Thursday, April 20, 2023

EAC-13 : Sessions of (personal) interest

DARC presentations

Of interest

Of interest, but outside reasonable hours

Of interest to others?

Times given from Poland / converted to EST


Opening: Experimental Archaeology In Poland – History, Science and Education
by Grzegorz Osipowicz, Justyna Orłowska, Justyna Kuriga (PL)
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw


Session 1.A
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw

Session 1.B
Location: Room 008
Moderator: Giovanna Fregni


Paper 1.A.1: Disentangling the Complexity of the Gönnersdorf Plaquette Engravings: manual and robotic Experiments
by Jérôme Robitaille, Lisa-Elen Meyering (DE)

Paper 1.B.1: Iron Age Combustion Structures in the Western Mediterranean: an Approach from the Experimental Archaeology
by Maria-Carme Belarte, María Pastor Quiles, Marta Portillo, Carme Saorin, Marta Mateu Sagués, Alessandra Pecci, Sílvia Vila, Josep Pou, Georgina Castells, Jordi Morer, Joaquín Fernández (ES)


Paper 1.A.2: Experimental Reproduction of Traces Documented on Middle Palaeolithic Bone Retouchers from the Ciemna Cave
by Piotr Werens, Damian Stefański, Katarzyna Zarzecka-Szubińska (PL)

Paper 1.B.2: Experimental Cremations in Different burning Environments: Open versus semi-close Pyre in Crete, Greece
by Yannis Chatzikonstantinou, Evangelia Kiriatzi, Sevasti Triantaphyllou (GR)


Paper 1.A.3: What Did Neanderthals Wear on Their Feet? An Experimental Archaeological Investigation of Neanderthal Footwear
by Phoebe Baker, Andy Needham (UK)

Paper 1.B.3: Reconstructing the Pyrotechnological Development of The Harappans Using Ethnographic Parallels in The Region of Ghaggar, India
by Garima Singh (IN)


Paper 1.A.4: Late Palaeolithic Ornamentation in Experiments: A Case of an Ornamented Artefact from Birów Mountain in South Poland
by Tomasz Płonka, Marcin Diakowski (PL)

Poster 1.B.4: Bone Tubes from Corded Ware Culture as Sound Generators/Musical Instruments. Reconstructing Manufacture and Usage
by Dominika Tokarz (PL)


Coffee Break


Session 2.A
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw

Session 2.B
Location: Room 008
Moderator: Giovanna Fregni


Sponsor time

Sponsor time


Paper 2.A.1: Turning Roman Columns on the Lathe: Experimental Approach and Archaeological Analysis of Artefacts from North-Eastern Gaul
by Nicolas Revert & Brice Brigaud (FR)

Paper 2.B.1: Phytoliths Reference Collection from the Experimental Perspective
by Aleksandra Gawron-Szymczyk (PL)


Paper 2.A.2: Reconstructing the Workshop from Viborg Søndersø: New Insights into Viking Wooden Building Construction
by Jim Glazzard, Aimée Little, Steve Ashby (UK)

Paper 2.B.2: Was It Always Leather?
by Sally Herriett (UK)


Paper 2.A.3: All You Need is Mud: How Open-Air Museums can Champion Sustainability in the Built Environment
by Caroline Nicolay (UK)

Paper 2.B.3: Traceology on Prehistoric Wooden Artefacts, is it Possible?
by Grzegorz Osipowicz (PL), Justyna Orłowska (PL), Giedrė Piličiauskienė (LT), Gytis Piličiauskas (LT)



Paper 2.A.4: Experimental Archeology as a Tool for Understanding the Cultural Changes of Bone Artifacts from four Brazilian Early Holocene Sites
by Gabriela S. Mingatos, Mercedes Okumura (BR)

Paper 2.B.4: Prehispanic Woodcrafts in the Canary Islands: technical Processes and experimental Program
by Paloma Vidal-Matutano, Antoni Palomo, Dorota Wojtczak, Amelia Rodríguez, Idaira Brito-Abrante, Jared Carballo-Pérez, Kiara Ortega, Salvador Pardo-Gordó (ES)


Poster 2.A.5: The Saka Barrow Building Technology: Experimenting with Turf and Logs
by Ulan Umitkaliev, Diana Ayapova (KZ)

Paper 2.B.5: Smash and Burn: Apple Seed Damage Characteristics for the Identification of Actions and Processes Performed on Apples
by Jessi Berndt (DE)

Poster 2.A.6: Identification of Plants in Mud Building Materials. An Experimental Archaeology Project
by María Pastor Quiles (ES)




Question & Answer Session 1.A and 2.A

Question & Answer Session 1.B and 2.B






Session 3.A
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw

Session 3.B
Location: Room 008
Moderator: Giovanna Fregni


Sponsor time

Sponsor time


Paper 3.A.1: The late Viking Age Warship, Skuldelev 5: exploring old Interpretations with a new Reconstruction
by Martin R. Dael, Tríona Sørensen (DK)

Paper 3.B.1: Archaeological Experiments in the Study of the Textile Economy of the Wielbark Culture
by Magdalena Przymorska-Sztuczka (PL)


Paper 3.A.2: What can be Difficult in Building the Boat? The Experiments Released During the First International Camp of Experimental Archaeology, Toruń 2021
by Justyna Orłowska, Justyna Kuriga, Grzegorz Osipowicz (PL) 

Paper 3.B.2: Teeth, Fibre-Crafts, and Health: What Experimental Archaeology can tell us about the Textile Workers of the Ancient World
by Anita Radini (IE)


Paper 3.A.3: The Gislinge Boat Open Source Project: from Experimental Archaeology to Outreach
by Tríona Sørensen (DK)

Paper 3.B.3: Z for warp, S for weft. Investigating Choices of Yarn in English Medieval Textiles
by Kat Stasinska (UK)


Paper 3.A.4: The Bronze Age Chariot of the Sintashta-Petrovka Period
by Igor Chechushkov (US), Ivan Semyan (AR)

Paper 3.B.4: How Warped the Loom. An Examination of Loom Traces on Woven Cloth
by Jo Duke (CA)


Paper 3.A.5: Experimental Archaeological Observation on the Base of Chinese Terracotta Xiao Flute Player Figurine (202 BC-220 AD)
by Bangcheng Tang (CN)

Paper 3.B.5: Tarquinia’s Tablets: A Reconstruction of Tablet Weaving Patterns found on the Tomb of the Triclinium’s Left Wall
by Richard Joseph Palmer (US)




Question & Answer Session 3.A

Question & Answer Session 3.B


Coffee Break




Session 4
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Giovanna Fregni


Sponsor time


Round Table SUN including Presentations and Discussion


Free Time


Dinner (Optional - at own expense - 30 EUR, need to register & pay in advance)
Restauracja Gospoda Pod Modrym Fartuchem & Krajina Piva Pub
Rynek Nowomiejski 8, 87-100 Toruń
location Google Maps





Moderator: Phoebe Baker


Sponsor time


Paper 5.1: Searching for ‘the true Colors’ of the Eastern European Chalcolithic painting Techniques, through experimental and archaeometrical Approaches
by Felix-Adrian Tencariu, Ana Drob, Maria-Cristina Ciobanu (RO)


Paper 5.2: Not just for Food: processing Unio sp. Shells at the Gumelnița Communities (mill. V BC)
by Monica Mărgărit, Valentin Radu (RO)


Paper 5.3: Experimental Beadmaking with Roman Glass
by Sue Heaser (UK)


Paper 5.4: Rediscovering the Process of Making Type 2 & Type 3 Aiglets
by Gerald A. Livings (US)


Paper 5.5: Experimental Tattooing and Analysis of Preserved Skin Markings on Human Mummies
by Aaron Deter-Wolf (US), Danny Riday (NZ), Maya Sialuk Jacobsen (GL)


Paper 5.6: Exploring Rock Art Application Techniques: An Experimental Approach To Study Rock Paintings from La Candelaria (Catamarca, Argentina)
by Matías Landino, Eugenia Ahets Etcheberry, Lucas Gheco, Marcos R. Gastaldi, Marcos Tascon, Marcos Quesada3, Fernando Marte (AR)


Question & Answer Session 5


Day 2 - Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Location: ​Collegium Humanisticum at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, ul. Bojarskiego 1, 87-100 Toruń
(location google maps:

All presentations are on the spot and online, except evening session 10, which is online only. Please click here for abstracts.




Session 6
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw


Sponsor time


Paper 6.1: Impact of High Temperatures on Macroscopic Features of Prehistoric Pottery
by Jan Ledwoń (PL)


Paper 6.2: The Contribution of different Generations of Experiments on understanding the Function of past Human Technologies and the Character of early Hominin Decision-making Processes
by Joao Marreiros (DE,PT), Ivan Calandra (DE), Geoff Carver (DE), Walter Gneinsinger (DE), Eduardo Paixao (PT), Jérôme Robitaille (DE), Lisa Schunk (DE,PL)


Paper 6.3: Manual Vs. Mechanised Experiments – Evaluating the Effect of Human Variability on Tool Performance and Use-Wear Formation
by Lisa Schunk (PL,DE), Ivan Calandra (DE), Walter Gneisinger (DE), João Marreiros (DE,PT)


Paper 6.4: Perspectives on the Importance of prior Understanding for an Experimental Archaeological Project
by Vibeke Bischoff (DK)


Poster 6.5: Technotypes Definition and Cultural Transmission
by Concepción Torres Navas (ES)


Poster 6.6: NFDI4Objects – TRAIL3.3: A Workflow Tool for archaeological Experiments and Analytics
by Ivan Calandra (DE), Geoff Carver (DE), João Marreiros (DE), Erica Hanning (DE), Roeland Paardekooper (DK), Christoph Berthold (DE), Susanne Greiff (DE)


Poster 6.7: PCI Registered Reports for Experimental Archaeology: how to improve Experimental Design before it is too late
by Ivan Calandra (DE)


Question & Answer Session 6


Coffee Break


Session 7A
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw

Session 7B
Location: Room 008
Moderator: Roeland Paardekooper


Sponsor time

Sponsor time


Paper 7.A.1: The Sound of Success in the Early Palaeolithic; Better Knapping is Brighter, Clearer and More Attention Grabbing
by Kiefer Duffy, Mark White, Sally Street (UK)

Paper 7.B.1: Vounous Symposium: Present and Future Plans
by E. Giovanna Fregni (IT)


Paper 7.A.2: Size Matters? Evaluating Correlation between Wide to Thickness Ratio and Breakage Patterns during Cinegetic Activities of Upper Solutrean Hunter-Gatherers. The Winged and Stemmed Points Case
by Martín Julio García Natale, Samuel Castillo Jiménez (ES)

Paper 7.B.2: Baltic Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Technology Summer School Between Science, Education, And Tourism: Conclusions after first 10 Years
by Artūrs Tomsons (LV)


Paper 7.A.3: Is it Worth Curating? Production, Use and Maintenance of the Neolithic Metabasite-Made Macrolithic Tools
by Bernadeta Kufel-Diakowska (PL), Marcin Chłoń (PL), Michał Borowski (PL), Radomir Tichý (CZ), Karel Kučírek (CZ), Martin Drahorád (CZ), Aleš Panáček (CZ)

Paper 7.B.3: Putting Life into a Stone Age Dwelling Construction: A Joint Experimental Venture of Volunteers and Academics
by Annelou van Gijn (NL)



Paper 7.A.4: Investigating Flint Awl Snapping in the British Mesolithic Using Integrated Methods
by Andy Needham (UK), Jessica Bates (UK), Aimée Little (UK), Nicky Milner (UK), Diederik Pomstra (NL)

Paper 7.B.4Nurture Visitor Experience Through Experimentation: in Search of Antique Clothing
by Gaëlle Desgouttes, Laure Vergonzanne, Céline Nicolas (FR)


Paper 7.A.5: From Mould to Earth: Experimental and Traceological Study of Lusatian Socketed Axes
by Kamil Nowak, Albin Sokół, Dawid Sych (PL)

Paper 7.B.5: Hands-On History: Teaching Experimental Archaeology in a School Setting
by Nathalie Roy (US)



Poster 7.B.6: Youth Science. NCU Students’ Achievements
by Zuzanna Majbrodzka, Kacper Baranowski, Anna Rauchfleisz, Maria Skudlarska, Maciej Urban, Klaudia Wernerowicz (PL)


Question & Answer Session 7.A

Question & Answer Session 7.B






Session 8A
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw

Session 8B
Location: Room 008
Moderator: Giovanna Fregni


Sponsor time

Sponsor time


Paper 8.A.1: Experimental Study of Grinding Installation
by Ana Tetruashvili, Davit Dolaberidze, Tina Davadze (GE)

Paper 8.B.1: A Multitude of Microorganisms: Mediating Historical Drink Recreation
by Laura Angotti (US)


Paper 8.A.2: Grinding or Polishing? Replicating grinding and polishing Traces found on Neolithic flint Axes
by Lasse van den Dikkenberg (NL)

Paper 8.B.2: Experiments to Elucidate Cooking Methods Using Reconstructed Pottery
by Tetsuya Shiroishi, Hashiguchi Yutaka (JP)


Paper 8.A.3: Physics of Bipolar Reduction: Quantitative Approach to the bipolar Mechanic through Video Motion Analysis
by Görkem Cenk Yeşilova, Adrián Arroyo, Andreu Ollé, Josep Maria Vergès (ES)

Paper 8.B.3: Comparative Cheesemaking: Roman and Neolithic Cheese and the Ceramic Vessels Used to Produce them
by Scott D Stull (US)


Paper 8.A.4: “Slugs” of the Itaparica Tradition, an experimental Approach of the GO-JA-01 Collection
by José Lucas Otero Couto, Sibele Aparecida Viana, Edilson Teixeira (BR)

Paper 8.B.4: Stypsis, Wine and Resin – Technology of Scented Oil Production from Bronze Age Aegean and Beyond
by Katarzyna Gromek (US)


Paper 8.A.5: Set In Stone – Ornamentation of Stone Battle-Axes from the Experimental Perspective
by Wojciech Bronowicki, Tomasz Płonka, Marcin Chłoń (PL)

Paper 8.B.5:  Lithics From the Neolithic Shell-Bead Workshops from The Near East - an Experimental Approach
by Katarzyna Pyżewicz, Marcin Białowarczuk, Witold Grużdź, Michał Przeździecki (PL)


Poster 8.A.6: Unconventional Use of Axes: Creating a Reference Collection of Polished Stone Tools Used for Grinding Ochre
by Anđa Petrović (UK), Diederik Pomstra (UK,NL) Aimée Little (UK)

Poster 8.B.6: First View on Functions of Bronze Age Pottery Vessels from Southwest Poland
by Aleksandra Gawron-Szymczyk (PL)


Poster 8.A.7: The Importance of Flintknapping Demonstrations and Workshops in Order to Further Develop Experimental Archaeology in Brazil
by Maria Eduarda Vilela e Donegá (BR),  Rafael Carvalho (BR), Leticia Correa (BR),  João Carlos Moreno (BR), Mercedes Okumura (BR), Astolfo Araujo (BR), Bruce Bradley (US)


Poster 8.A.8: The Use of Charcoal in the Production of Rock Art from Patagonia (Southern South America). An Experimental Perspective
by Ariel David Frank (AR)


Coffee Break




Session 9A
Location: Room 009
Moderator: Jess Shaw

Session 9B
Location: Room 008
Moderator: Giovanna Fregni


Sponsor time

Sponsor time


Paper 9.A.1: The Origin and Evolution of cultural Transmission in Hominins as observed in Experimental and Experiential Archaeology
by Maria Eduarda Vilela e Donegá, João Carlos Moreno (BR)

Paper 9.B.1: “Look at the Bones!” - Adding Bone in a Bloomery Iron Smelt. A Case Study of a practical experimental Test
by Darrell Markewitz (CA)


Paper 9.A.2: Working Vegetal Materials with Obsidian, Basalt and other Volcanic Rocks. Exploring Similarities and Differences through Use-Wear Analysis
by Idaira Brito-Abrante, Amelia Rodríguez-Rodríguez (ES)

Paper 9.B.2: Experimental Archaeology and Assumptions about the Products from Prehistoric Ancient Iron Smelting Sites of Northern Thailand
by Yoddanai Sukkasam (TH)


Paper 9.A.3: Oxygen and Temperature may be the Driving Factors in Deciding the Types of Necrobiome in a Wrapped Microenvironment
by Branka Franicevic (UK)

Paper 9.B.3: Breaking Through the Copper Curtain: Archaeological Experiment of Copper Ore Beneficiation and Smelting in Chalcolithic Technology
by Inbar Meyerson, Omri Yagel, Erez Ben-Yosef (IL)


Poster 9.A.4: Mining or Ore-Processing Bone Tools? A Case Study from Eastern Ukraine
by Olga Zagorodnia (UK)

Paper 9.B.4: Does Corrosion Matter? Experimental Study of the Influence of Patination on Use-Wear Traces on the Copper Alloy Metalwork
by Jakub Michalik, Kamil Nowak (PL)


Poster 9.A.5: Can we identify Handedness on the Gönnersdorf Plaquettes? An experimental Approach on the Lateralisation of Upper Palaeolithic Engravers
by Jérôme Robitaille (DE), Lisa-Elen Meyering (UK)




Question & Answer Session 8.A and 9.A

Question & Answer Session 8.B and 9.B


Closing Notes





Session 10 ONLINE ONLY
Moderator: Phoebe Baker


Sponsor time


Paper 10.1: Circle of Life: Trevisker Ware
by Laura-Marie Miucci (IE)


Paper 10.2: The Investigation of Recent Reconstruction of Black and Red Figure Lekythoi for Restoration Purposes Through X-Ray and X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Ethical Restoration Practice or Not?
by A.P. Panagopoulou (GR,NL), A. Mandaliou (GR), G. Rousouneli (GR), M. Roggenbucke (GR)


Paper 10.3: Creating Red: Reproducing Opaque Red Glass from Iron Age Western and Central Europe
by Rachel Wood (US)


Paper 10.4: A Comparison of two Merovingian Pottery Kilns Found in Belgium. Results of the Experiment and Tool for Experimental Research
by Line van Wersch, Marie Demelenne, Sylvie De Longueville, Véronique Danese (BE)


Paper 10.5: Belting Up; Building Technical Literacies in the History of Technology Through Experimental Archaeology
by Michael Roberts (CA)


Paper 10.6: Experimenter's Body Analysis: a Transdisciplinary Approach
by Thaisa Martins (BR)


Question & Answer Session 10 and Closing Notes

Reconstructing the Workshop from Viborg Søndersø: New Insights into Viking Wooden Building Construction (paper)
Jim Glazzard1, Aimée Little1, Steve Ashby1
1 YEAR Centre, Department of Archaeology, University of York, UK

This paper will present the methodology and interim findings of a project that brings together experimental archaeology, artefact studies, and the social use of space.
The aim is to understand the daily experience of non-ferrous metalworkers of Viking-age Britain and Scandinavia using actualistic methods. The first task involved reconstructing a Viking-age workshop at the YEAR Centre, at the University of York. 
The workshop chosen for reconstruction was excavated at Viborg Søndersø, Denmark, in 2001. While this initially seemed to be a straightforward task, with the 3 by 5 metre building being an ideal size for a reconstructed workshop, the idiosyncrasies of the original building have resulted in new insights into Viking age wooden building construction.
Lessons learned from the construction process have provided a better understanding of the original building: giving insights into the most likely methods used, including the identification of specific challenges likely faced by the original builders. These, in turn, have implications for the interpretation of the building, the methods used to build it, and the status of the artisans who worked there.
The result is that this workshop, which has been characterised as a “primitive hut” from the excavated remains, emerges as a deliberately sited, carefully built structure, well suited to the work carried out inside. The idiosyncrasies of the structure can then be explained in terms of the building methods, and materials used.

The late Viking Age warship, Skuldelev 5: exploring old interpretations with a new reconstruction (paper)
Martin R. Dael1 & Tríona Sørensen1
1 The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark 

In 1962, five late Viking Age ships were excavated from Roskilde Fjord, in Denmark. The form and function of the Skuldelev Ships, as they came to be known, embodies the diversity and range of seafaring and shipbuilding in the late Viking Age: vessels for fishing, coastal and ocean-going trade, and two examples of the most iconic Viking Age craft of all – the long, narrow and well-rowed warships. 
The Viking Ship Museum’s boatyard completed the first round of full-scale, experimental archaeological reconstruction of all five Skuldelev Ships in 2004. Since then, work has focused on the ‘second generation’ of Skuldelev reconstructions and in July 2022, a project focused on a new full-scale reconstruction of the 17,6 m long warship, Skuldelev 5, began. 
The construction of Skuldelev 5 is unique when compared with other late Viking Age ship-finds. From the outset, the ship was built using reused material taken from at least two other vessels and the hull is also composed of several different species of wood. These details have led to a degree of academic discussion regarding the ship’s construction and use. 
This paper will present an introduction to the framework for the new Skuldelev 5 reconstruction project, seen from both a boatbuilder’s and an archaeologist’s perspective. The complexities – and peculiarities – of the original ship’s hull, and previous interpretations of the ship-find, will be explored, providing the foundation for a new dialogue concerning the construction and use of the original ship-find, and the research programme in development for the forthcoming full-scale reconstruction.

What can be Difficult in Building the Boat? The Experiments Released During the First International Camp of Experimental Archaeology, Toruń 2021 (paper)
Justyna Orłowska1, Justyna Kuriga1, Grzegorz Osipowicz1 
Institute of Archaeology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland

This presentation reports two main archaeological experiments that were conducted during the first International Camp of Experimental Archaeology, which took a place in August 2021 in the Golub-Dobrzyń, close to Toruń, Poland. During the two weeks of this event, its participants divided into two groups have undertaken a task to reconstruct and test two archaic boats: a dugout and a leather-covered boat known more from ethnographic contexts as the so-called skin-on-frame canoe. All work carried out was performed exclusively using materials, techniques and tools known in the Stone and Bronze Ages. One of the boats build during these experiments, 4-meter-long skin-on-frame canoe will be exposed during the conference.

The Gislinge Boat Open Source Project: from experimental archaeology to outreach (paper)
Tríona Sørensen1
1 The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark

The Gislinge Boat Open Source Project took place at the Viking Ship Museum from 2015-17. The idea behind the project was an entirely new one for the Museum, namely, to explore how open source approaches could be applied to experimental archaeology and boatbuilding. 
With the aim of getting people involved in building their own version of the Gislinge Boat - a 7.7 m long Danish boat-find dated to ca. 1125 AD - the working drawings for the boat were made available for free download and a programme of digital dissemination communicated all aspects of the building process, providing an informal ‘how-to guide’ to building the boat.
The initial results of the project were presented at EAC 11 in 2017. This paper will provide an updated account of what has happened in the interim. It’s now over seven years since the project was formally concluded at the Museum boatyard but it continues to have a life of its own online, thanks to the digital community social media provides. 
Selected case-studies of boats that have been built from as far afield as Normandy, France and Connecticut, USA, will examine the potential experimental archaeology has to reach out to, and engage with, a much wider community than the ‘traditional’ museum-going public, and how this in turn can generate new interest in experimental archaeology as a discipline. The impact the project has had on the Viking Ship Museum’s dissemination practice, and the extent to which it continues to influence our approaches to the documentation and communication of maritime experimental archaeology will also be explored, allowing an opportunity to reflect on the often-overlooked social aspects of museum outreach.

Z for warp, S for weft. Investigating Choices of Yarn in English Medieval Textiles (paper)
Kat Stasinska1
1 AOC Archaeology, UK

Most Medieval textiles in England (9th to 15th centuries) were woven in a specific way: with threads of weft and warp twisted into a different direction (Z-spun yarn in the warp and S-spun yarn in the weft). It differed meaningfully from the technological choices of the earlier times (83 to 87% of early Anglo-Saxon textiles were woven with warp and weft threads twisted in the same direction). The reason for this change is not clear (with some researchers suggesting aesthetic choice or a foreign influence).  
My research aimed to discover the reason behind this transformation. I have woven several samples from the hand-spun fleece of a Shetland sheep (Medium type fleece, typical for late Anglo-Saxon England). I prepared 3 sets of samples: woven in 1. tabby, 2. simple twill and 3. broken diamond twill.  
I compared the physical properties of textiles woven in ZZ and ZS techniques. I focused on comparing:  

  • Strength (measured by applying weight and checking how much weight samples can take)  

  • Elasticity (measured by applying a stretching force and checking for deformation)  

I took under consideration an often-suggested possibility that the change in the weaving technology was a purely aesthetic choice. To investigate this option, I compared the difference in visual properties such as visibility of pattern and appearance when dyed (samples were dyed with madder, Rubia tinctorum - a dyestuff popular in Anglo-Saxon England). A poll in person was conducted to collect opinions about the appearance of samples woven in ZZ and ZS, both dyed and not dyed.

How Warped the Loom. An Examination of Loom Traces on Woven Cloth (paper)
Jo Duke1
1 Independent Researcher, Ontario, Canada

Sometime between 1000 and 1800 CE, for much of Europe, there was a transition from weaving cloth on upright warp weighted looms to horizontal floor looms. This transition includes the addition of a reed beater as part of the mechanism of the loom and a switch from the warp being held under tension by loom weights to its supply and tensioning from a second beam.  
One key question is: can the loom type be determined based on the textile remains, often small fragments, and, if so, what features are the most useful to look for?  
To address this, replicates of selected textile finds from Europe and the North Atlantic have been woven using each of the two loom types and the qualities of the replicated fabrics have been examined for discriminating features. Focus was placed on the amount of draw in, the spacing of the threads, and the regulation of the warp tension.  The use of a reed reduces draw in and adds uniformity to the spacing of warp threads.  It also removes the need for a separate beater, and therefore changes how evenly the weft threads are packed in the cloth. The addition of a second beam may also reduce draw in and regulates the tension of the warp while weaving.

Tarquinia’s Tablets: A Reconstruction of Tablet Weaving Patterns found on the Tomb of the Triclinium’s Left Wall (paper)
Richard Joseph Palmer1
University of Kentucky, USA

The revival of tablet weaving and its study has been primarily focused on Northern European designs from the Iron Age to the medieval period. These designs are very impressive and include opulence such as wide weaves using dozens of tablets, dizzying patterns, and inclusions of gold thread and silk. Iron Age Northern Italian and Mediterranean tablet weaves were used in many of the same applications as their Northern European counterparts, but less archaeology has been done on the tablet weaves originating from these areas. The designs for these patterns primarily survive in the art and architecture of the Mediterranean. This experiment takes the surviving art, depicting clothing from the Tomb of the Triclinium in Tarquinia, and reconstructs both the patterns and the tablets depicted. The few surviving tablet woven fragments from Etruria will help fill in the gaps of knowledge, alongside other textile studies from the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. This starts with spinning thread on spindle whorls, recreating the proper thread width, and ends with finished tablet weaves and published patterns. In reconstructing these few patterns and tablets, the door can be opened for more Etruscan and Classical study and tablet weaving reconstructions to join the well-developed experimental archaeology of Northern European textiles.

Experimental Beadmaking with Roman Glass (paper)
Sue Heaser1
Glass Bead Archaeology Studio, Suffolk, UK

My research on Early Medieval glass beads from Britain and Europe involves replicating ancient monochrome and polychrome beads to identify the making and decorating techniques. I use only replica tools and a heat source of similar temperatures to the likely furnaces used then. This has led to a greater understanding of the techniques of ancient beadmakers which has fine-tuned bead categories and identified beads that were probably made by single individuals or those from one workshop. 
I used modern soda-lime beadmakers’ glass from Murano that has similar chemical constituents to ancient glasses as shown from XRF and other analyses. But it was important to be sure that this glass behaved in a similar way in the flame to the ancient glasses. I needed to study the physical properties of the ancient glass, its melting point, working temperature range and behaviour in the flame. 
Roman glass was widely used for beadmaking in early medieval times, so I approached the Museum of London. They kindly supplied me with a quantity of Roman cullet (waste glass) to experiment on. My presentation will show the results of my experiments with videos of replica beadmaking, and photographs of beads made from Roman glass, compared with excavated beads of the period. My tests show that Roman glass behaves almost identically in the flame to the modern soda-lime glass which proves that the techniques I have discovered are valid. I will also show the results from colouring Roman glass with the same metallic oxides found in ancient glass to create colourful polychrome replica beads.

Perspectives on the Importance of prior Understanding for an Experimental Archaeological Project (paper)
Vibeke Bischoff1
1The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark

In 2012, a full-scale reconstruction of the Oseberg Ship from 820, Saga Oseberg, was launched as part of an experimental archaeological project, designed to investigate the ship’s sailing capabilities. The initial test-sailing was conducted in line with the principles for handling traditional West Norwegian square-sailed boats from the 19th and 20th centuries. The ship performed badly, and the reconstruction was judged to be incorrect. Subsequent test-sailing in 2015 undertaken with a more open and investigative methodology was conducted, which gave rise to more positive results.
In this paper, I will present my thoughts on the importance of prior understanding based on my experiences with the Oseberg Ship, but I believe that there are parallels to other types of projects too, whether they are houses built on land or ships at sea. Our prior understanding and experience have an impact on the questions we ask of both the archaeological material and the reconstruction – and on the results we achieve. 
Focus on the importance of prior understanding for both reconstruction and their subsequent testing, must be addressed. Our bodily approaches as humans have such a significant impact on all processes that it is a vital, we have an awareness of it. Prior understanding and experience can be used to ask relevant questions and conduct investigations, not to find answers, as reconstructions are an interpretation of an artefact, and the results will therefore render probabilities rather than present concrete truths. 
We who work with experimental archaeology, must be conscious, reflective and descriptive in terms of our prior understanding in relation to the projects we work with, because we are modern people attempting to interpret the actions of people from another time. 

Hands-On History: Teaching Experimental Archaeology in a School Setting (paper)
Nathalie Roy1
Glasgow Middle School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

My Roman Technology students recreate the products and processes of ancient Roman daily life through experimental archaeology. Each class is a hands-on history lab in which young teens (ages 10-14) learn about the ancient classical world by experiencing it first-hand. They have recreated the makeup recipes of Ovid and the hairstyles of marble statues, cooked biscuits based on the recipes of Cato the Elder, built brick kilns to fire pottery, crushed oak galls to make ink, etc. The class is a unique experience, but it doesn’t happen by magic. Planning and executing each unit of study is a complicated and time-consuming process.
In this paper session, I will talk about the specifics of the class and explain how I teach experimental archaeology to young students in practical terms. Specifically, I will discuss two large-scale projects to illustrate my process. In the first, creating a twenty-foot analemmatic mosaic sundial, students learned to cut stone tesserae and design and lay out a Roman-style mosaic. In the second, students built a full-scale Roman road through an open space on our campus. Through a series of ten steps, I will detail how I researched, planned activities, organized supplies, delegated work, reached out to experts, and taught the lessons all while giving the students the best experience possible.

Comparative Cheesemaking: Roman and Neolithic Cheese and the Ceramic Vessels Used to Produce them (paper)
Scott D Stull1
1 Moffett Center, SUNY Cortland, USA

Cheesemaking in Europe has a history that goes back to the early Neolithic, roughly 7000 years ago, based on archaeological evidence. We also have good archaeological and documentary evidence of cheesemaking from the Roman period. Through the replication and use of the ceramic vessels from these two distinct periods, we can gain a more complete understanding of how cheese was made in the past. This study examines how the shape of the vessels has a significant impact on the type of cheese possible in these forms. Different approaches to cheese production are tested with these vessels to identify what kind of cheese works with these different vessels, and as a result, how that cheese would have been stored and consumed in these past societies. The Neolithic cheese strainer in particular required extensive experimental testing to determine how cheese could have been produced in this kind of vessel without the use of cloth lining or other elements to strain the curd, and these tests will be described in the paper. 

“Look at the Bones!” - Adding Bone in a Bloomery Iron Smelt. A Case Study of a practical experimental Test (paper)
Darrell Markewitz1
the Wareham Forge, Ontario, Canada

Through 2019, much was made in the popular press suggesting that during the Viking Age, exhumed human bone had been used in the chain of production from iron ore through to finished swords. Contradicting this, considerable experience with small scale direct reduction process bloomery iron smelting furnaces indicated that at least while creating the iron itself, the effect of adding bone would be minimal, if any. To establish what kind of physical traces that might remain if quantities of bone were added during smelting, in June 2020 a full furnace build and firing was undertaken with a range of animal bones added, then the resulting debris field recorded. 
The concept, design and implementation of this experiment is discussed, and how limits on methods, instrumentation and analyzing results shaped the final conclusions. This discussion suggests how even a simple experiment, if carefully recorded, can add to the body of available knowledge, and may prove insightful both educators and other investigators. 

Experimental Archaeology and Assumptions about the Products from Prehistoric Ancient Iron Smelting Sites of Northern Thailand (paper)
Yoddanai Sukkasam1
1 The Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture, Thailand

This paper is aimed to present a results of five years archaeometallurgical research and Experimental archaeology research in the basin of Li District Lamphun Province, Northern Thailand. To present: 

  1. The ancient iron-smelting site from archaeological survey and excavation in Li District, Lamphun Province

  2. The findings from the synthesis of knowledge through experimental archaeology

The survey indicates that  there are no less than 40 ancient iron smelting sites in Li District, Lamphun Province. The Ancient iron smelting sites date around 500 BC - 100 BC. The dating indicated that the group of iron smelting site in Li District, Lumphun province is the oldest iron smelting site in northern Thailand nowadays.
The archaeological excavation and evidence analysis of Li ancient iron-smelting site in Lamphun Province have revealed that the Direct Iron Smelting Process operating temperature at roughly 1,150-1,300 °C by using a shaft furnace with a diameter between 90-100 cm. The height of the furnace is between 180-200 cm. The furnace was formed by moulding a cylindrical clay. There are the slots that act as air ducts as well as observation points. In the lower part of the furnace, four slag notches that drilled in square shape. 
These results lead to the study of Experimental Archaeology which indicated that the type of Li ancient iron smelting caused the turbulent flow in the furnace and finally produced a Ring-Shaped Iron Bloom. This is the unique product, and their technique is the highlight of this ancient iron smelting furnace.

Breaking Through the Copper Curtain: Archaeological Experiment of Copper Ore Beneficiation and Smelting in Chalcolithic Technology (paper)
Inbar Meyerson1, Omri Yagel1, Erez Ben-Yosef1
Tel Aviv University, Israel

This study presents an experiment that aims to reconstruct Chalcolithic copper production in the southern Levant region (4500-3800 BCE) with a particular focus on the importance of the beneficiation stage. While previous research on ancient copper smelting has often centered on variables related to furnace design and operation, it is now recognized that the unique characteristics of individual ore bodies, including the nature of the host rock, the quantity and purity of minerals, and trace elements, can affect multiple stages of the smelting process. The beneficiation stage, which involves labor-intensive and repetitive tasks such as collecting, processing, and selecting raw materials, is often underrepresented in archaeometallurgical research and experiments.
To address this gap in knowledge, we conducted an experiment in 2020 using ore from the Timna Valley in the southern Levant and focusing specifically on the beneficiation stage. Our results demonstrate that this stage is crucial to the success of ancient metal production. The beneficiation process was carried out at various stages of the production chain using traditional methods, and we used pXRF analysis to show the increased copper values in the ore after each stage. In addition, we documented the experiment in as much detail as possible, including times, locations, weights, and images, in order to facilitate comparison with other experiments and enable replication of our results in the future.

Creating Red: Reproducing Opaque Red Glass from Iron Age Western and Central Europe (paper)
Rachel Wood1
1 University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Opaque red glass, a popular inclusion in copper-alloy based military gear of Late Iron Age western and central Europe, required intense practical knowledge to create. Artists needed a great deal of precision, ranging from the choice of ingredients, the quantity of each, the heat of the flames, and the length of time necessary to create a specific red color in a reducing environment. Successful creation of opaque red glass could only be achieved if the artisan had the knowledge and skills necessary to determine which moments of this chaîne opératoire would create the desired effect: a “sealing wax red” final product. In this presentation, I will focus on the skills necessary to create opaque red glass, particularly relating to the reducing atmosphere and time necessary in the fire, from an experiential and experimental standpoint, and explore the opportune moments which artisans needed to be wary of to gain the desired results for the market. I will explain the process behind my experimental reproduction of opaque red glass, which will begin in January 2023. This project is part of my dissertation and began with the initial research from previously published chemical analyses and scholarly articles on glass production in the ancient world. It is my hope that this project and presentation will shed light on the experience and patience necessary for successful production of a popular glass in the ancient world.

Belting Up; Building Technical Literacies in the History of Technology Through Experimental Archaeology (paper)
Michael Roberts1
York University, Toronto, Canada

While graduate history programmes usually require language literacies, technical literacies are not seen as necessary or teachable skills, and most programmes lack both facilities and methods to help researchers develop them. Outside the academy, however, there are extensive resources for learning the skills, habits, and sensitivities associated with the technology of the past.  In this paper, I argue that neither archives nor artifactual remains can be fully interpreted without access to the tacit, sensory, and procedural knowledge historical actors took for granted, and that to achieve this access, academic historians must widen their understanding of how historical research is conducted.
Referencing the work of William Marshall (1745-1818), as well as more familiar works on participant observation, I offer one potential strategy for formalizing knowledge gained through experiential methods. I will illustrate the benefits of this type of work through my own readings of rural engineer’s diaries conducted in the context of extensive experiential work which I began prior to returning to academic study.  Some of this work has been conducted within a continuous teaching tradition that reaches back to the historical actors I study, and some is the product of reconstruction; I will present some preliminary notes on the advantages and draw-backs of these different methods.
Technical literacies are as important to the study of the past as language skills, but they have been undervalued within the academy. This paper contributes to a growing effort to include and learn from scholars outside the university tradition, and to recognize that “other” ways of knowing are crucial to a full understanding of the past.


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