Monday, 14 July 2008

Spreading the Word

Yesterday Richard and Martin gave a presentation to the annual Conflict Archaeology conference at the Royal Logistics Corps Museum at Deepcut. It was good to present to an audience of interested amateurs and fellow practitioners in the field and the responses to our multistrand approach to the landscape and the individual sites was well-received.

The event was a mixture of ancient (Ramesses II) and modern (WW1 & 2 and Bosnia) with an interspersing of post-medieval (English Civil War). Tal Simmons paper on Bosnia was hard viewing and listening but ultimately worthwhile, not only because of her powerful delivery but also because it served to remind us of the reality of conflict, including injury, sickness and death in traumatic circumstances. Meanwhile Neil Faulkner's paper on the Arab Revolt and TE Lawrence threw up some interesting differences withour work, although Plugstreet and Lawrence were contemporary. However there were marked similarities too, including the German trench systems.

The cross current in several papers was that this is essentially a community endeavour, whether those communities are close to the sites in UK, in Jordan or at a remove in a second or third country, as we are for this project. The nature of conflict means that it may have resonance and meaning years after the event for those affected, even indirectly. Archaeology gives some people the opportunity to engage directly with that heritage and, we hope, offers everyone the chance to hear something new about the events and people in the past.

Thanks and credit to Andy Robertshaw and his staff at the RLC Musuem.

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