Back to Basics: Next Generation Experimental Archaeology

Author(s): Annelou Van Gijn

Year: 2018


Experimental archaeology plays a critical role in the development of new ideas and techniques within the discipline, for example, within studies of artifact manufacture and use, butchery practices, taphonomy, etc. Despite a difference in the nature of ‘controls,’ out-of-the-lab experiments play a crucial role in scientific archaeology because they often shed new and different light on a range of complex issues, as demonstrated by recent house building experiments conducted with the assistance of local communities. These experiments illustrate the advantages of reaching outside the circle of professional (lab-based) archaeologists and removing the barrier between re-enactors and craftspeople, on the one hand, and professional archaeologists, on the other. A critical limitation for many experiments, a lack of expertise in specialised tasks such as wood working, knapping, or thatching, can be overcome by involving experts outside academia. Not only are these experiments highly fruitful for scientific research, because they reveal and document lifeways foreign to the modern world, they are enjoyable and enable academics to get out of the ivory tower and reach out to a broader public.

Cite this Record

Back to Basics: Next Generation Experimental Archaeology. Annelou Van Gijn. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443775)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20624