Accepted Paper:

Recording a WW1 British camouflet mine 2005: health and safety nightmares of modern subterranean battlefield archaeology on the Western Front  


Mike Dolamore MBE (The Durand Group)
Andrew Hawkins QGM (Durand Group)

Paper short abstract:

Photograph of the initial recording of a recently rendered safe WW1 camouflet mine during excavation and recording of the O Sector deep defensive mining system at Vimy Ridge during 2005.

Paper long abstract:

The Great War witnessed the use of mining and tunnelling on an unparalleled scale in support of surface operations. However, the subject of subterranean warfare remains relatively sparsely documented and its integration with, and importance to, surface operations poorly understood. During the period 1998 - 2005 The Durand Group excavated access into, and undertook the archaeological investigation and recording of the 'O' Sector deep defensive mining system at Vimy Ridge in France. The archaeological investigation of these WW1 subterranean features poses unique challenges to the modern conflict archaeologist, as witnessed by the recently rendered safe mine charge, seen here being recorded.

Panel S39
EXHIBITION - A picture is worth a thousand words: images of archaeological practice, past and present