and control of fire by Neanderthals in Europe ranges from the scale of ecosystems to microscopic alterations of artefacts. While there is a consensus that Neanderthals were skilled in the use of fire, there remains a dispute over whether they had mastered the ability to produce fire on demand. The unique discovery that Neanderthals may have been utilising manganese dioxide as...

Weaving Production in Butser Ancient Farm Roundhouses in the South of England

Helen Poulter (UK)
From 2015 to 2017 a series of weaving experiments using warp-weighted looms were conducted in the roundhouses at Butser Ancient Farm. The aim was to focus on the working environment within the roundhouse and to assess any potential issues that may occur whilst weaving, including benefits. The results of the research would also assist in evaluating any seasonal patterns which cause productivity to...

Traces of Manufacture, Use, Repair and Modification Observed on Ethnographic Throwing Sticks and Boomerangs

Luc Bordes (FR)
Throwing sticks and boomerangs are present in the collections of many French and international museums. Collected mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries by travelers, they were mainly analyzed from a stylistic point of view, to relate them to their region of origin. Some of these objects were made by the indigenous populations especially to be exchanged with Europeans and only bear...

The Process of Making Schist Axes of Paja Ul Deˀŋ – “The People of Big Water”

Alexander Akulov (RU)
Paja Ul Deˀŋ [padʒaul’deˀŋ] “The People of Big Water” is a conventional and compact name given to Neolithic inhabitants of the territories of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region in their hypothetical reconstructed language (it is possible to state that these people spoke a language that was very close to Yeniseian languages). Paja Ul Deˀŋ made axes/adzes mainly of schist, a process that takes...