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2017 November - Reconstructive and Experimental Archaeology Conference (REARC), USA

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 to Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Organised by: EXARC & REARC

Click here for the Online Registration.

Click here for Travel & Accommodations.

Once again experimental archaeologists from around the world will be gathering at Colonial Williamsburg for the 7th International Conference on Reconstructive and Experimental Archaeology (REARC). In addition to hearing scholarly presentations, attendees can engage with a variety of historic craftspeople as well as experts in prehistoric technologies while touring one of eastern North America’s most important early colonial sites.  
This year’s conference will be held from November 16-19, 2017.  Activities will include a day of paper sessions and a day of hands-on activities on the Williamsburg grounds.  This year's REARC meetings will be integrated into Colonial Williamsburg's facilities and programs, providing attendees with a unique conference experience.
Publication is offered through the EXARC Journal (online at, but edited). If enough papers get published, these will be collected in a separate online volume.
Saturday will see REARC craftspeople working at various locations throughout the Colonial Williamsburg site. We also seek expressions of interest from craftspeople interested in offering educational sessions as a part of this program.  
Reconstructive and experimental archaeologists strive to expand our archaeological understanding of the past by attempting to recreate material culture, technology, or life-ways by using the same materials, techniques, and strategies believed to have been employed in the past through structured experimentation. REARC promotes and stimulates interest in reconstructive and experimental archaeology; serving as a bridging organization between open-air museums, academics, primitive technologists, related groups, and individuals involved in the field. By supporting and facilitating an active and open exchange of information between related groups; REARC serves as a bond among those interested in this and related subjects. We encourage publication through the EXARC Journal to aid in the conservation and development of related data; and to encourage high standards, development and support for the scientific application of reconstructive and experimental archaeological research.

Call for Papers:

We are involved in educating students, members of the public, and scholars about the methods and results of reconstructive and experimental archaeology. Papers and posters that focus on educational methods, project design and results, and issues in the field are welcome.  We seek presentations about educational projects for diverse audiences, including K-12 students, university students, avocational and professional archaeologists, academics, and the public. Perspectives from around the globe are welcome.  

We are now accepting abstract submissions for presentations focused on general issues in reconstructive and experimental archaeologists.
150 word abstract submissions are due by September 15th.
Send submissions to:
Neil Peterson
1850 Notre Dame Dr.
Box 124
St. Agatha, ON
N0B 2L0

Conference Costs:

Regular (non-EXARC member) $75

Student (non-EXARC member) $55

Regular (EXARC member) $65

Student (EXARC member) $45

Payment is through PayPal at our conference website only. In order to maintain the low cost and high accessibility of this conference, presenters will need to register and pay the appropriate fees.


REARC has blocked a limited number of rooms at a discounted price at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites for conference attendees. Please reserve your rooms early using the link below to get these prices. The conference center is located just behind the hotel, and historic Colonial Williamsburg is an easy walk or shuttle ride.
The Woodlands Hotel & Suites
105 Visitor Center Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23185, US
Individual reservations can now only be made on based on availability via the Hotel’s on line reservations PASSKEY system ( by providing the Group name or code (47683) or by calling 800-261-9530 between the hours of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday. Please use the Booking ID 47683 when calling.

You need to both register online and pay through PayPal before your registration is final.

Click here for the online registration.

Use the PayPal button below to pay your conference fees. 

Registration Options



Update 6 October 2017

Thursday 16 November 2017

On-site registration


Friday 17 November 2017
The Friday papers and keynote will take place in the Cascade Room in the Woodlands Hotel and Suite, 105 Visitors Center Dr., Williamsburg, VA 23185 (it located across the parking lot from the main Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center).
See Map      

8:00-9:00amOn-site registration
9:00-9:10amOpening Remarks
9:10-10:40amPapers Session #1
Replicating Lusignan Ceramics and Cuisine as a Means to Study Medieval Culture

Scott D. Stull
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 Reviving the Art and Science of Azul Maya
Kelly McKenna
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 Experimental Archaeology, Ethnography, and Abandoned Pastoralist Homesites in Northern Kenya
Carolyn Dillian, Emmanuel Ndiema, Rahab Kinyanjui, and Purity Kiura
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 Reconstructing an Early Mississippian Beaded Fabric from Pottery Impressions: Rivercane as Beads?
Jane Eastman
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10:40-10:55amCoffee Break
10:55am-12:25pmPapers Session #2
Experimental Archaeology: Experiments in String, Stone, Wood, and Clay

Barbara Klessig
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 The Effect of Formulation and Heat Treatment on Cob's Strength and Frangibility
Robert Schweitzer
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 Elementary Ex-Arc
Richard Schweitzer
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 The Intersection of Art Conservation and Experimental Archaeology
Jonathan Thornton
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1:55-3:10pmPapers Session #3
Cultural Taphonomy: A Comparative Study of Mummification Processes Among the Early Egyptian and Inca Cultures.

Emma Williams
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 Shifting the Sand: Replicating Black Powder Grenades
Stephen Lacey
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 How Many Pots? Experiments Using an Alternative Method to Calculate MNV with X-ray Fluorescence
Carolyn Dillian and Sydney James
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3:10-3:25pmCoffee Break
3:25-4:55pmPapers Sesion #4
Public Access to History through Archaeology

Katie Stringer Clary
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 All These Cool Skills, Now What?
Katherine Ambry Linhien Muller
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 Ancestral Puebloan Grooved Bone Tools: an Experimental Approach to Discerning Function
Theresa Emmerich
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 Research Perspectives and Public Reactions from Experiments in the Combined Use of 3D Prints and Traditional Crafted Replicas.
Linda Hurcombe
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7:30pmKeynote Lecture
 Growing Lost Crops, Reconstructing Ancient Knowledge Systems
Natalie G. Mueller
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Saturday 18 November 2017

10:00am - 4:00pm


Bronze Casting - Fergus Milton

Processing Wool & Spinning - Barbara Klessig MA, Humboldt State  University

Processing Hides - Theresa Emmerich PhD, University of Exeter

Cordage - Prof. Jonathan Thornton, Buffalo State University

Reconstructing Beaded Fabric - WCU Students under guidance by Prof Dr  Jane Eastman, Western Carolina University

Games - Neil Peterson, Wilfrid Laurier University

Atlatl Competition - Tim Messner PhD, SUNY Potsdam

Flint Knapping - Doug Meyer BA, The Schiele Museum

See Map   


Sunday 19 November 2017

Participants are free to explore Colonial Williamsburg and departure


Top picture: Photograph by NG Studios/Tahria Sheather


Photograph by NG Studios/Griffin Kenemer
Photograph by NG Studios/Tahria Sheather
Photograph by NG Studios/Tahria Sheather
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