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Landscapes of Memory: Recording the Archaeological Remains of the Holocaust Caroline Sturdy Colls.

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Presentation on theme: "Landscapes of Memory: Recording the Archaeological Remains of the Holocaust Caroline Sturdy Colls."— Presentation transcript:

1 Landscapes of Memory: Recording the Archaeological Remains of the Holocaust Caroline Sturdy Colls

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3 CONFLICT and FORENSIC ARCHAEOLOGY Over the last decade, forensic archaeologists have played a central role in war crimes investigation Over the last decade, forensic archaeologists have played a central role in war crimes investigation Studies of other twentieth century conflicts have escalated Studies of other twentieth century conflicts have escalated

4 MULTIDISCIPLINARY PROJECT: ■ Focuses on the exploration of the untapped potential and implications of Holocaust Archaeology ■ Integration of documentary, cartographic and physical evidence ■ Material generated can be used in commemoration, education and heritage strategies. HOLOCAUST LANDSCAPES PROJECT

5 Layers of History Archaeological data and site histories can reveal information about the various layers of a site. These can be: Physical; Physical; Metaphorical; Metaphorical; Social Social

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7 POST-ABANDONMENT HISTORIES Approaches to sites are often a reflection of various issues: Needs/circumstances of the local community Needs/circumstances of the local community Politics Politics Societal divisions Societal divisions Religious beliefs Religious beliefs Ethical tensions Ethical tensions Financial resources Financial resources

8 Methodology Core of project: To investigate the site in a way that respects both its historical and scientific potential, as well as its religious and commemorative significance

9 Methods Used and Features Detected

10 Stages 1. Historical Review 2. Landscape Mapping 3. Subterranean Mapping 4. Processing and Visualisation 5. Dissemination and Commemoration ALWAYS PARALLEL TO CULTURAL MEMORY RESEARCH

11 Asking New Questions of Old Material.. ‘numerous human remains were found by these excavations, partially still in a state of decomposition', revealing that not all the bodies were cremated’ (Wojtczuk 1975:184)

12 12  Map regression  Local history search  County Sites and Monuments Records (SMR's),  National records (NMR)  Walkover survey  Aerial photographs  Geotechnical records  GIS based analysis Site Histories

13 Disturbance Disturbance This can take many forms – some will be visible from the surface, others will only be detectable below the ground This can take many forms – some will be visible from the surface, others will only be detectable below the ground 13 What can we detect?

14 14 Vegetation Change Increased Growth

15 15 Vegetation Change Reduced Growth

16 16 Vegetation Change Differential Growth

17 17 Depressions

18 DGPSTotal Station

19 Digital Terrain Models

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21 Defining Boundaries

22 Feature Recording

23 One of the buried structures identified at Lager Norderney (left) Point data recorded using DGPS and total station survey

24 Re-use, adaptation, reconstruction and dilapidation all reveal important information about the site ’ s history and approaches to it Re-use, adaptation, reconstruction and dilapidation all reveal important information about the site ’ s history and approaches to it

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26  The application of methods capable of analysing the physical properties of the subsurface  Buried features can be detected when they contrast with the surrounding soils  Non-invasive method  Often a precursor to excavation Geophysical Survey

27 GPR

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29 Features consistent with pits, burials, walls, building foundations and other features can all be recorded Features consistent with pits, burials, walls, building foundations and other features can all be recorded Data can be manipulated Data can be manipulated into 3D into 3D

30 Other Geophysical Methods Other methods are available that measure different properties in the soil Other methods are available that measure different properties in the soil All methods allow us to examine contrasts between anomalies and the surrounding soil All methods allow us to examine contrasts between anomalies and the surrounding soil

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32 Visualisation Alternatives to on-site memorialisation/museumscape Facilitate greater access to cultural heritage

33 Landscapes and Archaeologies of the Holocaust  NAZI ATTEMPTS TO HIDE THEIR CRIMES  DEFIANCE, RESISTANCE, POWERLESSNESS  VICTIM AND PERPETRATOR ARCHAEOLOGY  BURIAL AND DISPOSAL METHODS

34 “ Beyond camps and forced labour ” ? Archaeological work has focused on main camps in the past Archaeological work has focused on main camps in the past Need to also examine smaller, less well-known sites Need to also examine smaller, less well-known sites

35 Dr. Caroline Sturdy Colls Lecturer in Forensic Investigation Staffordshire University (+44)


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