Archaeological Research and Heritage Management on Seconds World War conflict sites in the Netherlands

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Abstract

Compared with its neighbouring countries, Dutch academic interest in the heritage of war, or in the skills and cultural-historical policies practiced by local and national government, has been limited until recently. However, World War II (WWII) is strong in the popular imagination of the wider public. Modern conflict archaeology plays a vital role with regard to the preservation of these sites and relics. Wars are etched on the memories of nations, communities and individuals. What people remember, and how this changes with time, especially now as historic events pass out of living memory.

During this presentation I will show the benefits and drawbacks of such research conducted in the Netherlands. I use a landscape archaeological approach as conflict sites can be considered as cultural landscapes, influenced and shaped by man. The history of a landscape can be updated constantly and therefore a landscape of memory is also changing continuously, effecting heritage management.

It is possible to map and investigate WWII conflict sites by means of non-invasive techniques like LiDAR. This remote sensing technology can provide a detailed digital elevation model (DEM) of a landscape. The first results showed that some forests and heathlands conceal a preserved landscape of non-hardened military structures, features of which the heritage value is hardly investigated. DEMs can be very useful for landscape studies and to aid a better understanding of conflict sites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFields of Conflict, 2016
Place of PublicationDublin
PublisherTrinity College
Pages1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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