Workshops and activities

Workshops and activities occurred on both the Friday and Saturday afternoons of the 8th Experimental Archaeology Conference.

Friday Afternoon, 2-4pm

Metin Eren – Knapping Q&A

During this Q&A workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn all the secrets of knapping.

James Russel – Display of Neolithic tools and measuring equipment

In this workshop, it will be demonstrated how it is possible to make a defined measuring stick with a tolerance of a few thousandths of an inch. The method uses natural materials, to make thousands of copies, over a long time period. There will be some “blank” lengths of timber for visitors to be given the opportunity to make their own accurate copy of a “megalithic yard”.

Rachel Hopkins – Put yourself into King Edward’s shoes – European Medieval shoe manufacture

At least since the Neolithic – but probably even earlier – shoes have been vital to protect our feet against the ever changing environment, giving us endurance and adaptability. Being made of organic materials, these loyal companions rarely survive. Where their remnants from the medieval period were recovered, they shed light on a vast variety of techniques and design. Their insight into fast changing traditions provides not only high resolution chronologies, but also evidence for long distance cultural exchange and trade. The workshop is designed as a walk-in session and focuses on pattern design and sewing techniques of leather shoes from the 12th to the 15th century AD. The interpretations are based on archaeological as well as historical and iconographic evidence from various medieval European settlements, incl. Greenland. At different workstations you can learn how to make shoe maker’s thread, how to design a shoe your own size, how to choose and cut leather correctly and why shoe lasts look so different. Further information on clothing of the period and shoe design over the last five centuries make sure the knowledge is seen in context. This is a unique opportunity to get some hands-on experience and ask questions that books forget to answer.

Francisca Santana Sagredo & Christophe Snoeck – Experimental approach to stable isotopes (Part 1 & 2) + Visit to the Research Lab

Stable isotopes (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, strontium, etc.) are commonly used in bioarchaeology to reconstruct past diets, climates and migration patterns. After a brief introduction delegates will have the opportunity to donate and prepare a few hairs or nails for isotopic analyses to see if today, when most go to the supermarket instead of eating locally, it is still possible to see what you eat and where you come from. The samples will be analysed overnight and the results shown and discussed in second part of this workshop.

Amber Hood – Tour of Merton College Old Library,

The world’s oldest continuously functioning library for university academics and students.

Saturday, 11:10- 12:50 and 3:30-5pm

Elise Morero – Lapidary drilling tools in Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age (3rd–2nd millennium BC)

In the framework of the study presented at the conference: “Stone vase manufacture in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age: an experimental approach”, an experimental reconstruction of the drilling techniques and tools was performed. In this short workshop a demonstration of the main types of mobile drills used by craftsmen for the manufacture of stone vessels in Egyptians (crank borer) and Minoans (bow drill) workshops, as well as the drilling sequences will be carried out.

Rachel Hopkins – Organic Tupperware – Neolithic Bark Container Manufacture

In Europe the evidence for bark containers goes back at least as far as the Early Neolithic, and their use continues until the present. This workshop gives hands-on insight into the various sewing techniques used for making Neolithic bark containers, and will focus on forms and stitching techniques evidenced at Lake Biel (Switzerland). You will be able to experience first-hand the benefits and drawbacks of local stitching techniques, and learn about bark and bast harvesting and preparation. At the end of the workshop we hope you will be equipped with your own small “bark” container made of cardboard and raffia bast, and the knowledge to be able to make your own real bark container, an organic Tupperware.

Francisca Santana Sagredo & Christophe Snoeck – Experimental approach to stable isotopes (Part 2) + Visit of the Research Lab

After a short tour of the Research Laboratory, the results of the measurements carried out on hair and nails of the delegates will be shown and discussed. Will we be able to discover what you eat and where you come from?

Amber HoodAshmolean Museum Tour

Established in 1683, the Ashmolean Museum is the world’s first university museum, recently
redeveloped. This tour will start with the Egyptian galleries reopened in 2011. It will then be
possible to explore the other galleries going from the Neolithic to the present day. In
addition to archaeological artefacts, the Ashmolean Museum contains a vast collection of
paintings and casts.

Petra Vaiglova Pitt Rivers Museum Tour

The Pitt Rivers Museum was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers gave his personal
collection to the University containing more than 18,000 archaeological and anthropological
objects. There are now over half a million object displayed in the Museum.


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