Experimental Archaeology

WHS associated with examples of Experimental Archaeology - also known as "Reconstruction archaeology" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental_archaeology. In particular by the construction of replicas, usually nearby, whose purpose is both to demonstrate and learn about the structures and the lives of those who inhabited the original sites. The reconstructions are not necessarily intended to be exact replicas. EXARC "is the international organisation of Archaeological Open Air Museums and Experimental Archaeology" See link for a list of its Institutional members http://exarc.net/institutional-members

(NB Excluding "exact" replicas built because the original is too precious to allow tourists inside for which see http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tags/tag29.html ).

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch Experimentalarchäologisches Freilichtlabor "Lauresham"
Arslantepe Mound An experimental 1:1 replica of an Arslantepe Early Bronze Age mud-brick house, has (...) been built in 2010 in the entrance area. The original aim of reconstructing this house was to investigate, and at the same time, exhibit the old mud-brick architecture techniques, and show to local modern inhabitants how their traditional houses have not changed for millennia. This should further help bridge the past with the present as well as being a very effective educational tool for the preservation of traditional cultural heritage. (Nomination text, p. 106)
Birka and Hovgarden
Danube Limes Carnuntum: "Reconstructions have been erected using experimental archaeology. Building work was able to be carried out partly with original Roman stonework and with reconstructed Roman tools using ancient building technology and craft skills. All technical facilities in the buildings are fully functioning."
Frontiers of the Roman Empire Saalburg (large parts of a Roman Castellum reconstructed on the original spot, showing how the Roman army was organised and how Romans constructed their buildings)
Hattusha The rebuilding of walls at Hattusha
Hedeby and Danevirke Viking houses
Jomon Prehistoric Sites "In some cases, local authorities have developed life-size interpretive models of some key features, especially pit dwellings and shell middens. These models are intended to help explain to visitors some of the authentic elements that are otherwise concealed under a protective layer of soil. While the life-size models are presented as replicas, not reconstructions, and constructed so as not to have any impact on the archaeological deposits, new technologies are nevertheless explored to help visitors visualize some of the authentic archaeological features that must remain buried." (Official description)
Lower German Limes "The LVR-Archaeological Park Xanten (...) was created in 1973 to protect the remains of the Roman town, which were threatened by quarrying and industrial development. (...). The park visualises the scale and outward appearance of a Roman town in a part of the Empire which has only very few aboveground remains of Roman buildings. It increasingly serves as a laboratory for Roman construction techniques, providing many new insights through a process of experimental archaeology, learning-by-doing." (Nomination file, p. 118)
Prehistoric Pile Dwellings
Southern Öland
Çatalhöyük One of the more recent structures on the site is the experimental reconstruction house which was constructed between 1999 and 2002 .......The house does not replicate one specific excavated building but is an amalgam of a number of features common to the Neolithic buildings of Çatalhöyük such as platforms, ovens and wall paintings. The original aim of the house was as a research tool to investigate the building techniques used at Çatalhöyük. Experiments such as painting on the lime plaster walls, and building and lighting a hearth take place inside the house. Furthermore it is a very effective interpretative and especially educational tool. The construction of the house provides the archaeologists and visitors with a physical experience of what it might have been like to live at Çatalhöyük, in terms of space, movement and light. The house complies with all aspects of the ICOMOS Charter for the Protection and Management of Archaeological Heritage (1990), Article 7 on archaeological reconstructions" (Man Plan)


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