British army soldiers unearth Waterloo’s history

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British army veterans and serving soldiers take their frontline experience to a former battlefield. Working alongside archaeologists, they’re unearthing the history of the Battle of Waterloo. “

British army soldiers unearth Waterloo’s history

British army veterans and serving soldiers take their frontline experience to a former battlefield.

Working alongside archaeologists, they’re unearthing the history of the Battle of Waterloo.

“Waterloo Uncovered”, is the first major international archaeological dig at the site. Former soldier and archaeology student Mark Evans developed the project after he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2008 when he returned from Afghanistan.

“When I had PTSD, you’re consumed, your mind is just, every day, every night, every waking, sleeping hour you’re living in Afghanistan. And you just sometimes need something to switch that focus, and archaeology, because it’s practical, because it’s interesting and new and exciting, actually just getting here and just lifting some turf, going down with the trowel for a few hours of a day, it might just provide somebody with a little bit of space and that’s what it does, has done for me.”

Archaeologists from the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Germany are working on the dig and hope the soldiers wartime experience will bring a new element of understanding to their work.

Their goal is to identify the final resting places of soldiers who have gone undiscovered for 200 years.

So far, they’ve uncovered coins, buttons, and English and French musket balls, says Tony Pollard of the University of Glasgow.

SOUNDBITE: Tony Pollard, Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, saying (English):

“The important thing about these is that these are probably among the first shots fired in the Battle of Waterloo, which when you consider that hundreds and thousands of shots were fired during the day, that’s really quite a moment to be able to capture.”

Waterloo Uncovered was planned to be a one-year project. The team is hoping it will carry on longer … and that with the soldiers’ unique perspectives, they’ll have a better account of the epic battle.

Tags : history, Waterloos, Unearth, soldiers, army, british

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