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Archaeological Dig At Höhe 80 In Belgium

Höhe 80; fundraiser; Wytschaete; kickstarter;

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#1 Panzermann

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0725 AM

Only few days to go to fund this dig before this heretofore unexcavated german fortified position from World War 1 at hill 80 (Höhe 80) near Wytschaete, Belgium gets paved over by a housing development project and the site is destroyed and lost forever.
 

 

banner-with-logo.jpg

 

Project Whitesheet 2018

Crowdfunded excavation of a First World War Battlefield



In 2015, during test trenching, a team of archaeologists discovered a well-preserved German strongpoint at a ridge top near the village Of Wijtschate (also known as Wytschaete — or ‘Whitesheet’ to the British). Wijtschate had been captured by the Germans at the end of 1914, who went on to build into what became formidable fortress that would only be breached in 1917 during the Battle of Messines.
With a full-scale excavation almost certain, the archaeologists closed their test trenches to preserve what they’d found. That is why an international team of experts has joined forces in an effort to make this happen, a scientific excavation, executed by professional archaeologists and supported by universities, governments and others – financed by crowdfunding.

 
crowdfunding:
http://dighill80.com/
http://kck.st/2z2OwES
 

project website: http://hill80.com/


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#2 Panzermann

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0738 AM

cd2b710f1f1c1a6da0214e537b0cf395_origina

 

https://www.kickstar...018/description

 

 


Edited by Panzermann, 13 December 2017 - 0740 AM.

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#3 Panzermann

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0745 AM

 


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#4 Panzermann

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 0419 AM

I have chipped in with 25€ after sorting out payment. :)


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 0741 AM

Put me down for a fiver if they find another MkIV. :)


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#6 Rick

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 0535 AM

From someone in the Midwest of the USA, are there non-exploded gas and other unpleasant munitions lying around yet to be found in these WW1 battlefields?


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#7 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 0835 AM

Yes. There was a documentary on discovery (couple of canucks investigating former European battlefields, pretty good) and there is a general policy of farmers carrying defunct ammunition to the corner of their fields, and subsequently putting it in a metal cage, ready for the Belgian ordinance disposal teams to take away and blow up. There have been Phosgene shells show up, im not aware of any cases when they have gone off or distributed chemicals. They are after all about 100 years old now. Probably worth asking Chris Werb, he spent a lot of time in Belgium If I remember rightly.
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#8 Panzermann

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 1429 PM

Happens from time to time, that one of the mines explodes. you  know, those explosives filled caverns that engineers dug under enemy positions. Farmers hit grenades from with their plows from time to time. Or they just spontanously explode. No easy legacy living among UXO.


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#9 BillB

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 1819 PM

From someone in the Midwest of the USA, are there non-exploded gas and other unpleasant munitions lying around yet to be found in these WW1 battlefields?

Yes mate, shedloads. You can see them stacked up at the side of fields all over France and Belgium waiting for the military to show up and deal with them, I saw a pile of two dozen or so shells of various calibres stacked up by the monument atop Cote 304 back in May this year. They'd been unearthed by guys timber harvesting there. 

 

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#10 BillB

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 1826 PM

Happens from time to time, that one of the mines explodes. you  know, those explosives filled caverns that engineers dug under enemy positions. Farmers hit grenades from with their plows from time to time. Or they just spontanously explode. No easy legacy living among UXO.

Not heard about any mines going off recently, I thought the last was on Messines Ridge back in the 1950s or 1960s after a lightning strike; apparently there's another still lost around there somewhere.  :blink:

 

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#11 shep854

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 1835 PM

Isn't location and disposal from both wars' UXO a full-time career field in France?


Edited by shep854, 16 December 2017 - 1836 PM.

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#12 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 2150 PM

Isn't location and disposal from both wars' UXO a full-time career field in France?

 

Yes, and in Belgium.


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#13 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 0256 AM

Re unexploded mines, there is one under the Vimy Ridge Memorial that was only rediscovered in 1988. Though it seems to have been made safe now.

https://www.military...war-t70297.html

 

Earlier this year they excavated some training trenches on salisbury plain. They were so well preserved, they found evidence of the names of the people who dug them on the walls. One of them was later a VC winner.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...tshire-39696077


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#14 BillB

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 0932 AM

Saw this over on ARRSE, some good pics although the write up is a bit general and over the top at the same time...  :)

 

The Real "No-Go Zone" of France: A Forbidden No Man's Land Poisoned by War

http://www.messynessychic.com/2015/05/26/the-real-no-go-zone-of-france-a-forbidden-no-mans-land-poisoned-by-war/ 

 

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#15 Panzermann

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 1037 AM

 

Isn't location and disposal from both wars' UXO a full-time career field in France?

 

Yes, and in Belgium.

 

 

GErmany, vietnam, Japan, Netherlands, Angola, former Yugoslavia etc. etc. pp.

 

 

Though the WW1 trenchlines are really rancorous.


Edited by Panzermann, 18 December 2017 - 1040 AM.

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#16 shep854

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 0955 AM

Some of the videos of de-miners in SE Asia are scary, they are so casual with the devices.
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#17 Chris Werb

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 1642 PM

 

 

Isn't location and disposal from both wars' UXO a full-time career field in France?

 

Yes, and in Belgium.

 

 

GErmany, vietnam, Japan, Netherlands, Angola, former Yugoslavia etc. etc. pp.

 

 

Though the WW1 trenchlines are really rancorous.

 

 

Not sure what WW1 UXO you would ind in any of those countries to justify a career, with the possible exception of some parts of FRY and a tiny amount in Germany :)


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#18 Rick

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 1736 PM

Yes. There was a documentary on discovery (couple of canucks investigating former European battlefields, pretty good) and there is a general policy of farmers carrying defunct ammunition to the corner of their fields, and subsequently putting it in a metal cage, ready for the Belgian ordinance disposal teams to take away and blow up. There have been Phosgene shells show up, im not aware of any cases when they have gone off or distributed chemicals. They are after all about 100 years old now. Probably worth asking Chris Werb, he spent a lot of time in Belgium If I remember rightly.

So the farmers handle unexploded shells and place them by the roadside?!


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#19 Chris Werb

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 1740 PM

 

Yes. There was a documentary on discovery (couple of canucks investigating former European battlefields, pretty good) and there is a general policy of farmers carrying defunct ammunition to the corner of their fields, and subsequently putting it in a metal cage, ready for the Belgian ordinance disposal teams to take away and blow up. There have been Phosgene shells show up, im not aware of any cases when they have gone off or distributed chemicals. They are after all about 100 years old now. Probably worth asking Chris Werb, he spent a lot of time in Belgium If I remember rightly.

So the farmers handle unexploded shells and place them by the roadside?!

 

 

In vast numbers. Yes.

 

Typical scene: http://c8.alamy.com/...ells-E71639.jpg


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#20 Rick

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 1754 PM

 

 

Yes. There was a documentary on discovery (couple of canucks investigating former European battlefields, pretty good) and there is a general policy of farmers carrying defunct ammunition to the corner of their fields, and subsequently putting it in a metal cage, ready for the Belgian ordinance disposal teams to take away and blow up. There have been Phosgene shells show up, im not aware of any cases when they have gone off or distributed chemicals. They are after all about 100 years old now. Probably worth asking Chris Werb, he spent a lot of time in Belgium If I remember rightly.

So the farmers handle unexploded shells and place them by the roadside?!

 

 

In vast numbers. Yes.

 

Typical scene: http://c8.alamy.com/...ells-E71639.jpg

 

I admit to have no knowledge of this, but I presume that shells are inert with an extremely small chance of exploding?


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