Thursday, March 25, 2021

EAC12 Experimental Archaeology - A Selection

Monday, March 29, 2021 - Thursday, April 1, 2021
Join the #EAC12 Conference live and for Free

" Attending the #EAC12 Experimental Archaeology world tour online conference is free and open access to all, thanks to our sponsors. You will see over 120 experiments from around the world, in 16 sessions spanning over 4 days (29 March - 1 April). The Conference will be streamed live on YouTube via 

Each 3-hour session has two hours of presentations, followed by a 1 hour of live Q&A where questions from the public are answered.
Besides that, we have a "plus" platform, Discord. Here you can interact with one another in thematic text and audio channels. Follow this link to enter the server: any time before or during the conference. Once you click, you are prompted to present yourself in 1, 2 sentences and then one of us will let you in. Read more about Discord... "

Please register for free to receive updates about the #EAC12 Conference.

Program Selections

Note : This is just my own personal selection of topics I am interested in!

Papers directly related to Iron Smelting in bold / Presentation times adjusted for EST (Ontario), as pulled off the published schedule :

For all Abstracts see


I messed up on the reporting and converstion!

(March 30) When the schedule was first published, the normal offset from GMT to EST (Ontario) of 5 hours was given here. Then Ontario shifted to Daylight Savings, which through everything out by an hour (less). So I changed the indicated times. Then two weeks later, Europe shifted to DST as well, re-aligning the times back to +5 hours.


Monday March 21

11 AM EDT  (London GMT 16:00) - Session 3

#7 : (11:00)
Hotspot Presentation: Experiments in functional Studies. The case of fire-related Experiments
Veerle Rots, Dries Cnuts, Sonja Tomasso
TraceoLab/Prehistory, University of Liège (Belgium)

#8 : (11:00 +)
Paper: 4-Dimensional Recording of Fire related Experiments
Ole Fredrik Unhammer & S.J. Armitage
Centre for early sapiens behaviour (SapienCE), Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen (Norway)

15:00 EDT  (London GMT 20:00) - Session 4

#10 (15:00)
Paper: Toxic Taters: how Ethnography, Experimental Archaeology and the modern Kitchen can improve the safety Potatoes
Bill Schindler
Washington College (USA)

#11 : (15:00 +)
Paper: How the Wind Blows: Investigating the Performance of Early Bellows through Experiments
Myriam Legault
Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany)

Paper: A lot of Hot Air: Exploring Air Production in Viking Era Bellows
Neil Peterson
Independent Scholar (Canada)

Session 4: Live Questions & Answers
(starting approximately after 2h of broadcasting = 17:00 EDT)

Tuesday 30 March

04:00 EDT (London GMT 09:00) - Session 6

# 16 : (04:00 +)
Paper: Experimental Casting of high-leaded bronze Palstaves in the ATLANTAXES Project
Beatriz Comendador1, Aaron Lackinger1, María G. Faro2, Noemí Silva2, Pau Sureda2 & Xosé-Lois Armada2
1 Grupo de Estudos de Arqueoloxía, Antigüidade e Territorio, Universidade de Vigo (Spain)2 Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit - CSIC) (Spain)

#17 : (05:00)
Paper: A House Biography: Building and Burning an Experimental Reconstruction of a Neolithic House
Diederik Pomstra, Annelou van Gijn, Annemieke Verbaas & Leo Wolterbeek

800 EDT (London GMT 13:00) - Session 7

#20 : (09:00 +)
Paper: Arctic Iron Smelting in northernmost Sweden – an Experimental Approach
Carina Bennerhag1,2, Jannica Grimbe1 & Daryoush Tahmasebi1
1 Norrbottens museum (Sweden)
2 Luleå University of Technology (Sweden)

Wednesday March 31

03:00 EDT  (London GMT 08:00) - Session 9

#26 : (03:00)
University of Exeter / Buster Farm Hotspot

Paper: Butser Ancient Farm and Exeter University Collaborative Experiment for Alternative Roofing Materials
Fergus Milton (UK)

#27 : (05:00+)

Paper: Experimental Research and the Archaeological Open-Air Museum: perfect Storm or a perfect Partnership?
Claire Walton
Butser Ancient Farm (UK)

Thursday April 1

00:00 EDT (London GMT 05:00) - Session 13

#37 : (00:00+)
Paper: Investigating the Ancient Heritage of Indian Iron Smelting Technology through Experimental Approach
S. Udayakumar
National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) (India)

04:00 EDT (London GMT 09:00) - Session 14

#41 : (05:00+)
Paper: Roman and Early Medieval Mosaic Beads and Millefiori Canes – the hot Glass Techniques of Manufacture
Sue Heaser (UK)

#42 : (0:600)
Paper: Why Recycle Glass? The Answer is Clear? Experimental Glass Recycling using a Wood-fired Glassworking Furnace
Victoria Lucas
Newcastle University (UK)

08:00 EDT - (London GMT 13:00) Session 15

#43 : (08:00)
DARC Hotspot Presentation

(08:00) Paper: 'Now with 70% less Clay!' Experiments with Viking Age Icelandic Turf walled Iron Smelting Furnaces
Darrell Markewitz1, Kevin Smith2 & Neil Peterson3

1 Independent Researcher, Ontario (Canada)
2 Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Rhode Island (USA)
3 Independent Researcher, Ontario (Canada)

Paper: Stone Soup: Experiments in Soapstone Cookware in a Norse Context
Richard Schweitzer & Sarah Scroggie
Dark Ages Recreation Company (Canada)

Paper: Increasing the Effectiveness of the Bloomery Smelting Process by using a mobile Furnace Shaft. Archaeological Experiments on the possible Reuse of clay Shafts during the early Roman Period in Northern Central Europe
Florian Kobbe2, Christian Helmreich1,2,3, Jan Hinrichs1 & Martin Sauerwein1

Session 15: Live Questions & Answers
(starting approximately after 2h of broadcasting = 10:00 EDT)


As a European based conference, the times for some sessions are not ideal for those of us in North America.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Globes (10 lines #1)


The vault was immense, the glow from the individual radiant spheres providing heat and light to each working system, but with only a bit of light extending beyond each into the greater darkness.
There was plenty of space left between each set to keep effects isolated, still more distance dividing the larger clusters of similar prototype layouts.
There were so many variables to test; what energy provided, placement and size of the containments, what combination of chemicals could be combined into each.
It was exacting and patient work, so often ending in less than desirable results.
The Overseer wandered through the complexity of the project, attention drawn to some excitement over at one of the M class experiments.
As was typical, the starting flasks ranged in size, and had been laid out bracketing what was usually considered the ideal light and temperature zone, all rotating and turning at different rates to churn the various chemical mixes.
Of the starting nine globes, there had been three that had looked especially promising, numbers two through four in the series.
The inner most had heated too quickly, resulting in an accelerated growth that had ended in sulfurous contamination and although number four had started well, but something had gone wrong with the containment, leaving the contents too dry, thin and cold.
The developing primary culture in globe three however was reaching it’s absolute peak of perfection, with traces of a subtle smoky component, which if harvested at just the right moment, would ensure it’s appeal to the connoisseur.

Meanwhile, the humans living on Earth, completely unaware of their true role in the larger Universe, blindly continued to burn massive amounts of carbon based fuels, thinking somehow everything would be fine in the end.

 Image taken from the December 2020 issue of Discover


My partner Kelly had passed along an exercise suggested from a creative writing course that a friend was taking. 'The 10 Line Challenge' is to write a short story using only 10 sentences. The piece is formatted here so to make the sentence count clear. This may be cheating just a little, as some of those lines are a wee bit on the long size.

Friday, March 05, 2021

DARC - Hosts at EAC12

2021 March

12th Experimental Archaeology Conference 

#EAC12, World Tour

 the Dark Ages Re-Ceation Company will be hosting one of the many 'hot spot' segments of this virtual conference.

The Dark Ages Recreation Company has developed a well-earned reputation in Canada for mounting high quality living history presentations.  In addition to repeated trips to the 'Vinland' site at L'Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland, DARC has provided living history demonstrations in conjunction with exhibits at museums throughout Ontario and into the United States. This has included presentations in support of both Vikings, North Atlantic Saga and Full Circle, First Contact.

The group focuses on everyday life in Northern Europe at the turn of the first millennium. Individuals portray a selection of working artisans who illustrate the everyday use of personal possessions and the skills used in making these items. Textile workers, bead makers, cooks, musicians, potters, metal and wood workers, all take part in presentations using the format of individual artisans and family units within a seasonal market setting. Beyond the group’s work as demonstrators and interpreters, the desire to acquire some of the original skills and apply these to object creation has led members to solid experimental archaeology in various fields of endeavor, from cooking to gaming strategies, construction of musical instruments, and pole lathe debris.

Some have taken their research to more formal levels, with long-running experiments and academic presentations related to bloomery iron smelting and glass bead production. There are three presentations contributed by members of DARC at EAC12 this year: Darrell Markewitz and Neil Peterson on investigations into Icelandic smelting furnaces,  Neil Peterson on air production in Viking Age bellows; and Richard Schweitzer and Sarah Scroggie on their construction and testing of soapstone cooking pots.

Demonstrating game playing : Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2002

Experimental Iron Smelting : L'Anse aux Meadows HNSC, 2010

Supporting Exhibits : Royal Ontario Museum, 2013

Experimental glass bead making : Upper Canada Village, 2019

Daily Life in the Viking Age : Upper Canada Village, 2018

Overall Camp Presentation : Upper Canada Village 2018

Textiles Work : Upper Canada Village, 2013

 Descriptive text by Diane Harper / with edit


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

COPYRIGHT NOTICE - All posted text and images @ Darrell Markewitz.
No duplication, in whole or in part, is permitted without the author's expressed written permission.
For a detailed copyright statement : go HERE