Egyptology in the Present: Experiential and Experimental Methods in Archaeology
edited by Carolyn Graves-Brown
ISBN-9781910589021, 2015, pp xxxviii + 207, GB £58
 
This volume builds bridges between usually separate social groups, between different methodologies and even between disciplines. The experimental method is privileged in academic institutions and thus perhaps is subject to clear definitions. It tends to be associated with the scientific and technological. In opposition, the experiential is more rarely defined and is usually associated with schoolchildren, museums and heritage centres; it is often criticised for being unscientific. The introductory chapter of this volume examines the development of these traditionally-assumed differences, giving for the first time a critical and careful definition of the experiential in relation to the experimental. The two are seen as points on a continuum with much common ground. This claim is borne out by succeeding chapters, which cover such topics as textiles, woodworking and stoneworking. The volume, however, is important not only for Egyptology but for archaeological method more generally. It illuminates the pioneering of individuals who founded modern archaeological practice.
 

CONTENTS

Introduction: 'Building Bridges. Experiential and Experimental’ Carolyn Graves-Brown (Egypt Centre, Swansea University)

'Flaxman Spurrell’s Experimenting with Painting Materials’ Ashley Cooke (National Museums Liverpool)

'Exposing Ancient Shipbuilders’ Secrets’ Pearce Paul Creasman (Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona)

'Beyond the Technological: A Novice Knapper’s Experience’ Carolyn Graves-Brown

'Experimental Archaeology: From Meadow to Em-baa-lming Table’ Salima Ikram (American University in Cairo)

'Practical Dressmaking for Ancient Egyptians - Making and Pleating Replica Ancient Egyptian Clothing’ Janet M. Johnstone (Egyptian Cultural Heritage Organisation)

'Woodworking’ Geoffrey Killen (Egyptologist, specialist in ancient woodworking technology)

'Some Observations and Practical Attempts according to Egyptian Depictions of Flintknapping Acts from the Old and Middle Kingdom’ Marquardt Lund (archaeologist)

'Did Ancient Egyptian Textiles Pleat Themselves?’ Ann Richards (Textile designer and analyst)

'Early Experiments: A View from the Pitt Rivers Museum' Alice Stevenson (Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London)

'Some Experiments in Ancient Egyptian Stone Technology’ Denys A. Stocks (experimental archaeologist)