chapter  3
22 Pages

Written Off the Map: Cleared Landscapes of Medieval Ireland

This chapter focuses on issue of the landscape of the Great War from a British perspective. In North America battlefield memorials are largely protected landscapes that are managed as cultural resources. In Europe the memorials are mainly cemeteries, and preserved battlefield landscape is rare. The millions of soldiers who lived there owned the new battlefield landscape, unlike the previous inhabitants or those who subsequently cleared and resettled it. The response to the recovery of dead soldiers missing since the war is one of the drivers in the developing debate surrounding the management of the battlefields. Archaeological investigation on the battlefields in advance of development is carried out in the almost certain knowledge that bodies will be found, yet that statement cannot be included in the project design as a purpose since this would transgress taboos, and laws. At first it was believed that the battlefields had been devastated, but by the late 1920s veterans began to worry that reclamation and reconstruction.