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The Ypres Salient 1914–1918: historical aerial photography and the landscape of war

  • Birger Stichelbaut (a1), Wouter Gheyle (a2), Veerle Van Eetvelde (a3), Marc Van Meirvenne (a4), Timothy Saey (a4), Nicolas Note (a4), Hanne Van den Berghe (a3) and Jean Bourgeois (a2)...
Abstract
Abstract

As the centenary commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele approach, this article is a timely demonstration of how archaeology can provide new insights into the landscape of the Western Front. Assessment of over 9000 aerial photographs taken during the First World War, integrated with other approaches to landscape archaeology, offers a new perspective on the shifting nature of the historic struggle around the town of Ypres in Belgium. The results not only illustrate the changing face of the landscape over that four-year period, but also highlight the potential of aerial photographic records to illuminate hitherto overlooked aspects of landscape heritage.

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*Author for correspondence (Email: birger.stichelbaut@ugent.be)
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. Cowley & B. Stichelbaut . 2012. Historic aerial photographic archives for European archaeology. European Journal of Archaeology 15: 217–36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1461957112Y.0000000010

D. Cowley , L. Ferguson & A. Williams . 2013. The aerial reconnaissance archives: a global aerial photographic collection, in W. Hanson & I. Oltean (ed.) Archaeology from historical aerial and satellite archives: 1330. New York: Springer.

P. Doyle , M. Bennett , R. MacLeod & L. MacKay . 2002. Terrain and the Messines Ridge, Belgium, 1914–1918, in P. Doyle & M. Bennett (ed.) Fields of battle: terrain in military history: 205–24. London: Kluwer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-1550-8_13

C. Gaffney , J. Gater , T. Saunders & J. Adcock . 2004. D-Day: geophysical investigation of a World War II German site in Normandy, France. Archaeological Prospection 11: 121–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arp.233

W. Gheyle , R. Dossche , J. Bourgeois , B. Stichelbaut & V.V. Eetvelde . 2013. Integrating archaeology and landscape analysis for the cultural heritage management of a World War I militarised landscape: the German field defences in Antwerp. Landscape Research 39: 502–22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2012.754854

W. Gheyle , T. Saey , Y. Van Hollebeeke , S. Verplaetse , N. Note , J. Bourgeois , M. Van Meirvenne , V. Van Eetvelde & B. Stichelbaut . 2016. Historical aerial photography and multi-receiver EMI soil sensing, complementing techniques for the study of a Great War conflict landscape. Archaeological Prospection 23: 149–64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arp.1534

W. Hanson & I. Oltean . 2013. Archaeology from historical aerial and satellite archives. New York: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-4505-0

P. Masters & B. Stichelbaut . 2009. From the air to beneath the soil—revealing and mapping Great War trenches at Ploegsteert (Comines-Warneton), Belgium. Archaeological Prospection 16: 279–85. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arp.357

T. Saey , B. Stichelbaut , J. Bourgeois , V. Van Eetvelde & M. Van Meirvenne . 2013. An interdisciplinary non-invasive approach to landscape archaeology of the Great War. Archaeological Prospection 20: 3944. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arp.1437

T. Saey , N. Note , W. Gheyle , B. Stichelbaut , J. Bourgeois , V. Van Eetvelde & M. Van Meirvenne . 2016. EMI as a non-invasive survey technique to account for the interaction between WW I relicts and the soil environment at the Western front. Geoderma 265: 3952. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2015.11.020

B. Stichelbaut 2006. The application of First World War aerial photography to archaeology: the Belgian images. Antiquity 80: 161–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00093339

B. Stichelbaut 2011. The first thirty kilometres of the Western Front 1914–1918: an aerial archaeological approach with historical remote sensing data. Archaeological Prospection 18: 5766. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arp.397

B. Stichelbaut , W. Gheyle , T. Saey , V. Van Eetvelde , M. Van Meirvenne , N. Note , H. Van den Berghe & J. Bourgeois . 2016. The First World War from above and below. Historical aerial photographs and mine craters in the Ypres Salient. Applied Geography 66: 6472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.11.020

Y Van Hollebeeke ., B. Stichelbaut & J. Bourgeois . 2014. From landscape of war to archaeological report: ten years of professional World War I archaeology in Flanders (Belgium). European Journal of Archaeology 17: 702–19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1461957114Y.0000000065

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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