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Reconstruction archaeology

Reconstruction archaeology is a term sometimes used for the increasingly popular practice of attempting to shed light on the past by re-enacting history or reconstructing objects (such as weapons, buildings, etc). It can also be called experimental archaeology.


  • Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to transport large stones like those used in Stonehenge from their normal location in Pembrokeshire to the site on Salisbury Plain, using only technology that would have been available at the time.

  • At Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall, a reconstruction of part of the wall was carried out in limited time by local volunteers.

  • Greek triremes have been reconstructed by skilled sailors from plans and archaeological remains and have been successfully tried out at sea.

  • Historical reenactment such as battle reenactment, "living history", etc, may be regarded as another form of reconstruction archaeology. By living with the technology of the day, reenactors are able to suggest uses for unidentified artefacts and so on.

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