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Month: February 2017

The Smelter’s Tale: Experimental Archaeology & Craft

The Smelter’s Tale: Experimental Archaeology & Craft

Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid — Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade. “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall, “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.” – Rudyard Kipling: ‘Cold Iron’ (1910) – In my Introduction to Experimental Archaeology, I have described experimental archaeology as the testing of archaeological hypotheses based on the excavated record by reproducing and using archaeological finds. In other words, testing our presumptions about…

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Why Authenticity Matters: A Letter to Reenactors & Event Organizers

Why Authenticity Matters: A Letter to Reenactors & Event Organizers

Various ‘historical festivals’ are spreading across Europe like wildfire. They seem to be spreading from the north to the south with the medieval festival/market/experience being the most common culprit in Central Europe. While some of these events have standing traditions, a lot of them sprung up in the last few years. I have attended one of these events last summer, just before I left Slovenia behind. Until that point, I have largely abstained from partaking in reenactment in that part…

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How to Become a Modern Viking: A Beginner’s Guide to Living History

How to Become a Modern Viking: A Beginner’s Guide to Living History

There has been a big upsurge of living history events across Europe over the last few years as well as a rising popular interest in the Viking Age. A lot of this might be fuelled by the roaring success of a certain, glaringly unhistorical, TV show. At the same time, a lot of archaeologists are realizing that living history happens to be a very effective way of promoting cultural heritage. Whatever the reason, a lot people now show an interest…

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An Introduction to Experimental Archaeology

An Introduction to Experimental Archaeology

On those occasions when I get to interact with other representatives of the human race, people tend to ask me about what I happen to be doing with my life. My usual reply is that I study experimental archaeology. This is commonly followed by a question along the lines of ‘That sounds cool, but… What does an experimental archaeologist actually do?’ Since this topic does seem to raise some interest both of the public, as well as of some archaeologists…

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