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Archeologie in Gallipoli

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Nov 2013 21:22    Onderwerp: Archeologie in Gallipoli Reageer met quote

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“It’s Like the Whole First World War in a Cup of Tea"

The excavation of Gallipoli is changing our understanding of how the Great War was fought.

By Andrew Curry

ÇANAKKALE, Turkey—Separated by language, culture, and 9,000 miles of ocean, Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey have little in common—except for a hilly peninsula known as Gallipoli in western Turkey. For nearly nine months in 1915 and 1916, Gallipoli witnessed some of World War I’s most intense fighting. The battle pitted untested troops from former British colonies in the Pacific against Turks fighting to protect their homeland from foreign invasion.

Nearly a century later, Australians, New Zealanders, and Turks all regard the conflict at Gallipoli as a central event in their modern history. Like Gettysburg, Gallipoli is shared sacred ground that unites former enemies and marks a pivotal moment in their past. “Those countries all date their existence to that battle,” says Australian National University historian Bill Gammage.

Though Gallipoli was a small conflict compared with landmark battles of the first world war like the Somme, the battle for the narrow peninsula contains the story of the war in microcosm: the fatal bravado, the futile fighting, the error-prone assumptions made by politicians and generals, and the killing fields that decimated a generation of young men. “Ships, submarines, mines, planes, war on the soil, balloons—almost everything humankind used in war was used in the Gallipoli campaign,” says Haluk Oral, a professor at Koç University in Istanbul and author of Gallipoli 1915: Through Turkish Eyes. “It’s like the whole first world war in a cup of tea.”

Yet thanks to its rugged terrain and remote location, the battlefield was nearly forgotten until the mid-1970s, when it was turned into a national park by the Turkish government. No systematic archaeological survey of Gallipoli has ever been conducted—until now. In the lead-up to the battle’s 100th anniversary in April 2015, a team of archaeologists, historians, classicists, geographers, and government officials from Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey is using a combination of traditional archaeological methods and high-tech tools to map what’s left of the battlefield’s trenches, tunnels, and terraces.

The early results have been surprising. Unlike the fertile fields of Belgium and France, Gallipoli’s rocky soil was never plowed after the war, making it a battlefield archaeologist’s goldmine. In its field work over the past four years, the team has mapped miles of trenches and recovered more than 1,000 artifacts, more than anyone expected to find at a battlefield a century old. “I’m surprised at how much is left,” says University of Melbourne researcher Antonio Sagona, the survey’s lead archaeologist. “There’s nowhere on the Western Front where there’s a continuous line like this. It’s the best-preserved World War I battlefield anywhere in the world.”



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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Nov 2013 7:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

interessant artikel,geweldige plek om te bezoeken
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