Experimental archaeology & Reconstructions
The use of reconstructions, made of new materials comparable to the old, is extremely illustrative – if not indispensible – for the understanding of beadwork. The use of for instance translucent beads and colored string is very helpful for the understanding and determining of the ancient techniques. Especially when the string in the original object is only partly preserved, comparison to the reconstruction made of translucent beads will give valuable information. This is because important clues about the techniques may be obscured inside the perforation of the bead. By reproducing the entire object, an incredible amount of information may be obtained that otherwise remains obscured. For instance the pace of the work, the details of the technique and the amount of effort put into an object will be better understood. In most of the studies represented on the pages of this site, reconstructions were made. Some of the results are already mentioned on other pages.
For an exhibit on Tutankhamun’s clothing for instance, the reconstructions of two tunics were made in 1999. The most important conclusion that could be drawn from these reconstructions was that they revealed information on the remarkable discrepancy between the time spent in the production of different elements of a single tunic. Some (the larger) parts of the tunic could be made in a single day and the beading technique is very crude when compared to other parts of the beadwork. In other parts of the same tunic, hundreds of man-hours must have been spent in the production. The results of this study will be in a forthcoming publication.
The result of the Tutankhamun reconstructions was the international exhibit "Tutankhamun's Wardrobe"