EXARC Journal - Latest Articles

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...

Alternative Reconstruction of a First Century AD Roman Cavalry Saddle

Moira Watson (UK)
The reconstruction of a First Century AD Roman cavalry saddle has not been investigated since Peter Connolly introduced his ideas of a wooden tree saddle in 1984, based on the evidence and dimensions provided by archaeological finds of leather saddle covers and bronze saddle horn reinforcers. This alternative reconstruction, not using wood, was designed to address the written and practical evidence for the lack of...

Irish Copper Axe-Ingots Recovered in Brittany: Experimental Casting to Recreate Porous Material

Aurélien Burlot (IE)
The present study discusses the casting of copper axe-ingots in open, wet sand moulds, in an attempt to recreate porous artefacts that have been recovered in Brittany, France. The original axe-ingots are considered to be Irish copper metalwork from the Early Bonze Age. However, these artefacts are not finished objects and are poorly cast. This nevertheless appears to be deliberate because...