Archaeology of the Great War

Is this your alibi for educating Miss Trimble?
 

rabid_hamster

War Hero
"10.15am Trench Art: Material culture and the anthropological dimensions of Great War Archaeology
Dr Nicholas Saunders "

not sure squaddies drawing knobs on the walls of their dugouts counts as 'art' although its still probably better than anything done by Tracey Emin
 
Rumpelstiltskin said:
Is this your alibi for educating Miss Trimble?
You may think you have rumbled me but alas the truth is sadder still. I am interested in the Great War to the point of obsession...whereas I merely mildly aroused by Miss T!

As for trench art, I am expecting a dissertation on the things the lads did with brass, cartridge cases etc. Anyone who has visited the cafe at Hooge will be aware of the amazing potential this medium offers for artistic expression.
 
Cuddles said:
Rumpelstiltskin said:
Is this your alibi for educating Miss Trimble?
You may think you have rumbled me but alas the truth is sadder still. I am interested in the Great War to the point of obsession...whereas I merely mildly aroused by Miss T!

As for trench art, I am expecting a dissertation on the things the lads did with brass, cartridge cases etc. Anyone who has visited the cafe at Hooge will be aware of the amazing potential this medium offers for artistic expression.
There was an excellent article in the Journal of Material Culture on trench art, a few years ago. I'm sure it's searchable online.

Edit: it is, and it's the same feller: http://mcu.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/1/43
 
I will seek it out. I have been apprised this week of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology. It looks a fascinating read too!
 
Rumpelstiltskin - the article you speak of is by Nicholas Saunders, who will have us no doubt spell bound tomorrow from 1015!
 

Ord_Sgt

RIP
RIP
Let us know how it goes Cuddles.

I was never overly interested in the Great War until my visit to Ypres last year. I was incredibly moved by the experience and have been devouring everything I can get my hands on about the subject ever since. So much time wasted. :(
 
Gentlefolk...I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. Some very thought-provoking pieces of archaeology were showcased and not all of it run of the mill "digging up the missing". That said, when the case-study of the Aussies at St Yvon was being described and they described the contents of a digger's pack - a pickelhaube! Well I defy anyone civilian or military not to identify and empathise with the light-fingered Aussie. RIP.

The way archaeology as a science can be used to defeat myth and legend was interesting. The 3rd Australian Division's training trenches and mines were studied on SPTA, then the archaeologists visited the scene of their battle debut - where it was clear the techniques and tactics they had practised were absolutely spot-on for the real thing. Another kick in the teeth for the lions led by donkeys lobby - who can shove their poetry-based analysis of military histroy up their arrses!

There was a facinating dit on aerial photography, trench mapping and so forth and another on the archaeology of the turkish railway into Saudi - Lawrence's playground. I also discovered that archaeologists use the word "anthropologist" with a flavour of scorn and contempt that the general population reserve for "paedophile"!

All in all £40 well-spent (although the £35 for car parking was a bit steep!) and in November the team who produced this will be doing a 20th Century Conflict Archaeology day, which will cover the SCW and other less emotionally charged conflicts! Indeed I felt I had to ask how the archs felt when, given our emotional investment in the GW through culture, literature, history, family and myth and legend, they were using hard science to refute some of that...great answers, felt very smug at sparking THAT debate, as an historian!
 

Ord_Sgt

RIP
RIP
Thanks Cuddles, it sounds like it was a day well spent.

Have you any idea if they will be doing this again at some point?
 
DM article, with typical inaccuracies, but some very good photos of finds from a German dugout/bunker complex on Messines Ridge.

'Archaeologists have uncovered a huge World War One tunnel system where dozens of soldiers' remains are believed to be entombed.

'The underground bunker is located on a hill in Flanders in Belgium where the notorious Battle of Messines - where an estimated 59,562 soldiers were killed - took place in 1917. During the battle the British pummelled the German fortifications on the ridge with millions of shells.

'The bunker, which would have accommodated up to 300 troops, was discovered about 20ft below ground, a depth that would have made it shell-proof. But it is thought the artillery bombardment caused the timber-lined walls and ceilings around the entrances to collapse, burying the men inside alive.'


 
..... 20ft below ground, a depth that would have made it shell-proof. But it is thought the artillery bombardment caused the timber-lined walls and ceilings around the entrances to collapse, burying the men inside alive.'
Quite interesting - until that piece of bollocks journalism
 
Quite interesting - until that piece of bollocks journalism
Where's the bollocks bit? 20' of overhead cover should give a fair amount of protection. The weak link is that the entrances would have less cover. It could be that with 300 blokes crammed into a small area, they'd suffocated long before being able to dig themselves out.

Or have I missed something obvious?
 
Where's the bollocks bit? 20' of overhead cover should give a fair amount of protection. The weak link is that the entrances would have less cover. It could be that with 300 blokes crammed into a small area, they'd suffocated long before being able to dig themselves out.

Or have I missed something obvious?
No - it was just bollocks journalism.

Every part of the dugout was probably supported by the same ' timber- lined walls and ceiling' .
Not just the entrance.

There were plenty of miles of trench and dugout that did not need timber lined walls , as it was chalkier ground.
 
OK. You're entitled to your opinion.
 
Where's the bollocks bit? 20' of overhead cover should give a fair amount of protection. The weak link is that the entrances would have less cover. It could be that with 300 blokes crammed into a small area, they'd suffocated long before being able to dig themselves out.

Or have I missed something obvious?
It's not terribly rigorous in that although it talks about 2nd Army's assault in 1917, it completely fails to mention that 19 mines were exploded underneath the German front line.

ETA: two failed to explode. One went off decades later in a thunderstorm and one is still there . . .

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It's not terribly rigorous in that although it talks about 2nd Army's assault in 1917, it completely fails to mention that 19 mines were exploded underneath the German front line.

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I don't know this stuff, I read it because it's interesting, but maybe a mine didn't explode under this section of the line (tenuous evidence = intact glass bottles), so maybe mines aren't relevant to the story.

Unless the entrances were buried by falling debris from nearby mines and/or the occupants died as a result of concussion.
 
I don't know this stuff, I read it because it's interesting, but maybe a mine didn't explode under this section of the line (tenuous evidence = intact glass bottles), so maybe mines aren't relevant to the story.

Unless the entrances were buried by falling debris from nearby mines and/or the occupants died as a result of concussion.
A serious amount of Germans were either buried, killed by the concussion or simply vapourised. Apparently it was the loudest man-made noise until they exploded the atom bomb and was heard as far away as Kent. (ETA: I believe that it may have blown the top off Wiijtschate Ridge).

More info here:


It was the highly successful curtain raiser to Third Ypres.

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