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Battlefield and Conflict Archaeology: archaeological approaches to warfare and violence

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A PhD project with John Carman will focus on battlefield archaeology.

Historic battlefields are the subject of research by the Bloody Meadows Project – a joint enterprise with Patricia Carman – which studies such places as landscapes. Our aim is to understand the attitudes to place brought by warriors in the past to the places where they carried out their violent activities, and to compare those places so sought in one period with those sought in other periods; this leads us to apply a broadly ‘phenomenological’ approach to their investigation. A related concern – and one linked with the interest in heritage value – is with the way such places are remembered or memorialised This work was the subject of a book published by Suttons in 2006, Bloody Meadows: investigating cultural landscapes of battle.

My interests in the field of conflict cover from the prehistoric period to the most recent. Current students supervised by me are looking at World War II defences in Wales, the evidence for warfare in prehistoric Europe and Viking defensive sites in Britain. Previous students have studied War Memorials in Birmingham and how to find mass graves on battlefields of the 17th century English Civil War.


J. Carman & Patricia Carman. Bloody Meadows: investigating landscapes of battle. Sutton, 2006, ISBN 0-7509-3734-3
J. Carman & P. Carman. ‘Ancient Bloody Meadows: Classical battlefields in Greece’. In T. Pollard & I Banks (eds) Past Tense: studies in the archaeology of conflict, Leiden & Boston, Brill (also published as Journal of Conflict Archaeology 1.1), January 2006, 19-44.
J. Carman. ‘Battlefields as cultural resources’. Post-Medieval Archaeology 39.2, December 2005, 215-223
J. Carman & P. Carman. ‘Mustering Landscapes: what historic battlefields share in common’. In D. D. Scott, Babits, L. & Haecker, C. (eds) Fields of Conflict: battlefield archaeology from the Roman Empire to the Korean War (2 vols), Praeger Security International, Westport Conn. & London, 2007, 39-49
J. Carman & P. Carman 'The intangible presence: investigating battlefields' in J. Carman & M L S Sorensen (eds) Heritage Studies: methods & approaches, London, Routledge, 2009, 292-315
J. Carman & P. Carman. ‘From Rhetoric to Research: the Bloody Meadows project as a pacifist response to war’. In L.McAtackney, M. Palus & A,. Piccini (eds), Contemporary and Hiostorical Archaeology in Theory: papers from the 2003 and 2004 CHAT conferences, BAR International Series 1677, 2007, 109-114
J. Carman & P. Carman. ‘War in prehistoric society: modern views of ancient violence’. In M. Parker-Pearson & I.J.N. Thorpe (eds) Warfare, Violence and Slavery in Prehistory: proceedings of a Prehistoric Society conference at Sheffield University. Oxford, Archaeopress, BAR International Series 1374, 2005, 217-224

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in History?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 37.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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