Monday, 22 October 2012

Beyond the Dead Horizon

I am very pleased to have been able to contribute to a new book, Beyond the Dead Horizon, edited by Nicholas J Saunders.

Hadrian and the Hejaz Railway, Studies in Modern Conflict Archaeology

Hadrian and the Hejaz Railway: Linear features in conflict landscapes. Chapter 13.
The Hedjaz Railway was built by the Ottomans to take Hajj pilgrims from Damascus to Medina in the early twentieth century, though it probably also had covert military and geo-political functions. Completed in 1908, it was served by station buildings regularly spaced along its length, many of which were protected by blockhouses and nearby hilltop forts by the time of the Great Arab Revolt of 1916-18, during the First World War. In AD 122, during his visit to Britain, the Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned his eponymous wall to run from the River Tyne near modern Newcastle to the Solway estuary near Carlisle. It formed the northern limit of the Roman Empire, and was defended at regular intervals by ‘mile castles’ and forts. The Hedjaz Railway and Hadrian’s Wall are iconic linear features in their respective landscapes. They are both liminal entities, designed not as impenetrable barriers but rather as stabilising and boundary-defining constructions for the military, for traders, and as ideological borders for state imperialism. This paper takes changing views of the environs of Hadrian’s Wall as landscapes of danger, military activity, romance, and tourism, and applies them to the Hedjaz Railway in order to generate a new narrative understanding of modern conflict along a linear conflict zone. 
See full details on the Oxbow web pages

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Helles memorial , Gallipoli

A lone gun relic points to the Helles memoral
The Helles Memorial stands on the southern tip of the Gallipoli peninsula.  It is an obelisk over 30m high and dominates the landscape and can be seen by every ship entering the Dardanelles.

The British Commonwealth memorial has the dual function as a memorial to the entire Gallipoli campaign and as a commemoration for the servicemen who died and have no known grave.
The memorial bears more than 21,000 names of those who died there or were buried at sea. The United Kingdom and Indian forces named on the memorial died in operations throughout the peninsula, the Australians at Helles. There are also panels for those who died or were buried at sea in Gallipoli waters. The memorial bears more than 21,000 names.