Experimental archaeology research at Exeter is characterised by its methodological innovation, engagement with fundamental archaeological questions, and testing of long-held assumptions. Our current research covers a range of themes:
- the origins and development of complex stone flaking technologies in the Upper Palaeolithic of south-western Europe and North America
- identification of tool uses in relation to changing land use patterns
- exploration of bone flaking technologies in relation to Late Pleistocene technologies
- iron smelting technologies and their relationships to Iron Age interactions across Europe and South Asia
- the introduction and adoption of the wheel in Crete and Cyprus in the Bronze Age and its relevance to Eastern Mediterranean cultural interaction
- replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans in Eurasia
- early hominin brain development
Our work is focused on actualistic studies but is also engaged in laboratory experimentation.
Collaboration and research
Many of our research projects involve active collaboration with scholars from other disciplines and regions of the world. Current projects include work in: Britain, France, Scandinavia, North America, the Mediterranean, and central and south-eastern Asia.
With the growing interest in material cultural and the concepts of materiality, the role of experimental archaeology is gaining an increased appreciation as a method of developing powerful data sets, especially in testing innovative methodologies and challenging current assumptions.