Experimental archaeology plays an important role in understanding our past, particularly in the fields where literary and materialistic evidence is limited or inaccessible. Experimental archaeology has established itself as one of the vibrant disciplines of archaeology over the past few decades and enables us to answer many mysterious questions that are set in our past.
The talk will highlight the importance of experimental archaeology, particularly in terms of osseous materials. Osseous materials and technologies played an important role in ancient human societies; from production of hunting weapons to making of agricultural tools; toiletry items to craft implements and so on.
Though widespread in the archaeological record, their potential in the reconstruction of the human past has not been fully realised. Archaeologists around the world have not given much academic attention to the objects made of these materials. We know very little about their manufacture and use.
Within this framework, a set of questions will be addressed in this talk: how objects made of osseous materials were produced in ancient times; who produced and utilised them; in what manner and activities they were used; what social, economic and ideological significance they had in past societies; why these materials were preferred over presumably better options (such as copper, bronze, iron, etc.) and so on.
About the speaker: Vinayak is an experimental archaeologist and has been working in this field for the last fourteen years. His research focuses on the role of osseous technology in the social life of humans and their environment, and it involves the technological analysis of osseous artifacts using various types of experiments, microwear analysis, traceology, and tribology. At present, he is serving as Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi.