Traces of Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on First World War Conflict Landscapes
It is a tenet of the anthropological archaeology of modern conflict that to understand landscape one has to be in it. Archaeologists and anthropologists regard historical research as a prerequisite preparation rather than being an end in itself. Disciplinary considerations notwithstanding, how have different kinds of fieldwork added new conceptual understandings of conflict landscapes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? This chapter outlines an innovative hybrid approach which has developed over the last twenty years using First World War case studies based on research in Belgium, France, Jordan and Slovenia. Crucial to this interdisciplinary agenda has been the work of colleagues in History, Geography, Heritage and Tourism Studies. The result is a more holistic and nuanced understanding of the landscapes of modern war that privileges no discipline, but draws on all of them. It provides a muscular response to the many issues raised by the unique cultural phenomenon that is modern conflict.