The Program for Experimental Archaeology

Experimental archaeology has increasingly become an important component of archaeological research.  By replicating ancient technologies such as ceramic production, flint knapping, bone carving, metal working and glassblowing, archaeologists gain important insights into how people made and used a variety of items in the past. This, in turn, opens a window to the technical traditions of ancient societies that reflect social, economic and cultural behaviors and organization.

A newly established Program for Experimental Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology was initiated with the cooperation of the CNRS in Paris and the French Cultural Center in Jerusalem, led by Dr. Valentine Roux, a world renown expert on ancient technologies. The goal of the program is to train students and other interested researchers to develop and conduct experimental protocols in order to answer archaeological questions. In addition, a structured program of advanced graduate studies in experimental archaeology is planned. A spacious room with facilities such as a potter’s kickwheel and an extensive technological study collection, is devoted to this purpose;  these facilities serve as the home for conducting experiments in a wide range of materials and technologies. The program operates in cooperation with other laboratories in the Institute of Archaeology, including the Laboratory for Archaeological Materials and Ancient Technologies, the Computerized Archaeology Laboratory, and the Conservation Laboratory, as well as with the Bezalel Academy of Art.