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Egyptology In The Present: Experiential and Experimental Methods in Archaeology

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The proceedings of a conference on experimental and experiential archaeology held at Swansea in 2010. This volume bridges often opposed methodologies, social groups and disciplines. The introductory chapter examines the development of the experimental and experiential and their modern definitions, giving, for the first time, a critical definition of experiential work. The experiential and experimental are seen as points on a continuum rather than opposites, a claim supported by chapters, covering such topics as textiles, woodworking and stoneworking. For example, Salima Ikram uses both ‘scientific’ experimental and sensual experiential approaches to understand Egyptian mummification. The volume reaches beyond Egyptology, to archaeological method more generally. Several papers are truly groundbreaking and deserve to circulate far beyond Egyptology. Thus, Marquardt Lund explores the earliest known depictions of flint knife manufacture, those from an Egyptian tomb dated around 1900 BC. He shows the importance of thinking outside ‘traditional’, i.e. modern, knapping practice. Lund’s knapping method, guided by the tomb depictions, is surprising but effective, and very different from that presented in manuals of lithic technology or taught in academic institutions.



Preface and Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Building bridges. Experiential and experimental ix

Carolyn Graves-Brown (Egypt Centre, Swansea University)

1 Flaxman Spurrell’s experimenting with painting materials

Ashley Cooke (National Museums Liverpool)

2 Exposing ancient shipbuilders’ secrets

Pearce Paul Creasman (Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona)

3 Beyond the technological: a novice knapper’s experience

Carolyn Graves-Brown (Egypt Centre, Swansea University)

4 Experimental archaeology: from meadow to em-baa-lming table

Salima Ikram (American University in Cairo)

5 Practical dressmaking for ancient Egyptians – making and pleating replica ancient Egyptian clothing

Janet M. Johnstone (Egyptian Cultural Heritage Organisation)

6 Woodworking

Geoffrey Killen (Egyptologist, specialist in ancient woodworking technology)

7 Egyptian depictions of flintknapping from the Old and Middle Kingdom, in the light of experiments and experience

Marquardt Lund (archaeologist)

8 Did ancient Egyptian textiles pleat themselves?

Ann Richards (Textile designer and analyst)

9 Early experiments: a view from the Pitt Rivers Museum

Alice Stevenson (Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London)

10 Some experiments in ancient Egyptian stone technology

Denys A. Stocks (Experimental archaeologist)

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