The Brandenburg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archaeological Museum (BLDAM) organises a conference from the 21st to the 24th of November 2011 with the title „Battlefield and mass grave –a range of interdisciplinary analyses of places of violence”.
Since several years there is also in Germany a growing interest in the comparatively young branch of research of battlefield archaeology. The reason for this development can be found in the archaeological and historical research of battlefields like the bronze-age place in the Tollense valley or Kalkriese, the Harzhorn and Luetzen. In particular, the recovery of single bones, bone pits, single and mass graves linked to places of violence within the last years has brought a wide range of information to the surface. Next to archaeology and anthropology there are a lot more of natural scientific research fields that provide detailed information on the dead. Moreover, they also provide the opportunity to shed light on the fate of the individuals involved in battles or other acts of violence.
The initial point for this conference is the recovering of a mass grave with about 120 soldiers in the middle of the thirty years war’s battlefield of Witt stock 1636 in spring 2007. The huge number of buried soldiers, the accurately archaeological and anthropological recording and the entire recovery of all skeletons and single bones are the backbone of its exceptional role in mass grave archaeology. A working group of archaeologists, anthropologists, paleopathologists, archeometrists, historians, geoscientists, experts in ballistic and weaponry was involved in the analysis of these extraordinary findings. This interdisciplinary research provided on top of the reconstruction of the order of events on the battlefield a look on those battle days from the view point of an “ordinary soldier” that has been neglected in the records very often so far.
This special exhibition “1636 – their last battle” can be visited from September 2011 to April 2012 in the Brandenburg State Archaeological Museum in the former Monastery of St. Paul in the town of Brandenburg Havel.
We invite scientists from all research areas who study places of violence to present a paper (30 minutes + discussion). The results can be presented as a poster as well. The subject of the conference is not exclusively restricted to the early modern period but may encompass other periods and events too. Contributions with an interdisciplinary paradigm are mostly welcome.
The conference will be held in the Brandenburg State Archaeological Museum town of Brandenburg upon Havel. The conference languages are English and German.
Additionally, we are planning to offer an excursion to the Wittstock battlefield and the Museum of the Thirty Years War on the 24/11/2011.
The deadline for the announcement of papers will be the 01/12/2010. Please, send your proposals including titles and abstracts (approx. 250 words) to
The Papers will be published afterwards in the series of the Brandenburg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archaeological Museum (BLDAM).
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