Connect with us


Archaeologists use LiDAR to identify features from the Battle of the Bulge



In a study published in the journal Antiquity, archaeologists have used LiDAR to reveal WWII features within the forested Ardennes landscape.

The Battle of the Bulge marked the final significant German offensive on the Western Front. The battle lasted for five weeks from the 16th of December 1944 to the 28th of January 1945 in the Ardennes region between Belgium and Luxembourg.

The Wehrmacht’s code name for the offensive was Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (‘Operation Watch on the Rhine’). The primary military aims were to disrupt Allied access to the Belgian Port of Antwerp and to create a division in the Allied front, a move that had the potential to encircle and dismantle the four Allied forces.

Archaeologists have conducted a study on an area between St Vith and Schönberg using drone-mounted 1m-resolution LiDAR and very high-resolution simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM).

Extent of the study area with 1m-resolution mapped features, with detail of the areas of Herresbach (A); Prümerberg (B); and Schlierbach (C) (base layer: OpenStreetMap; orthophoto: Open Data WalOnMap) – Image Credit : Antiquity

The researchers have identified more than 940 features, which include artillery emplacements, bomb craters, dugouts with an entrance, dugout shelters or storage places, fox holes, trenches, and undefined features.

According to the study authors: “Our study of the landscape and material remains of the Battle of the Bulge through the lens of very-high and low-resolution LiDAR data has identified a rich archaeological landscape associated with US Army defensive lines and both ground combat and aerial bombing in late 1944 and early 1945 in the central sector of the Ardennes Offensive.”

This new layer of information will contribute to heritage considerations around the Second World War landscapes of the Ardennes and complements the existing collection of commemorative monuments.

“Our results indicate that the combination of heavily wooded landscapes and the complexity and large scale of the Ardennes Offensive offer great research potential at St Vith and elsewhere across the region’s former battlefields, in Belgium and neighbouring Luxembourg and Germany. Our work also prompts debate on managing the region’s heritage and the need for a more comprehensive archaeological survey and analysis of this important theatre of operations in north-western Europe,” said the study authors.


Header Image Credit : Public Domain

Continue Reading


Maya tomb with funerary offerings found during hotel construction




A tomb with funerary offerings has been uncovered during the construction of the Tren Maya Hotel, in Palenque, Mexico.

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducted rescue excavations following the discovery, revealing skeletal remains associated with the Maya city of Palenque.

Palenque, also known as Lakamha in the Itza Language (meaning “Flat-Place-River”), is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The city dates from 226 BC to AD 799, with most of the major construction works representing a rebuilding effort in response to attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in AD 599 and AD 611.

The population declined during the 8th century AD, instead becoming an agricultural population that led to the abandonment of the city zone. By 1520 following the Spanish conquest, contemporary Spanish accounts record the entire region being sparsely populated.

Excavations uncovered a stone lined funerary space sealed with limestone slabs, in which the researchers found the remains of a high-status individual who likely lived in the periphery of Palenque in a small settlement.

The burial is located at a depth of four metres, and also contained ceramic vessels and beads deposited as funerary offerings.

“The individual was placed face up with his legs extended and his head facing north,” said Diego Prieto Hernández from INAH.

The discovery was announced in a press conference reporting on the progress of the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza) in Palenque, Moral-Reforma and El Tigre, the three heritage sites that are served within Section 1 of the Mayan Train Project.


Header Image Credit : INAH

Continue Reading


Archaeologists unearth possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle




Archaeologists from the Dyfed Archaeological Trust may have discovered the possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Pembroke Castle was founded during the 11th century by Roger de Montgomerie, the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.

In 1452, Jasper Tudor was presented both the castle and the earldom by his half-brother, King Henry VI. In 1457, Henry VII was born at the castle, the only child of Lady Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond.

Following Edward IV’s ascension to the throne in 1471, Henry VII endured 14 years of exile in Brittany. He eventually claimed the throne after his forces, with backing from France, Scotland, and Wales, emerged victorious over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, marking the climax of the Wars of the Roses.

Henry VII’s reign is credited with many administrative, economic, and tax reforms, having ruled for nearly 24 years until his death in 1509 at the age of 52. Henry VII was succeed by his second son, Henry, Duke of York, who ascended to the crown as Henry VIII.

Historians have long assumed that a 13th century tower on the outer ward (known today as Henry VII Tower) was the birth place of Henry VII. However, a recent study by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust has uncovered evidence of a late-medieval winged hall-house, broadly dating to the 15th century.

The walls of the structure extend to around 25 metres, with comparisons being drawn to medieval buildings found in England and East Wales, such as Penallt Mansion in Kidwelly. Historically, Pembroke Castle was situated in the English-speaking portion of Pembrokeshire, often referred to as “Little England beyond Wales.”

Speaking to the Western Telegraph, Neil Ludlow, a consultant to Pembroke Castle, said: “All our indications are pointing to a late-medieval building which was clearly of high status within Pembrokeshire, and it looks as if it was at least two-storeys, which possibly makes it a better candidate for the birthplace of a king rather that the tower that currently bears his name.”

Continue Reading


Generated by Feedzy