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Designing Experimental Research in Archaeology

Examining Technology through Production and Use

edited by Jeffrey R. Ferguson

Paperback Price $33.95
Ebook Price $26.95
30-day ebook rental price $9.99

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"I recommend this book highly to researchers involved in or contemplating programs of experimental archaeology."
—Eric Blinman, SAS Bulletin

"A valuable resource, one I would recommend for use both by professional and avocational archaeologists interested in experimental archaeology. Additionally, the volume would be a suitable text for use in an advanced undergraduate of graduate course . . . . An excellent starting point for anyone wishing to pursue experiments in these areas."
—Michael P. Neely, PaleoAnthropology

"This is a book by current experimenters for future experimenters. Each chapter provides a rich contextual latticework for experimentation and clear guidelines on how to do it. The book stays on target, is consistent throughout, and will ease the burden of preparation for those contemplating such activities."
—George H. Odell, Journal of Anthropological Research

"A very welcome addition to the library of any researcher interested in conducting, teaching, or evaluating experimental reasearch . . . researchers seeking to design a study in technology can turn to this book as a general sourcebook for literature reviews, discussions of kinds of experimental designs, and examples."
—Jan L. Griffitts, Ethnoarchaeology

"Designing Experimental Research in Archaeology is a proper guide to conducting correct, scientific experiments in archaeology. It has all the recipes for carrying out experiments with a multitude of raw materials, and includes helpful tips and tricks for specific tasks. The idea of a thorough guide to create consistency in the record of archaeological experiments in a good one, providing researchers with the tools to better communicate their results to others."
—Tine Schenck, EXARC Journal


Designing Experimental Research in Archaeology is a guide for the design of archaeological experiments for both students and scholars. Experimental archaeology provides a unique opportunity to corroborate conclusions with multiple trials of repeatable experiments and can provide data otherwise unavailable to archaeologists without damaging sites, remains, or artifacts.

Each chapter addresses a particular classification of material culture—ceramics, stone tools, perishable materials, composite hunting technology, butchering practices and bone tools, and experimental zooarchaeology—detailing issues that must be considered in the development of experimental archaeology projects and discussing potential pitfalls. The experiments follow coherent and consistent research designs and procedures and are placed in a theoretical context, and contributors outline methods that will serve as a guide in future experiments. This degree of standardization is uncommon in traditional archaeological research but is essential to experimental archaeology.

The field has long been in need of a guide that focuses on methodology and design. This book fills that need not only for undergraduate and graduate students but for any archaeologist looking to begin an experimental research project.


Jeffrey R. Ferguson is a research assistant professor with the Archaeometry Laboratory at the University of Missouri Research Reactor in Columbia.

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  • Paperback Price: $33.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-022-7
  • Ebook Price: $26.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.99
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-023-4
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Illustrations: 31 b&w photographs, 3 line drawings, 5 tables
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Jeffrey R. Ferguson
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-022-7
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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