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...

Throwing Stick to Spear Thrower - Study of Ethnographic Artefacts and Experimentation

Luc Bordes (FR)
Little is known about the process of the invention of the prehistoric spear thrower which appeared around 25,000 years ago in Europe, although it may have emerged earlier on other continents. This innovative weapon had a late arrival in Australia from Papua New Guinea at the end of the late glacial maximum, and probably induced an adaptation in hand throwing spear technology used by local people...

Embossing Technique between III and II Century BC: Experiments and First Results

Andrea Moretti,
Andrea Mariani,
Livio Asta and
Tommaso Gallo (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***The purpose of this paper is to explain our experience with the process of experimental archaeology, involving the reproduction and field testing of embossed decorations, inspired to archaeological finds. As a re-enactment group focused on Celts and Ligurians of III – II century BC we reproduce items and/or ornaments...

“A Mirror for Men” – Reconstructing a Medieval Polishing Bench and Putting it to the Test

Florian Messner (AT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***In the late 5th century AD, the famous Ostrogoth Theoderic the Great received a truly regal gift from the king of the Warini: he was given highly elaborated swords, richly decorated and able to cut through armour. Their fullers (long grooves along the flat side of the blade to reduce weight and to gain stability...

The Arrowheads of the Squared-Mouthed-Pottery Culture: Reconstruction and Shooting Experiment

Maddalena Sartori (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***This international experimental project focused on the production of replicas of different models of flat-retouched flint arrowheads (stemmed, with flat base, and ogives -with rounded base-) in use within the Neolithic Squared-Mouthed-Pottery Culture (SMP) of Northern Italy. The aim was to test their efficiency in order to understand if...

The Iron Age Shepherd Sling

David Jackson (UK)
The purpose of this experiment was to examine the shepherd sling to form an understanding as to why it would appear to be the most dominant missile weapon of Iron Age Britain (Harding, 2012, p.194). The experiment consisted of making and using the sling, testing its range and accuracy to reveal its strengths and limitations. This experiment was also intended to introduce a different interpretation...

Shooting Experiments with Early Medieval Arrowheads

Holger Riesch (DE)
In the Merovingian era (5th-8th century AD) a lot of variously shaped iron arrowheads were used by the Franks, Alemannians and Bavarians, who dwelled in the region known today as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As archaeological artefacts, two-winged arrowheads with rhombic, willow-leaf or triangular blades represent a standard Germanic type. Iron bodkin and needle-shaped tips are also...

X-Ray Tomography and Infrared Spectrometry for the Analysis of Throwing Sticks & Boomerangs

Luc Bordes (FR)
Throwing sticks, including boomerangs as a subclass, are prehistoric objects as old as humanity. They have endured on many continents in different forms, uses, and traditions of manufacture. Numerous different approaches have been used to study them. Many studies of throwing sticks are dominated by morphological determination and focused on Australian objects which have been...

Skills Shortage: A Critical Evaluation of the Use of Human Participants in Early Spear Experiments

Annemieke Milks (UK)
Hand-delivered spears are the earliest clear hunting technology in the archaeological record, with origins from 400,000 years ago, before the evolution of our own species. Experimental archaeological approaches to early weaponry continue to grow, and both controlled and naturalistic experiments are making significant contributions to interpreting such technologies...

Traction Trebuchet

Siri Hjesvold (NO) and
Simon McCallum (NZ)
The trebuchet, in all its forms, was very much in vogue in the reenactment and research community in the 1980s and 1990s. Several museums around the world have also built their own, with Middelaldercenteret in Nykøbing Falster in Denmark as one of the first modern examples of counterweight trebuchet (Hansen, 1989). Despite the multitude of builds, very little has been published about...