The project is of societal importance as the Second World War occupies a central place in the collective memory of Dutch society.
Wars are etched on the memories of nations, communities and individuals. What people remember, and how, changes with time. This project will enhance the academic potential of the archaeological research of war landscapes and helps develop a theoretical framework.
For a long time, Dutch academic research developed only a weak interest in the heritage and archaeology of landscapes of war, despite the fact that the history of the Second World War rapidly gained in popularity within Dutch society as a whole.
The principle aim of the project is to retrieve, assess and interpret the archaeological information and material gathered on conflict sites in the Netherlands. On the basis of this research, an estimate is made of the scientific potential and the cultural-historical value of the sites found. Archaeology has a vital role with regard to the preservation of these fragile sites and relics. The project intends to design an approach which integrates this new branch of research with archaeological and historical notions of landscape.
There is still much to be gained in our knowledge of the archaeology of modern conflict. The emphasis of the study is on the development of an area with strong potential on many levels, from the fully academic to community-based archaeology and heritage conservation. It is expected that the multidisciplinary approach designed in the project, connecting approved methods of conflict research with new concepts for landscape archaeology, is innovative and profitable for both international conflict archaeology and the Dutch research tradition itself.