Experimental archaeology

Our interpretation of archaeological material culture relies on reference collections which are built up day after day. It is a collective enterprise in which each member of the group brings his or her knowledge and skills.

This adenture started in 2001 in Archéodrome de Beaune, in the land of Burgundy wine, under the aegis of Marie-Chantal Frère-Sautot (SAPRR). For three seasons from 2001 to 2003, archaeologists of different nationalities joined the ‘Obsidian,Technology and Functions’ Project. This international cooperation lead to the establishment of a reference collection of more than 400 obsidian tools used to perform different activities, mainly: harvesting cereals; treating plants; making bone tools and working skin.

In July 2009, the first Experimental Season of the OUP Project took place in Aşıklı Höyük, with the support of Pr. Dr. Mihriban Özbaşaran. This season had two main goals. The first one was to build up a reference collection to help identify the knapping techniques present. For this, Jacques Pelegrin (CNRS) replicated blade reduction using the pressure technique, indirect percussion and direct percussion with soft stones. The second one was to use replicas of archaeological sickles for harvesting cereals. Replica handles were made by C. Bontemps (INRAP, CRAVO).The sickle elements made either of flint or obsidian were manufactured by Jacques Pelegrin (CNRS). A protocol to test the efficiency of sickles has been established by Laurence Astruc and Stéphane Ducret (TracEdge).

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