Battlefield Archaeology

Battlefield archaeology is a sub-discipline of archaeology that began in North America with Dr. Douglas D. Scott's, National Park Service, metal detecting of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in 1983. It is not considered distinct from Military archaeology or Recceology (i.e., the recovery of surface finds and non-invasive site surveying).

Battlefield archaeology also refers to the specific study of a particular archaeological horizon in which a military action occurred. This may include both 'bounded' battlefields where troop dispositions, numbers and the order of battle are known from textual records, and also from undocumented evidence of conflict. The discipline is distinct from military history in that it seeks to answer different questions, including the experiences of ordinary soldiers in wider political frameworks. Therefore, battlefield archaeology is not concerned, primarily, with the causes of conflict but of the sites where conflict actually took place, and of the archaeology of the event.

Whilst the battlefield is a contemporary concept, the archaeology of battlefields incorporates the study of both ancient and modern military technologies, features and conflicts. It may also incorporate events such as civil unrest, including public demonstrations and riots. The discipline, therefore, applies the approaches and techniques of archaeology to military and civil conflict. Conflicts in the twentieth century in particular have been characterised by wars of ethnicity, nationality and identity, where civilians and civilian environments (i.e., domestic buildings, urban centres) have become involved in warfare, and are often inseparable from it. This is also known as 'Total War', understood by the engagement of entire populations and economies within the sphere of warfare. The archaeology of contemporary conflict, therefore, is a 'total' project, considering the impact of conflict and modern weapons systems on civilian as well as military targets.

The study of the relationships and contexts of the material by-products of war give an alternate account to the version recorded in a history book, poem, or witness account, which may be constructed though bias, or may present only a limited perspective of the events.

Read more about Battlefield Archaeology:  World War One and Archaeology, Bibliography

Other articles related to "battlefield archaeology, battlefield, archaeology":

Siege Of Savannah - Aftermath - Battlefield Archaeology
... The find represents the first tangible remains of the battlefield ... In 2008 the CHS/LAMAR Institute archaeology team discovered another segment of the British fortifications in Madison Square ... in Savannah, which examined several outlying portions of the battlefield ...
Tony Pollard
... Tony Pollard is an archaeologist specialising in the archaeology of conflict ... He is Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University ... co-presenter of the BBC series Two Men in a Trench and co-founder of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology ...
Battlefield Archaeology - Bibliography
... (2005) Battlefield Archaeology - A Guide to the Archaeology of Conflict Schofield, A.J ... (2002) Matériel Culture The Archaeology of 20th Century Conflict ...

Famous quotes containing the word battlefield:

    Fighting is like champagne. It goes to the heads of cowards as quickly as of heroes. Any fool can be brave on a battlefield when it’s be brave or else be killed.
    Margaret Mitchell (1900–1949)