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OpenArch joins 7th UK Conference on experimental archaeology in Cardiff, 2012

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 to Thursday, 12 January, 2012
Dr Steve Burrow (St Fagans)
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 
125 participants

The over 100 participants came from academia, archaeological open-air museums, skills backgrounds or otherwise. In the two-day conference they witnessed papers including themes like the Mary Rose kitchen, Stone Age halberds, medieval dental treatment, how warm is an Anglo Saxon house and spinning experimentation, to mention just a few. The papers and posters were very accessible and rarely overtly technical.

Workshops included flint knapping, chiselling on stone, playing musical instruments, hand spinning and antler working. Special mention is for the bronze casting group which came all the way from Italy. St Fagans also had demonstrations running on milling, clog making, weaving and forging iron.

Several OpenArch Partners joined this conference: Archeon, Foteviken, EXARC, University of Exeter, Parco Montale. EXARC took an active role in promoting, the EXARC Board meeting took place in the shadow of this conference.

A number of representatives from the University of Exeter, working on a variety of experimental archaeology projects, attend the conference including Linda Hrucombe, Bruce Bradly, Robyn Levitan, Tom Etheridge, Steffan Klemenic and Theresa Kamper: Linda Hurcombe presented a joint paper (with Robert van de Noort, University of Exeter)

Riding the waves: learning to build a Bronze Age boat.
A team composed of academics, museum curators, volunteers and a professional shipwright have been building a boat modelled on the stitched plank Bronze Age craft from Ferriby. The work has taken place in full view of the public at the workshop of the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall, an organisation that relies on entrance charges. An overview of the project will be presented drawing on a range of perspectives from across the team. The discussion points include; the theoretical themes of construction as performance, experiments as research and presentation, and skill development; management and motivation issues; and, last but not least, the intensely practical insights and compromises arising from the selection of the raw materials, bronze age tools and woodworking technologies, and little-known plant chaînes opèratoires. All this was undertaken to make an impressive full scale seaworthy craft thanks to our shipwright Brian Cumby and a wonderful army of volunteers (including these students from University of Exeter: Robyn Levitan, Tom Etheridge, Steffan Klemenic and Theresa Kamper).


Riding the waves: learning to build a Bronze...