Understanding the archaeology of conflict



Battlefield archaeology is a new and exciting application that seeks to interpret battlefields from their archaeological remains. In its widest sense, conflict archaeology takes in trenches and defences, tunnels and dugouts, scenes of conflict and skirmish, troop deployments and camps, as well as wider applications, such as POW camps. Peter Doyle has been actively engaged in conflict archaeology since the subject became accepted, working on projects as diverse as the Great War trenches threatened by the A19 motorway on the outskirts of Ieper in Belgium, to leading the excavation at the site of the 'Great Escape' at Zagan in Poland, an excavation that led to the discovery of the last tunnel to be discovered 'Dick'. In 2013, Peter Doyle was invited to examine the excavations at Messines, Belgium - the largest archaeological investigation on the Western Front, which featured in the Channel 5 documentary: 'Tunnels of Death'.