Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Arts, Martial and Domestic
500 BC to 1815 AD
Hoplologia is an organisation dedicated to the recreation of the past. We concentrate on certain time periods and certain aspects of the past, but our first love is what we call “experimental archaeology.”
For us, experimental archaeology is a process whereby practical use of authentic material culture helps us learn something about how history worked - whether in cooking, dance, or battle - requiring a focus on testing one or more hypotheses concerning a single aspect of historic life and culture. This approach requires much in-depth research to correctly set up the experiment - any of the aspects potentially affecting the hypothesis under test must conform as closely as possible to the historic originals.
In our form of experimental archaeology, a great deal of time, effort, and money goes into the painstaking recreation of material culture; the clothing and physical objects from a particular historical period.
But material culture alone will not “reveal” the past, nor does the study of material culture alone help us to understand the complexities of recreation. In addition, study of “intellectual culture” plays a role in recreating the past at a level sufficiently meaningful and layered to actually yield useful data on how the past may have worked.
Neither material culture nor intellectual culture can be recreated without hundreds of hours of research. Research - the careful investigation of the past - may involve reading primary sources (things actually written in the period under study) or visiting sites like museums to look at original items like helmets or spindles.
Recreation is a vehicle for public education. Our projects are vehicles desgned to combine experimental archaeology, material culture, and intellectual culture to inform the public about the past. Working with our partners at historical sites in Canada, the United States, and around the world, Hoplologia runs a half-dozen major and many minor projects every year.
We are always looking for new members - that rare breed of men and women who are passionate about history, interested in making things, painstaking in their research, and fascinated in trying it all out on a cold day in the woods... If that sounds like you, please contact us.
Hoplologia is a registered not-for-profit organization based in Canada. Your donations are appreciated!