The study of conflict archaeology has developed rapidly over the last decade, fuelled in equal measure by techlogical advances and creative analytical frameworks. Nowhere is this truer than in the inter-disciplinary fields of archaeological practice that combine traditional sources such as historical photographs and maps with 3D digital topographic data from Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and large scale geophysical prospection. For twentieth-century conflict landscapes and their surviving archaeological remains, these developments have encouraged a shift from a site oriented approach towards landscape-scaled research. This volume brings together an wide range of perspectives, setting traditional approaches that draw on historical and contemporary aerial photographs alongside cutting-edge prospection techniques, cross-disciplinary analyses and invative methods of presenting this material to audiences. Essays from a range of disciplines (archaeology, history, geography, heritage and museum studies) studying conflict landscapes across the globe throughout the twentieth century, all draw on aerial and landscape perspectives to past conflicts and their legacy and the complex issues for heritage management. Organized in four parts, the first three sections take a broadly chrological approach, exploring the use of aerial evidence to expand our understanding of the two World Wars and the Cold War. The final section explores ways that the aerial perspective can be utilized to represent historical landscapes to a wide audience. With case studies ranging from the Western Front to the Cold War, Ireland to Russia, this volume demonstrates how an aerial perspective can both support and challenge traditional archaeological and historical analysis, providing an invative new means of engaging with the material culture of conflict and commemoration.
Dr Birger Stichelbaut is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Historical and Archaeological Aerial Photography - a collaborative initiative between Ghent University, the In Flanders Fields Museum and the Province of West-Flanders - and is engaged with aerial photography, archaeology and the conflict landscape of the First World War. He is the author of the book In Flanders Fields: The Great War seen from the air (published in English, French and Dutch) and of several papers dealing with historical aerial photography and the archaeology of the Great War. David Cowley is an archaeologist who manages the aerial reconnaissance programme at Historic Environment Scotland. He has published extensively on applications of historic aerial photographs, remote sensing for archaeology and aerial archaeology. His research is framed within landscape archaeology and includes conflict archaeology, methodology and sources. He is also undertaking part-time doctoral research at Ghent University.