RECREATING ARTEFACTS AND ANCIENT SKILLS: FROM EXPERIMENT TO INTERPRETATION

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Cod ProdusCS00467
ISBN978-606-537-565-9
Nr. pagini324
Nr. planșe122
Format170x240 mm Hardcover

Descriere

This volume focuses on the role and means of archaeological experimentation in understanding the processes involved in the manufacture and use of past artifacts. When asking for contributions, we suggested the five stages of an experimental approach as main-themes: 1. Selection and acquisition of raw material, identical to those present in the archaeological assemblages. 2. Production of replicas following the technological transformation schemes identified by the direct study of archaeological items. 3. Experimental use as indicated by the publications/ethnographic comparisons or as suggested by the morphology/use-wear evolution of the archaeological items. 4. Microscopical analysis of use-wear patterns. 5. Comparison of experimental data with archaeological data in order to validate the existing hypotheses on the way they were manufactured and used by the human communities. A second aim was that the invited authors to have various archaeological backgrounds and cover a broad spatial and temporal interval. As a result, this volume comprises 17 studies organized in three sections, dictated by the various aspects of experimental archaeology they represent: from the more traditional experimental replication, understanding and interpretation of artefact functionality, and relatively recent (and less trodden) directions in experimental archaeology. It also comes to show that experimental archaeology is as well suited for Palaeolithic studies, as it is for the Neo-Eneolithic and the Bronze Age. Although most papers refer geographically to Europe, interesting contributions take us to Argentina and Australia.

***

Acest volum se concentrează pe rolul și mijloacele experimentelor arheologice în înțelegerea proceselor implicate în fabricarea și utilizarea artefactelor din trecut. Am invitat o serie de specialiștii să contribuie cu studii care să testeze ipotezele teoretice existente, dar și altele care să aducă abordări inovatoare. Când am solicitat contribuții, am sugerat ca teme principale cele cinci etape ale demersului experimental: 1. Selectarea și achiziționarea de materii prime, identice cu cele prezente în ansamblurile arheologice. 2. Realizarea de replici urmând schemele de transformare tehnologică identificate prin studiul direct al ansamblurilor arheologice. 3. Utilizarea experimentală după cum este indicată de publicații/comparații etnografice sau sugerată de evoluția uzurii pe artefactele arheologice. 4. Analiza microscopică a modelelor de de uzură. 5. Compararea datelor experimentale cu datele arheologice în vederea validării ipotezelor existente privind fabricarea și utilizarea lor de către comunitățile umane. Un al doilea scop al volumului a fost ca autorii invitați să provină din diferite medii arheologice și să acopere un interval spațial și temporal larg. A rezultat un volum cuprinzând 17 studii organizate în trei secțiuni, dictate de diversele aspecte ale arheologiei experimentale: replicarea experimentală la nivel tehnologic, înțelegerea și interpretarea funcționalității artefactelor și direcțiile relativ recente (interdisciplinare) în cadrul experimentului arheologie. De asemenea, volumul ne-a arătat că arheologia experimentală este la fel de potrivită pentru studiile paleolitice, ca și pentru neo-eneolitic și epoca bronzului. Deși majoritatea lucrărilor se referă geografic la Europa, contribuții interesante vin din Argentina sau Australia.

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Contens

Foreword …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

 

EXPERIMENTAL REPLICATION

Marie-Cécile Soulier, Sandrine Costamagno, Emilie Claud, Marianne Deschamps – Tracing the past: butchering a bison with Middle Palaeolithic stone tools …………………………………………………13

Wulf Hein – Recreating the Palaeolithic Lion Man statuette from the Swabian Alb. Experimenting with mammoth ivory …………………………………………………………………………………..33

Grzegorz Osipowicz, Justyna Orłowska, Justyna Kuriga, Alicja Bieniek, Dominik Chlachula, Jeljer Huisman, Hildegard Müller, Tabea Müller, Matteo Orsi, Marijn Rudolphie, Claudio Simoni, Sanne Smit, Dorota Wojtczak – Reconstructing prehistoric boats. A report on two experiments carried out during the first International Camp of Experimental Archaeology, Toruń 2021 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 43

Ana Ilie – From archaeological finds to understanding vegetal fibre extraction and thread production through experiment. A study case from Eneolithic Romania …………………………………………..63

Ion Torcică – Experimental replication of the antler arow points from Vităneşti Măgurice-tell settlement ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..79

Marius Gheorghe Barbu, Mihaela Maria Barbu, Ioan Alexandru Bărbat – Eneolithic archers of southeastern Europe through the eyes of experimental archaeology………………………………….103

Angie Wickenden – Revealing the technological identity of the Cornish Bronze Age pottery ….119

 

PATHS TO FUNCTIONALITY

Jean-Marc Pétillon, Pierre Cattelain – An introduction to the experimental study of prehistoric projectile points ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………143

Monica Mărgărit – Shell gastropods as prehistoric adornments at the Lower Danube:
archaeological and experimental data
………………………………………………………………………………………163

Leïla Hoareau, Sylvie Beyries – Insights into use-wear development on shell beads through macro- and micro-analysis of experimental ornaments ………………………………………………………183

Vesna Vučković – Neolithic grinding technology in the Central Balkans and the mechanical properties of the rocks ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………201

Ekaterina N. Golubeva, Madina Sh. Galimova, Vera N. Bakhmatova – Stone pendants from the Eneolithic burials at the Kama – Volga confluence: use-wear and experiment …………………………221

Romina Silvestre, Natacha Buc, Daniel Loponte, Alejandro Acosta – Shell artefacts and microwear patterns: experimental and archaeological analysis of shell and lithic tools from the Lower Paraná Basin, Argentina ……………………………………………………………………………..233

 

FRESH APPROACHES TO EXPERIMENTAL INTERPRETATION

Elspeth Hayes, Nina Kononenko – Investigating the survival of microscopic animal residues on experimental skin working tools after discard and burial ……………………………………………………………257

Vasile Opriş, Adina Boroneanţ, Marta Petruneac, Mihaela Golea, Marin Focşăneanu,  Robert Sîrbu, Clive Bonsall – Early Neolithic pottery at Schela Cladovei. A comparative study of archaeological and experimental vessels from the perspective of computed tomography ………………….279

Darya A. Derzhavets – Smoke Screening: An experimental approach to understanding the function of Late Iron Age-Archaic “Bucchero Incense Burners” in the Po Valley, Italy ………………………295

Yannis Chatzikonstantinou – The use of fire in the manipulation of the deceased through experimental approaches ……………………………………………………………………………..307

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FOREWORD

”If we hope to achieve the aim of reconstructing culture

history, we must develop means for using archaeological

remains as a record of the past and as a source of data for

testing propositions  which we set forth regarding past events”.

(L. Binford 1968. 11)

 

 

Early archaeological experiments focused on replicating ancient structures or artefacts using materials, tools and techniques allegedly used by people in the past. Experiments were employed when conventional methods of archaeology no longer worked, attempting to test, explain and ultimately reconstruct crafting practices, technical facilities, and work methods.

At present, experimental archaeology has long passed its infancy, and much has changed since its 19th century debut (e.g. Evans, 1872). It was during the 1950s that S.A. Semenov (1964) innovated the field of functional analysis, and since then experimental archaeology was recognized as essential to usewear studies and its impact slowly but steadily extended over other archaeological fields of study. The number of publications has increased significantly, triggered by conferences and workgroups on experimental archaeology and use-wear analysis (e.g. Alonso et al. (eds.) 2017; Beyries et al. (eds.) 2021, as the most recent).

But, comparatively speaking, experimental archaeology plays a rather a marginal role, still, despite its immense potential for reconstructing the past and the strides it has made in asserting and developing itself: if early experimentations were mainly ‘replicative’ focusing on obtaining the exact aspect of specific archaeological artefacts/structures, at present, particular attention is given to the scientific framework of the archaeological experimentation, focusing on the design and control of the experiments for testing specific hypotheses about past activities. At the moment, experimental archaeology and use-wear analysis are combined in order to better understand the multifaceted aspects of an object’s life, among which manufacture and use are usually seen as the most significant.

This volume focuses on the role and means of archaeological experimentation in understanding the processes involved in the design, manufacture and use of past artefacts. We set out looking for contributions that would test existing theoretical hypotheses but also others that bring forth innovative approaches. When asking for contributions, we suggested the five stages of an experimental approach as main-themes: 1. Selection and acquisition of raw materials, identical to those present in the archaeological assemblages. 2. Production of replicas following the technological transformation schemes identified by the direct study of archaeological items. 3. Experimental use as indicated by the publications/ethnographic comparisons or as suggested by the morphology/use-wear evolution of the archaeological items. 4. Microscopical analysis of use-wear patterns. 5. Comparison of experimental data with archaeological data in order to validate the existing hypotheses on their manufacture and use by the human communities. A second aim was for the invited authors to come from various archaeological backgrounds and cover a broad spatial and temporal interval.

 

As a result, this volume comprises 17 studies organized in three sections, dictated by the various aspects of experimental archaeology they represent: from the more traditional experimental replication, understanding and interpretation of artefact functionality, and relatively recent (and less trodden) directions in experimental archaeology. It also comes to show that experimental archaeology is as well suited for Palaeolithic studies as it is for the Neo-Eneolithic and the Bronze Age.  Although most papers refer geographically to Europe, interesting contributions take us to Argentina and Australia.

The seven papers falling into the section Experimental replication present experimental projects dealing with: animal butchering techniques in the Middle Paleolithic (Marie-Cécile Soulier, Sandrine Costamagno, Emilie Claud and Marianne Deschamps); ivory processing during the Aurignacian period (Wulf Hein); reconstruction of prehistoric boats (Grzegorz Osipowicz, Justyna Orłowska, Justyna Kuriga, Alicja Bieniek, Dominik Chlachula, Jeljer Huisman, Hildegard Müller, Tabea Müller, Matteo Orsi, Marijn Rudolphie, Claudio Simoni, Sanne Smit, and Dorota Wojtczak); Eneolithic fibre production (Ana Ilie); manufacture and use of arrowheads during the Eneolithic (Ion Torcică and Marius Gheorghe Barbu, Mihaela Maria Barbu and Ioan Alexandru Bărbat); Bronze Age pottery making (Angie Wickenden).

The following section – Paths to functionality – debuts  with an overview of the prehistoric projectile points (Jean-Marc Pétillon, Pierre Cattelain), followed by contributions on the use of different types of personal adornments (Monica Mărgărit; Leïla Hoareau, Sylvie Beyries; Ekaterina N. Golubeva, Madina Sh. Galimova and Vera N. Bakhmatova), grinding technology as triggered by rock properties (Vesna Vučković); functionality of shell and lithic tools inferred from microwear traces (Romina Silvestre, Natacha Buc, Daniel Loponte and Alejandro Acosta).

The final section – Fresh approaches to experimental interpretation – brings forth four experimental programs that had employed methodologies less frequently undertaken: inferring functionality of skin working tools by the study of microscopic animal residues (Elspeth Hayes, Nina Kononenko); identification of vessel manufacturing techniques using computed tomography (Vasile Opriş, Adina Boroneanţ, Marta Petruneac, Mihaela Golea, Marin Focşăneanu,  Robert Sîrbu and Clive Bonsall); ascertaining the function of the bucchero incense burners (Darya A. Derzhavets) or re-discussing the results of fire use in the manipulation of the dead (Yannis Chatzikonstantinou).

Hopefully, the present collection of works will convince once again of the importance of archaeological experiments and their significant contribution to the understanding of the human life- and deathways of the past. It also makes a convincing plea, we believe, for interdisciplinarity and the use of new techniques and methods pertaining to the physical and chemical sciences, but not only. Last but not least, it shows that there are almost no limits to testing archaeological hypotheses by means of well developed, science-based experiments.

We would like to thank all contributors who answered our call, and with patience and goodwill helped us complete this volume in less than a year. Each paper was submitted to external reviews. Therefore, our gratitude goes to our colleagues who anonymously reviewed the contributions, offering comments and suggestions that improved the overall content of the volume.

 

The Editors

 

References

Alonso, R., Canales, D., Baena, J. (eds.). 2017. Playing with the time. Experimental archeology and the study of the past. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid.

Beyries, S., Hamon, C., Maigrot, Y (eds.). 2021. Beyond use-wear traces. Going from tools to people by means of archaeological wear and residue analyses. Sidestone Press, Leiden.

Binford, L. R. 1968. Archaeological Perspectives. in Binford, S.R., Binford, L.R. (ed.), New Perspectives in Archaeology. Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago 5–32.

Evans, J. 1872. The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britan.
D. Appleton and Company, New York.

Semenov, S.A. 1964. Prehistoric Technology. An Experimental Study of the oldest Tools and Artefacts from traces of Manufacture and Wear. Adams&Dart, Bath.

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