Special Encore Presentation: “They Left it all out in the Field:” The Contemporary State of Battlefield Archaeology

Of course, many of you will have heard of National Geographic’s controversial new series “Nazi War Diggers” which, thanks to the efforts of archaeologists across the internet, has recently been cancelled! A self-claimed archaeological show, it has been under fire the past few weeks from the real-world archaeological community, who have pointed out that the actors are not trained archaeologists, do not use proper excavations, and that National Geographic is glorifying the destruction of our cultural heritage.  If you’re wondering how battlefield and conflict archaeology is really done, tune in for this week’s special encore presentation!

scottConflict Archaeology or the Archaeology of Battlefields is a sub-discipline that has risen to the forefront since the 1980s. Despite a growing national fascination with wartime chronicles and military strategies the archaeology of the actual sites of conflicts remains fairly unknown to the public. What can we learn from site excavations that are not documented by written accounts and broadly researched academic studies? What types of material remains are characteristic of battlefield sites and do they inform on events in ways that research and eyewitness accounts cannot? This week’s guest, Dr. Douglas Scott, a renowned expert in the field, whose work on the Little Big Horn (“Custer’s Last Stand”) revolutionized formerly accepted interpretations of that dark chapter in American history. Dr. Scott explains how archaeological method and theory can be applied to battlefield excavation sites and considers how we can apply archaeological perspectives to modern and current world conflicts.

What are your thoughts on the “Nazi War Diggers” promotion? Let us know in the comments section below!


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