Fields of Conflict: Battlefield Archaeology from the Roman Empire to the Korean War

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Battlefields are sites of international conflict, places where the course of history is decided. They are also places of pride and community identity, where the sacrifice and the courage of those who fought take on mythic status. Battlefield archaeology is a crucial tool for understanding how battles are fought and won, often revealing shocking conclusions at odds with the documentary record. Physical evidence shows whether battle plans succeeded or failed and the effectiveness of planning versus luck.

Fields of Conflict reveals new interpretations of classic battles and explores how archaeology is used regardless of geographic or temporal location. First showing the reader how to identify a battlefield from earthworks and particular artifacts, the authors then foster a new understanding of warfare by examining some of the best-preserved battlefields in the world. From the ancient world through the Middle Ages, to World Wars I and II and the Korean War, the analysis of what gets left behind at the close of epic struggles shows all too painfully how men fought and died, and how decisions their commanders made shaped history even today. Yet more than history, battlefield archaeology can be deeply meaningful to relatives of soldiers today, who seek to know where their missing loved ones fought, died, and were possibly buried. While military archaeology has always been popular, this groundbreaking volume is the first attempt to create a cohesive chronological interpretation for future study and understanding.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597972765
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Scott is the coauthor of They Died With Custer (University of Oklahoma Press, 1998) and a frequent commentator on the History Channel. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Lawrence Babits is the director and professor of the program in maritime studies specializing in military issues at Eastern Carolina State University, and is the author of A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens (University of North Carolina Press, 2000). He lives in Greenville, North Carolina.

Charles Haecker is an archaeologist at the National Park Service in Santa Fe and coauthor of On the Prairie of Palo Alto: Historical Archaeology of the U.S.–Mexican War Battlefield (Texas A&M University Press, 1997). He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

How Do You Know It's a Battlefield? G. Michael Pratt 5

Mustering Landscapes: What Historic Battlefields Share in Common John Patricia Carman 39

Characteristics of Ancient Battlefields: Battle of Varus (9 AD) Achim Rost 50

Finding Battery Positions at Wilson's Creek, Missouri Carl G. Carlson-Drexler 58

Battlefield Viewsheds, or What the General Saw: Lookout Mountain Battlefield, Chattanooga, Tennessee Elsa Heckman 75

What the Musket Ball Can Tell: Monmouth Battlefield State Park, New Jersey Daniel M. Sivilich 84

"Listen to the Minie Balls": Identifying Firearms in Battlefield Archaeology Douglas Scott Lucien Haag 102

Total Roman Defeat at the Battle of Varus (9 AD) Susanne Wilbers-Rost 121

English Battlefields 991-1685: A Review of Problems and Potentials Glenn Foard 133

Arrows Point to Mass Graves: Finding the Dead from the Battle of Towton, 1461 AD Tim Sutherland Simon Richardson 160

Indian Resistance in New Spain: The 1541 AD Battlefield of Penol de Nochistlan, an Exemplar of Indigenous Resistance Charles Haecker Elizabeth A. Oster Angelica Medrano Enriquez Michael L. Elliott 174

Tatars, Cossacks, and the Polish Army: The Battle of Zboriv Adrian Mandzy 193

Camden: Salvaging Data from a Heavily Collected Battlefield James B. Legg Steven D. Smith 208

Apache Victory against the U.S. Dragoons, the Battle of Cieneguilla, New Mexico David M. Johnson 235

The Confederate Cantonment at Evansport, Virginia Joseph Balicki 255

Fort Davidson Battlefield, Missouri Steve Dasovich Walter Busch 278

The Confederate Forward Line, Battle of Nashville, Tennessee Carl Kuttruff 294

Seven EventfulDays in Paraguay: Reconnoitering the Archaeology of the War of the Triple Alliance Tony Pollard 314

Buffalo Soldiers versus the Apache: The Battle in Hembrillo Basin, New Mexico Karl W. Laumbach 336

Scars of The Great War (Western Flanders, Belgium) Mathieu de Meyer Pedro Pype 359

Pointe-du-Hoc Battlefield, Normandy, France Richard Burt James Bradford Bruce Dickson Mark E. Everett Robert Warden David Woodcock 383

"For You the War Is Over": Finding the Great Escape Tunnel at Stalag Luft III Peter Doyle Lawrence Babits Jamie Pringle 398

Hill 209: The Last Stand of Operation Manchu, Korea Jay Silverstein John Byrd Lyle Otineru 417

Conclusions: Toward a Unified View of the Archaeology of Fields of Conflict 429

Index 439

About the Contributors 443

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