Experiment in archaeology

The Centre of Experimental Archaeology at Panská Lhota provides the necessary background for outdoor experiments. Since 2012, the systematic experiments carried out in this centre are mainly focused on production technology of medieval and modern pottery and are associated with systematic research on Rokštejn Castle and its hinterland. An annual workshop has been held on medieval and modern ceramic assemblages, which is also associated with preparation of technological experiments, preparation of ceramic substances and accompanying analyses, hand-building or wheel-throwing of vessels, drying and firing in various types of kilns as well as in replicas of firing pits, at various temperatures and technological conditions.

Our partner in a wider-conceived analytical and experimental research on historical pottery is since 2014 the Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology (LEA) of the Romano-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz. Our joint interest is currently targeted at production processes (vessel forming and the course of firing procedure with maximum possible monitoring). In mutual partnership we are taking part in individual pottery firing experiments and collecting of data. During experimental firing we try to find suitable methods of an efficient measuring of the firing process and its documentation. The discussions and experiments within the scope of pottery production processes help us to find out interesting information and acquire practical experience, for example on the differences in vessel shaping with the help of a fast-rotating potter’s wheel or with only a slow hand-operated tournette.

In 2017, complex experiments will be held here concerning the use of lithic projectiles for military purposes. The results of ballistic analyses will be verified, above all the impact of asymmetric design of projectiles on rotation and thereby on speed, penetration power and wounding capability of projectiles. The experiments will use accurate copies which are cast of a liquid polymer on the basis of exact 3D data. This part of the experiment will be realised in cooperation with members of the Traditional Archery Society In 2017, complex experiments will be held here concerning the use of lithic projectiles for military purposes. The results of ballistic analyses will be verified, above all the impact of asymmetric design of projectiles on rotation and thereby on speed, penetration power and wounding capability of projectiles. The experiments will use accurate copies which are cast of a liquid polymer on the basis of exact 3D data. This part of the experiment will be realised in cooperation with members of the Traditional Archery Society.

Another part of the experiment will be the verification of origin of the distinct leather-induced abrasions on tips of the original Early Bronze Age projectiles. The aim of the experiment is to prove that step vibrations can cause this type of wear by transporting the arrows in a leather quiver with their tips turned down. Another goal is to compare the intensity of wear with ordinary step vibrations and with running through the landscape. We will follow up the emergence of the other types of wear which can be observed with the original artefacts, mainly the hitting marks in the middle part of large projectiles. For the purpose of this experiment we will use recent copies made of radiolarite from the Vlára Pass, which were shafted in a usual way.

The third part of the experiment will be depositional experiment verifying the intensity of degradation of the surface of radiolarite projectiles at various chemical conditions given by their different position within an inhumation grave. For this purpose we will use radiolarite projectiles from the previous phase of the experiment. See more...

Do you have some hypothesis to verify but you lack the background to do so?

The Centre of Experimental Archaeology at Panská Lhota provides background for archaeological experiments, workshops and conferences or archaeology tuition. Among the facilities offered is a fully equipped conference hall for 100 persons, accommodation capacity for researchers, depositories and outdoor premises, and a well-equipped kitchen for preparation of refreshment. The team of the Centre is composed of experienced experts, who are able to advise or help with realisation.

Mgr. Jana Mazáčková, Ph.D.

Contact person


Office: bud. T/210
Kounicova 67a
602 00 Brno

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