The 6th experimental archaeology conference was held on the 6th and 7th January at York University, Kings Manor campus. The conference was a two day event and consisted of a series of papers, workshops and discussions. One of the main topics, which were hotly debated by delegates, was the role of the experimental archaeologist as a means of bringing together the two realms of archaeology and science in an ever competitive world of multidisciplinary research. In the spirit of this an excellent key note speech was given by Matthew Collins setting the tone for the conference. Papers were also given by a number of York students including Cynthianne Debono Spiteri and a very well revived paper on replica Egyptian shields by William Stonborough.
The second day of the conference included two lively workshops; on butchery practices, by Krish Seetah, and ceramics, by Graham Taylor. Both workshops were intended to be a ‘hands on’ opportunities for delegates to gain experience as practitioners of experimental archaeology. The delegates therefore had the opportunity both to butcher small mammals and produce pottery from coarse ware clay, similar to what would have been available in the Neolithic.
There was also a multitude of posters at the conference coving a wide range of experimental topics. These were complimented by a gallery of photographs constructed by Rowena Banerjea which depicted the formation of the archaeological record through pictures, focusing on the role of experimental archaeology in enlightening our knowledge of formation processes. The gallery included photographs from the experimental earthwork project at Overton Down, experimental earthworks at Butser and the excavation of reconstructed roundhouses at both Butser and St Fagans.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow committee members, Eva Fairnall and Lisa-Marie Shillito, for all of the hard work and dedication which went into organising the 6th Experimental Archaeology Conference. I would also like to say a special thank you to Alizon Holland for her tireless effort in helping with the financial and catering organisation. Last but not least I would like to thank those who volunteered to help out on the day which contributed significantly to the smooth running of both days of the conference!!! We are hoping to publish a special journal issue from the conference and will keep you all posted on progress.