6th Experimental Archaeology Conference, York

An informal, individual perspective on the 6th Experimental Archaeology Conference #exparch6, held on the 6th-7th January 2012.


  1. Having done some thinking on my experiences in 2011 on both learning and teaching experimental archaeology, I had submitted an abstract to the 6th Experimental Archaeology Conference expecting to perhaps get the opportunity to present a poster.

    I was happy to find out in November 2011 that I had been accepted for an oral paper, and I was off to York! Although I knew @exarc_net from some shared teaching experience, I had never been to this conference before and was unsure what to expect.
  2. I certainly wasn't prepared for the amazing building that the archaeology department is housed in!
  3. There were around 40 attendees, twelve papers over two days, a demonstration session on the final afternoon, and posters displayed during lunch.

    You can find a list of the posters, papers and some of the abstracts at the new archival web presence for the conference:
  4. The introductory 'welcome' lecture was by Professor Matthew Collins was entitled "Experimental archaeology and the scientific method" but rather perplexingly was a discussion about contracting-out biological data collection.
  5. Collins clearly knew his stuff as the head of the BioArCh project/department at York, but I was left a little bemused, and perhaps a little put-out that interdisciplinary archaeometrists didn't get a mention! But there was no time wasted, and we were straight into the science with a paper by Pascal Flohr and others on reconstructing past water availability by looking at the ratio of carbon 12 and carbon 13.
  6. This was followed by a paper by Rowena Banerja and others on identifying formation processes using geoarchaeology, which was an unfamiliar area to me but had some really good archaeological conclusions.
  7. The last paper before coffee was Sally Hoare using a type of environmental magnetism technique. It was a great paper, but the science literally blew the minds of most of the audience!
  8. I kept thinking - I should understand this - and getting stuck on the confusing terms and acronyms. But I really respected the authors for presenting negative evidence, particularly as it contradicts some published work.
  9. The problem with tweeting from one's phone is the damn auto-correct! Hammerle was presenting on faience manufacture.