For us, experimental archaeology is a process whereby practical use of authentic material culture helps us learn something about how history worked - whether in cooking, dance, or battle -requiring a focus on testing one or more hypotheses concerning a single aspect of historic life and culture. This approach requires much in-depth research to correctly set up the experiment - any ofthe aspects potentially affecting the hypothesis under test must conform as closely as possible to the historic originals.
In our form of experimental archaeology, a great deal of time, effort, andmoney goes into the painstaking recreation of material culture; the clothing and physical objects from a particular historical period.
But material culture alone will not “reveal” the past, nor doesthe study of material culture alone help us to understand the complexities of recreation. In addition, study of “intellectual culture” plays a role in recreating the past at a level sufficientlymeaningful and layered to actually yield useful data on how the past may have worked.
Neither material culture nor intellectual culture can be recreated without hundreds of hours of research. Research- the careful investigation of the past - may involve reading primary sources (things actually written in the period under study) or visiting sites like museums to look at original items like helmetsor spindles.
Recreation is a vehicle for public education. Our projects are vehicles desgned to combine experimental archaeology, material culture, and intellectual culture to inform the publicabout the past. Working with our partners at historical sites in Canada, the United States, and around the world, Hoplologia runs a half-dozen major and many minor projects every year.
We are always...