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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