The mission of the Albion Experimental Archaeology Studio (AEAS) is to provide a venue for experimental archaeology in the pyrotechnical crafts, teach and mentor students, and perform public outreach. Experimental archaeology is a fast-growing field that allows for a wide range of investigative techniques and research questions. From potting to smelting to stone-working, experiments yield a tremendous amount of information on manufacturing processes and technical knowledge of ancient peoples. The finished products may also be used in practical and experiential studies, from cutting hides with stone knives to recreating dining practices.
The founder of AEAS, Dr Mara Horowitz of Purchase College, SUNY, used experience from archaeological fieldwork and experimental archaeology in Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Age Cyprus and Turkey to establish a venue for experimental work in pyrotechnical craft s in the United States located on a 4.5 acre former farm. Based in Danbury, CT, (70km north of NYC and connected by train) the studio has both modern and traditional pottery technologies from a professional electric kiln and power wheel to a custom-made kick wheel, outdoor pit kiln and improvised updraft kilns. Facilities are suitable for a wide variety of work including experimental clay processing, controlled re-firing projects, and other pyrotechnical work. Space and materials are also available for traditional glass, stone, and metal craft experiments including abundant firewood and an outdoor area. Current projects include replicating and testing the function of distinctive handle-making techniques from Early-Middle Bronze Cyprus, replicating and studying the forming techniques of ring kernoi and lentoid flasks from Late Bronze Anatolia, and replicating and studying the clay body and forming techniques of 30-cm plates from Tell Atchana, Turkey. Projects in the publication s tage include replication and functional testing of serving and dining pottery forms from Tell Atchana. Previous published experimental work by Dr Horowitz focused on shell-tempered cookware from the Late Bronze Age Orontes Valley. The studio is open to collaborations from any area of study and warmly invites interested parties to contact us.