The Nature of Scientific Experimentation in Archaeology: Experimental Archaeology from the Nineteenth to the mid Twentieth Century
Author(s): Carolyn Forrest
The ‘experimental’ element of archaeology was born in the great scientific explosion of the nineteenth century taking place in disciplines such as archaeology, geology and anthropology. The roots of experimental archaeology are therefore not shallow at all, although oft en balanced between ‘mainstream’ or ‘amateur’. The lay status of the amateur expert and public performance of experimental archaeology seem to have diminished its credibility as either academic or professional. However, amateur involvement in experimental archaeology can off er a powerful link between the academic community and the public at the same time as enhancing a particular form of archaeological interpretation. The growth of professional, scientific archaeology since the 1960s has changed the contribution made by the amateur tradition. Accessibility to everyone has grown. The role of the museum has changed to include a greater engagement with the public on an intellectual and physical level. Participation and interaction is indicative of the ‘changing tastes and preoccupations of the audiences’. The rapid development of the number of archaeological open air centres is very important to
The very success of public engagement in experimental archaeology is one of the main reasons that experimental archaeology has not always been fully accepted as a serious part of academic archaeology.
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Cite this Record
The Nature of Scientific Experimentation in Archaeology: Experimental Archaeology from the Nineteenth to the mid Twentieth Century. Carolyn Forrest, Roeland P Paardekooper, Penny Cunningham, Julia Heeb. In Experiencing Archaeology By Experiment. Pp. 61-68. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 2008 ( tDAR id: 422099)
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ExArc Id(s): 8611
Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.