The project’s main goal is to develop experimental replicas and a reference database for prehistoric artefacts made from osseous materials and to test the hypotheses presented in fundamental research studies (dedicated to the types of archaeological materials targeted in this project). Beyond the modern, totally innovating way of studying the artefacts in the present-day landscape of prehistoric interdisciplinary studies in Romania, the character of novelty of the project is equally given by the fact that our investigation proposes to collect sets of independent information, retrieved according to the diverse methodological approaches and integrated into several research directions specific to prehistoric archaeology (typology, technology, functional analyses, experimental archaeology and microscopy). This way, it will became possible to reconstruct the series of gestures that led to the production of different bone/antler/tusk/shell objects, and the characteristics of the tools used, and then the manner the respective object was used, reshaped or abandoned; all these will start from the premise that the different technical behaviours may be important indicators for the differentiation of traditionally cultural groups, as reflected by their geographical variation or their chronology (Neo-Eneolithic vs. Bronze Age).
A second major goal is the introduction in the international scientific circuit of this methodological structure foreseen, based on the yet unpublished archaeological information, and valorizing the team members’ experience in applicative research. And last but not least, the present project has an educational goal. By organizing experimental workshops in which we also involve students and doctoral students we will try to promote the importance of the experimental archaeology and to attract young people towards this research segment. As the project will take place under the umbrella of a higher education institution, we consider that these objectives will be attained without any impediments.
Correlation of the objectives with the outcome of the project requires the succession of the following segments: 1. organization of the activities and drafting of the project development plan for the entire team; 2. evaluation of the actual stage of research in the light of the bibliographic resources, by means of documentation sessions concerning this topic and of an analysis of the unpublished materials belonging to this category; 3. elaboration of a methodology, using the data gathered, by the research in this domain, adapted to the specific situations; 4. gathering/colleting raw materials to be processed, with the determination of the required quantities; 5. elaboration of descriptive charts in order to register all the information obtained during the production of experimental replicas; 6. organising experimental workshops, respecting and maintaining the succession of procedures identified in the different technological schemes of raw materials processing; 7. use of experimental replicas in various activities, as presented in the fundamental research (specialized studies); 8. Conducting microscopic studies to collect information related to the micro-wear marks recorded on the artefacts; 9. Elaboration of working hypotheses and of an interpretative equation concerning the subject approached; 10. Creating a database where all the information of technological and functional nature are recorded; 11. Valorisation and dissemination of the results obtained through the project, by means of specific events (conferences, workshops, national and international congresses), but also by means of the publication of scientific papers in BDI indexed journals.
From what has been presented so far, it becomes clear that the project is motivated by the unsatisfactory state of this research domain in Romania. Romanian research needs to be brought up to date in order to reach a level comparable to that of the international trends in this domain. The project has the advantage of having easy access to a series of extremely diversified materials from the point of view of typology and technology, some originating from recent archaeological excavations, with clear stratigraphic contexts. In what the concepts promoted by this project proposition are concerned, we must mention that they completely belong to the sphere of interdisciplinarity, involving the participation of several scientific disciplines from various research fields, and these disciplines are fully covered by the team members, possessing the highest competences (see the team description below). Regarding the feasibility of the project, we consider that the objectives of the project are realistic, being based on a judicious division of responsibilities between the team members and thus can be fully covered within the timeframe; we do not identify any impediments that could endanger the successful completion of the project. Also, in order to ensure its feasibility, each stage of implementation includes a time frame required to get the necessary feedback from the academic community, in order to critically adjust the intermediate objectives. The feedback will be the results of both the participation to international meetings dedicated to experimental archaeology, and specialized publications of the team members. The application for funding complies with the legal norms and expresses the expected needs to achieve all the proposed objectives. The distribution of the budget categories concerns, in particular, the personnel costs and those related to the organization of experimental workshops and dissemination in order to introduce the results of the project into the scientific circuit.