A BRIEF HISTORY OF BATTLEFIELD ARCHAEOLOGY

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BATTLEFIELD ARCHAEOLOGY

 

In order to assess the importance of battlefield archaeology, one must first understand the way in which archaeology, as a discipline is carried out. This might best be summarised by Hodder (1995, 83), who states that‘ The usual way in which archaeologists discuss developments over long spans of time is to divide up their data into phases and to discuss the reasons for change between phases.’

BATTLEFIELD ARCHAEOLOGY

 

Hodder then follows on by using the example of an invasion, a cross-cultural form of conflict (ibid ) and states that conflicts tend to be a primary reason for change. It can therefore be argued that there are few historical events which so thoroughly encapsulate the importance of  change between such periods, as do invasions, wars, and particularly individual battles. Battlefields can  therefore be studied as sites of social and political transition, and the events that took place upon them are the essence of the contemporary determination for change or st
ability. It was on these sites that lives were laid down for a cause. Throughout history, as today, major changes to the lives of millions of people have been instigated,
An archaeologist works 19 July 2007 at a
or indeed prevented, by the onset of armed conflict. These changes, as Hodder implies, are often archaeologically apparent when recording the invasions of foreign forces. One can still see the dramatic physical effects of the Second World War struggle for the German city of Berlin, for example. Many buildings and
statues, which were not completely destroyed, were scarred by shrapnel damage and bullet holes.</p>
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